Challenge: a hearing-impaired dog
Karen Pryor Clicker Training Library
Adding to the family
October is the American Humane Association’s Adopt-A-Dog Month. Adding a dog to your household can bring great joy, but adopting a pet is a bit like looking for a roommate or significant other—the more you know beforehand, the greater the odds of a successful relationship. If you already have other pets, it can be even harder to find the right match. To ensure a successful adoption, think carefully about what it is you're looking for before you go to select a pet.
Why all the barking?
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Pet owners often wonder how to keep pets active without having to walk in 90-degree weather. Swimming, and other games in and with water, can be fun for both people and dogs, especially during hot summer days.
Instead of juggling, train “stay”
Summer is in full swing! With many pet-friendly resorts, parks, and other destinations available, you may be thinking about fun outings with your furry friend. But what can you do if your pooch loves being at the park but hates getting there? Luckily, there are several ways to help ease a dog’s discomfort in the car.
Free shape—or not?
Clicker training, the science-based system of teaching behavior with positive reinforcers and a marker signal, is becoming immensely popular, world-wide, with some dog owners and trainers, while still being rejected by others. It seems so alien, so different from traditional training, that many are very reluctant to try this new system on their already well-trained dogs. Why not leave your dogs out of the picture for the time being, and explore the clicker experience for yourself, with an animal you don't really need or expect reliable performance from: Your cat.
That title is a typo, right? A professional dog trainer would never advocate against socialization, would she? Well, maybe!
The problem isn't with socialization itself, but with many people's understanding of socialization. Socialization is vital for proper mental and social development in dogs, and it needs to be offered properly. Mistakes in socialization, even if intentions are good, can backfire and may even produce an overly shy or overly aggressive dog.
Want to try some fun and games?
Dogs smile. Just like people, dogs pull the corners of their mouths up high toward their eyes, partially open their mouths, and smile. In 1872, Darwin wrote of the universality of facial expressions in The Expressions of Emotions in Man and Animals. Roughly 130 years later, Dr. Patricia McConnell authored For the Love of a Dog in which she compared human and dog facial expressions using the methods developed by Paul Ekman, the world's leading scientist on the topic. The truth is out: dogs smile, and, of course, experience emotions.
Take a hike!
If your New Year's resolution is to be more active, be sure to include your dog in your plans!
A search-and-rescue start
Before starting this article, I polled the ClickerSolutions mailing list about the training myths—about both clicker and more traditional training—the members had heard. The responses poured in. It became obvious that misunderstandings, miscommunications, and half-truths abound, creating unnecessary walls between trainers. Let's debunk some of these myths.
If you’re on this website, and reading this article, you are probably interested in clicker training—and for good reason. The clicker is a wonderful tool. It lets us communicate more clearly with other species (as well as with our own, in some cases). It helps us focus on the behavior we want to see. It also enables the training of behaviors that would be extremely difficult, or even impossible, to train in any other way.
Many dog owners complain that their dogs steal food from kitchen counters or even the dinner table. A new term was even coined to describe this behavior: counter-surfing. If you're tired of losing your dinner to a sneaky pooch every time you turn your back, here's what you can do about it.
A click for all ages
As your dog moves into her senior years you’ll probably notice some subtle changes—she groans a bit when changing positions, hesitates briefly when a
Are you Suburban Woman, loving but exasperated owner of Fido and Fifi? Does your home seem like the 5th at Santa Anita every time the doorbell rings? Wouldn't it be wonderful if your dog actually moved away from the door when the doorbell rang rather than crowd you for a position to greet, or "eat", the people on the other side? Wouldn't you love to have a dog that sits, lies down, or even runs to another room when the doorbell rings-instead of all the embarrassing things your dog currently does?
“Animals deserve the best care that we can possibly provide.” That is the philosophy of 35-year animal training veteran and creative teacher and consultant, Ken Ramirez. Having worked with a dizzying number of species, including overseeing the care and training of more than 1500 species at Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium, Ken has developed a reputation for his ability to train any animal to do anything.
Happy fall—a time for change and new ventures