Karen Pryor Clicker Training Library

Click to Be Fit: Fun Canine Fitness Training

Want to try some fun and games?

Click and Play: Using Play as a Reinforcer

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.

Into the Woods

Take a hike!

If your New Year's resolution is to be more active, be sure to include your dog in your plans!

"Clicker Trainers Use No Punishment" and Other Training Myths

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.

Beyond Clicking and Treating: The Power of Choice

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.

How to Put an End to Counter-Surfing

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.

My Dog is Aging—Now What? More Training, Of Course!

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

How to Keep Your Dog Calm When the Doorbell Rings

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?

Continuing the Clicker Legacy: A Conversation with Ken Ramirez

“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.

A Tribute to Listo—and Michele

A busy and talented clicker friend

On My Mind: A Fresh Start

Happy fall—a time for change and new ventures

Five Questions to Ask Before Starting a Dog Training Business

Odds against a dream come true

Every year I meet a lot of people who dream of starting a dog training business.

On My Mind: Too Many Butterflies

From about age nine through thirteen I collected and studied butterflies. My interest was intense; I might well have grown up to be an entomologist.

On My Mind: How to Write a Scientific Paper

Publish: the process and the peers

Reducing Leash Reactivity: The Engage-Disengage Game

Sound familiar? The 4 Fs of fear

On My Mind: Sparks Flying at SPARCS Conference

From June 20-22, 2014, I went to a new kind of dog conference held here in New England: SPARCS 2014.

To Crate or Not To Crate?

A bonus, not a penalty

Many people refuse to crate or kennel-train their dogs because they feel the confinement is cruel. However, a crate or kennel can give dogs a sense of security. Crate training done properly is also a highly effective management system that can be a lifesaver for dog owners. Like any training method, crating can be abused, but using a crate for appropriate time periods is helpful with a variety of important goals, including house training, preventing destructive behavior, and teaching a dog to settle and relax.

How to Teach Your Pet to Target

Picture the possibilities

Imagine teaching your dog to put his hind feet—just his hind feet—on a mat. Or, imagine teaching your cat to give a high-five.

Confessions of an iPhone Addict: TAGteach and the Power of Choice

Communication addiction

My name is Emelie, and I’m an iPhonaholic.

An Introduction to Emma Parsons’ New Book: Teaching the Reactive Dog Class

Editor’s note: One of the most common, yet also most challenging, behavior problems that dog trainers are asked to address is reactivity.

Loose-Leash Walking: Part Two

Moving on