We love getting "clicks" from the community. Here are some of our favorites.
"Karen, I can't thank you enough for all you have given to the public. I woke up to many more possibilities with your kindness and guidance. It has made my wonderful job of caring for other people's pets even better."
"Clicker training is sweeping the nation. It's fun, fast, and positive. A 21-tail salute to Karen Pryor, a trainer and friend who brought clickers into the dog world and popularized the concept."
Sarah Hodgson, Trainer
in Dog Tricks for Dummies
"In my limited experience with choke collar corrections, throwing chains, etc., I've noticed that trainers rely on their methods, rarely changing them to help the dog succeed. Rather, they have to set the dog up for failure in order to teach them. Ultimately, the trainers get the behavior they want with their methods, and many are very caring, wonderful people to their dogs. But, all the focus seems to be on getting the behavior. In my very limited experience with clicker/positive training so far, I've noticed that there's such a careful analysis of the dog, its motivation, triggers, distractions, and successes (even the tiniest incremental success). Where the dog does fail, the trainer re-examines her assumptions, methods, criteria, etc. At the very least, this type of approach keeps *me* interested in the training process. It's so much more *fun* than yanking on a leash. As an added bonus, Bianca will often remind me that it's time to play clicker. Now, that's a motivated dog! I wish I had my students asking me for more homework."
"I attended the Great Northeast Poodle Party this weekend and had the sincere pleasure of experiencing a clicker training workshop run by Emma Parsons and her assistant Maryanne. I wanted to let the Clicker Training company and Emma know what gifted instructors both Emma and MaryAnne are. I have been through two obedience classes with my puppy with the same trainer, and I thought she was pretty good until I experienced Emma and Maryanne...They are extremely sensitive to both humans and dogs, and take any opportunity to show both the owner and dog what they have done well!! Their teaching methods were very upbeat and user-friendly. I am a college professor in psychology so I know the material that Emma and Maryanne were trying to relate (e.g., schedules of reinforcement, stimulus control, etc), and I appreciate the difficulties of teaching a diverse audience. They did a marvelous job and should be commended highly. Bravo!"
"Thanks Karen (& all your staff ) for the wonderful July newsletter: 101 things to do with a Polar bear. I think what hit me most was the sheer wonder of it all. It is just amazing that a polar bear through a glass barrier can communicate so clearly [and produce specific behaviors from children on the other side of the glass]. That information allowed insights into training that had not occurred to me before. I wonder how often our dogs are eliciting behavior from US and just having fun from how we react?! It made me want to videotape and review training classes, especially with those dogs I just can't figure out."
"Thank you for permission to use the information in your books (Don't Shoot the Dog, Clicking with Dogs) in teaching clicker training in my country. Clicking was alien in the Philippines until I trained several dogs with exceptional skills. Now, I go around my country organizing free clicker classes. My people are amazed how fast their dogs learn and how fun it is. The resistance and criticisms are rather huge but I am gaining more and more support from those I share the clicker principles with."
Ronald B. Lumbao
"We are working with our 11-week-old Australian Shepherd pup and already he can sit and touch the stick with his nose! Very fun!"
"Thank you, thank you—clicker training is a miracle!"
"At first I want to say thank you for your newsletter, which I received yesterday. It's very informative and I always enjoy reading it and looking at the new resources on your site after that. I'm especially enthusiastic about your commitment in clicker training for shelter dogs! I'm completely impressed about the "make your shelter bark-free zone" program. It's really great, so easy to understand and to put into practise without big efforts. Thank you very much for forwarding it!"
"I found on your website a post from Sue Ailsby, an account of training a golden who was just bouncing off the walls. Sue kept clicking and working and the dog "let out a yowl" and danced and around and Sue said it was like the moment in The Miracle Worker where Helen realized those hand shapes were communication. It was just stunning, a 'eureka, I get it' moment of a dog making a cognitive connection. I'm very honored you took the time to write me. I'm quite starstruck, you're one of my heroes. Clicker training is a gift to dogs and humans, thank you so much for all your wonderful work that has enhanced so many lives."
"I started this year thinking I would never be able to trust my elkhound with any other dogs. As a puppy he had been badly frightened by a bull terrier and there was no way he was going to have that happen again. He used to lunge and bark frantically and given half a chance try to attack other dogs. Then I bought a clicker and read Karen's book Don't Shoot the Dog. He took to being clicked so quickly at first I thought I was imagining it. I clicked only when he walked close to me and he stayed at heel. I started to click as soon as we saw another dog and he was quiet. Gradually the distance shortened. He had learned a click was a good thing to happen and it was rubbing off on seeing other dogs. See a strange dog great look to me for click and treat. No more barking! I won't click for that, I followed Karen advice in the book and put barking on cue so it is in process of being extinguished. Last week we walked him in the park and various dogs approached sniffed started to play around him. In the end he was gambling in play with at least six other dogs all strangers to us. He is a different dog and now enjoys playing with other dogs."
Tricia (in the uk)
To: Clicker Challenge organizer Kay Laurence
From: Yvonne Robeson, a British competitor at the Clicker Challenge (editor's note: Yvonne competed successfully with two beautiful American Cocker Spaniels in full show coat)
"Hi Kay, I hope all is well, and you are fully recovered from the Challenge. I have been training Domi with Karen's ring craft methods from the book I bought up at the challenge Click To Win I cannot put it down. I'm not sure how many times I have actually read it. I seem to take in more every time I read it. I can not thank Karen or you enough for opening my eyes, you know how sensitive Domi is. Clicker training has opened up a whole new world for us, making our training fun without pressure. I am not by nature a bullying type of trainer and have found some of the methods I have been taught in the past to be very threatening or intimidating. Whilst I was not happy about what I was doing, I did not know enough about dog training to say 'there must be another way'. I now know there is, I now feel very happy about my training and I know the boys are ecstatic about how they now learn new things. Thank you both once again."
