I started teaching clicker training in South Africa in 1988, and was told by fellow clicker trainers throughout the world that I was the first to use this method on the African continent! Although I am not sure how accurate this is, I have yet to come across anyone in South Africa who has been training animals with a clicker for a longer period than I have.

Clicker Training Concepts trains animals using the principles of operant conditioning. Based in Johannesburg, South Africa, I started my career as a dog handler using what was then the recognized method of training dogs i.e. positive reinforcement combined with compulsion. Dogs were compelled to sit, down, heel, whatever, with the use of a check (or choke) chain and a lead. In the late 1980’s I became concerned about the use of coercion and the often damaging effects arising from its use, and started to research other options. In my opinion, forcing a dog to e.g. sit sometimes had quite severe ramifications – some dogs displayed sensitivity of the neck (probably caused by the jerking on the check chain), others “closed down” and crouched or lagged in heel work. The dogs just didn’t seem to be enjoying their training.

In 1988 I started using the operant conditioning methodology (clicker training), and have become convinced that this is the most effective way to train and better communicate with animals.

Animal Assisted Therapists

Windhoek, Namibia

Windhoek, Namibia

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