If you haven’t seen Jurassic World yet and don’t want to read any spoilers, run away quick!

What the Velociraptors of Jurassic World Taught Me About Clicker Training

There are a wide variety of opinions around the recent film, Jurassic World. Whether you are a fan of stud muffin Chris Pratt or aren’t so keen on the inaccuracies of the movie, one thing is for sure. Chris Pratt’s interaction with the Velociraptors brings the idea of clicker training straight to pop culture.

The movie didn’t exactly accurately portray a real clicker training process for the sake of Hollywood, but it did help shine a light on positive training methods. Chris Pratt’s character, Owen, employs a very modified version of clicker training and speaks up against aversive training methods like electric shock. By doing so, Owen is able to create a bond with the Velociraptors and train them to work as a team and to respond to commands.

What struck a chord particularly with me is the idea that a positive training method like clicker training could be successful with an animal as terrifying and dangerous as a Velociraptor. Sure, Velociraptors aren’t really roaming around an island somewhere (or at least I hope not), but the idea that positive reinforcement training is effective with challenging animals is one that I’m happy to see coming out of Hollywood.

Velociraptors in Jurassic World

Jurassic World – Universal Pictures

I’m no clicker training pro. In fact, it is something that I am just starting to introduce into Luna’s training routine. We’ve always kept things positive with treats and praise, but clicker training was a foreign idea to me for sure. It is never too late to learn, so we’re starting now. If Chris Pratt can train a pack of Velociraptors, then Luna and I can surely succeed. As we progress, I’ll be happily sharing our progress here and you’ll be the first to know how the training goes or if I stumble across any Velociraptors.

If you are interested in learning more about clicker training, Victoria Stilwell’s Positively is a great place to start as is the blog Rubicon Days.

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Jessica Shipman
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