Karen Pryor Clicker Training Library

Spa Day: How to Train Your Dog to Love a Bath, a Brushing, or Even a Mani/Pedi

Imagine a life where your dog loves being groomed. When you pull out the brush or nail trimmers, your dog comes running—just as if you opened a new bag of treats. How would that make you feel?

It is never too late to train your pet to love being bathed or brushed. With a little time and patience, you and your puppy, adult, or senior dog can look forward to sharing relaxing grooming time.

Ten Reasons Your Dog May Develop Behavior Problems

Bad behavior: the big picture

Holiday Hide and Seek with Your Dog!

Experienced dog owners and trainers often note that every dog needs a job. A dog with something meaningful to do rarely gets himself into trouble.

Hunting for clothespins is a task that is easy to teach, and gives your dog the opportunity to solve a problem and complete a significant job. Once the behavior is trained, it's something you can do every day without breaking a sweat or putting aside much time, yet your dog will work really hard and will finish the exercise happy and satisfied.

Holiday Manners 101

Holidays are fun, right?

The holidays are nearly here. Visitors, music, food… what could be better?

Tips for a Stress-Free Holiday Season with Your Pets

 

Animal lovers find great joy including their animals in as many holiday celebrations as possible.

Keeping the Holiday Peace: How to Crate Train Your Dog

The holiday season is both joyous and hectic. Most of us are busy decorating, shopping for and wrapping presents, cooking, cleaning the house, and entertaining friends and family. With all this excitement, the family dog is often under-stimulated and underfoot—a situation that can lead to big trouble!

 

How to Communicate with a Deaf Dog

Challenge: a hearing-impaired dog

Adopting a Shelter or Rescue Dog: How to Find the Right Match

Originally published 10/01/2010.

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.

The ABCs of Barking

Why all the barking?

The Future is Now: Creating Powerful Behavior-Healthcare Teams

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How to Teach Your Dog to Swim

Splash?

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.

Equine Etiquette: Teaching a Horse to Stay

Instead of juggling, train “stay”

Are We There Yet? How to Ease Your Pet’s Travel Anxiety

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.

Shaping Success

Free shape—or not?

Making Cats Friendly, Clicker Style

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.

Don’t Socialize the Dog!

Really?

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.

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.