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TAGing a Husband

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I knew when I got my husband that he would respond well to clicker training—after all, on our first date he went home with an entire set of my level 1 handouts (at his request) and had read them all 24 hours later. When he watched my dogs for 7 months while I hiked the Appalachian Trail (when we were still dating), I came home to dogs that behaved as well as they had when I left. He totally gets this clicker stuff.

So knowing that he knows how it works, it still amazes me how well it works on him!

This latest behavior is phenomenal—one click to a perfect finished behavior, even more perfect than I would have expected. It has to do with grocery bags. In an effort to reduce "trash," we have reusable bags in our cars. I'll shop on my way home from work and bring the bags in the house with the groceries. It's usually late at night when I get home and I usually leave the bags in the house overnight, sometimes the next day, too.

So I had to stop at the grocery store for something I hadn't been able to get the day before, and as I popped the back of the car to get the bag, I realized I had left it at home. But, lo and behold, there it was—my husband had carried it out that morning and put it back (he does this with lots of my stuff—boy is he good at the ignoring bad behavior part of clicker training). So when I got home that night, I thanked him for putting the bag in the car and told him how nice it had been to find it there as I was realizing I had left it at home. Well, apparently that's all it took. For the last month, I think he's taken the bags back to the car as soon as the groceries are put away that night. They're always right there, tucked in next to the dog crate, ready for my next trip to the store.

But yesterday beat everything. In an effort to make certain I didn't forget to take the bags with me the next morning, I folded them and left them under my purse after putting away the groceries. The next morning, I grabbed my purse and left for work. I realized part way there that I hadn't grabbed the bags—they weren't with my purse. When I got to work, I peeked in the back—sure enough there were the grocery bags in their usual place. So it seems I've trained my husband to actually seek out grocery bags to return them to the car.

Now the big question is...when the baby arrives in August how excited can I get him about changing diapers??

Happy clicking!


P.S. Lest anyone think this spouse training is one-sided—my husband is as good at being the trainer as he is the trainee. Perhaps I shouldn't have given him those handouts after all. :)

P.P.S. We are now 5 months after that original click. I never get a chance to return the bags to the car and I realized that I have never actually clicked him again after that first click. Talk about one-trial learning!


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Rosana Hart's picture

This is hilarious and so true

And how long will it be before the baby is clicker trained?

Rosana Hart

If it works thst well I will give it a try...Great story


trainer@caninesinaction.com's picture


I have a clicker husband, too! It's great to hear of your success.

My sister wrote to me last week on "the power of R+." She'd posted a new installment of an online story and woke to find several complimentary comments on it the next morning. "Now all I can think about today is writing more! Nothing else!"

Funny how this stuff works. ;-)

Laura &

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