"I am so EXCITED about this method. It makes so much sense, and is absolutely the smartest idea I've ever heard of....and IT WORKS! My 6-year-old golden retriever never came when called. After ONE afternoon, he comes when called! I will be a clicking maniac! I always thought he knew how to heel. With a prong collar and a choke attached, he heels. After ONE afternoon—he heels with NO COLLAR & NO LEASH. I was blown away! He is a sweet, loving member of our family, whom I thought was a 'dopey' dog. The dope was me! He caught on immediately. Thank you so much for making this type of training available. It is EASY, it WORKS, and it is SMART! The best thing is there is NO punishment. I LOVE IT!"
"I just finished reading Karen Pryor's Don't Shoot the Dog and loved it! I have a young Jack Russell cross who was not cooperating with traditional training methods AT ALL and was becoming incorrigible...I read the book bought the clicker and went to work. She soon was doing tricks, behaving nicely both on and off leash, jumping through hoops, you name it! I can't wait to try this with my 3 horses. Thank you Karen Pryor and all your colleagues. I am having a ball and so are my animals!"
Elizabeth Ritan, Salmon, ID
"My name is Kera, my dog's name is Jewels E. Mutt. Three months ago I started her on the clicker. She was afraid of it of course and I didn't know how to use it so I got discouraged and put it down. Then a few weeks later,one of my co-workers showed me how to use it. I used your game of 86 things to do with a box and put the clicker in my pocket to make it less loud. She finally got the idea. It then took me 5 minutes to get her to stop pulling on the leash after three years of her taking me for a walk. This is a great tool for working with older dogs. Thanks so much."
Kera, and Jewels E. Mutt
"I just ordered a clicker training book for my dog from your website. When I saw what you've done with bringing this method of positive reinforcement training to so many people, I thought, 'I'll bet that's the same Karen Pryor who wrote the breastfeeding book that changed the way we treated our babies' (my "'abies' are now 23 and 26; I was a La Leche League Leader back then). On the phone when I ordered, they confirmed it was you. So, BRAVO for all you've done for those in our care—from the sweet babies to the loving creatures. My children and my dog thank you, too!"
"I just wanted you to know i have this book and I love it. I am a trainer of 2 years and a vet tech of 10 years. I am pretty new to clicker training and I am currently clicker training my Border collie mix pup. I have found this book fun and easy to use. I am talking more and more about clickers to my students at PETsMART. We offer a clicker class there but there is not a big demand for it...? I am really trying to get the word out about clickers. So far 3 of my students have purchased the book! They have all said good things about it also!"
"My name is Carol and I live in Central California with my two 14 mo ACS. I have never trained a dog before and niether of my kids has ever had any training. I have had my female for about 4 months and her borther for 2 mo. I am home now all of the time because of arthritis and asthma. I belong to a cocker group. I will be getting my first power wheel chair at the end of this month and was asking if anyone had one or knew someone that had one so I could gets some tips about all of us adapting.
"One very special lady on the group did some checking around and led me to both of you. Little did I realize that a week ago you two would change our lives so much and bring so much joy and excitment into our lives. From the first time we tried it the excitment has just continued to build or all 3 of us. Every single day we are accomplishing new things together. It isn't like work at all. I see the look on their faces when they spot the clicker not the treat but the clicker. It is absolutely amazing.
"But one of the main reasons I need to thank you both happened last night. My little female Tessa really has problems dealing with new and strange items. Two of which have completely turned around in the last 24 hours. First is her crate. She was never crated before her trip here form Michigan. I have tried everything to show her not to be afraid of it. I have even tried placing her food in it but nothing has done any good. Well last night we were doing a training session and for some reason on her own she walked into the open crate and stood there so of course she got a c/t. Well she repeated the action several times. Now today she goes in and even lays down and watches tv. Completely realaxed. Second thing is the camera. I have a digital and love taking pictures of them. I guess it is mainly the flash but she had gotten to the point if I picked up the camera she would hide and wouldn't come out until it was out of site. I had been working with the camera for a couple of days. Just holding it.
"I just had to send both of you a very special thank you. I had no idea how much you two could change and will continue to change our lives. If they didn't learn another thing what I have seen in the last 48 hours would make me grateful to both of you for the rest of our lives. You are both very special people in our house."
Carol, Tweety and the cocker kids
"I rented your book from the library and it was wonderful, and gave me wonderful results when I put them to use. I have made two short movies of the first trick we have taught our cat, how to jump through a hoop, we started with the target training to coax him through, but were eventually able to remove the target stick, and he still jumps through, even if the hoop is above his head. The whole process took less than a week. Just wanted to say thank you so much. This opens up a whole new personal relationship with our loved ones that I never even knew existed."
"Hey, clicker training is just great! I have a rescue, not crate trained and just a big rambunctious boy and he is responding so quickly, he is ready for a forever home in two weeks! Thanks for this effort and the deal with the clicker training which is fun for all the dogs and owners."
Mystic Marsh Farm
"I'm with Shetlie Rescue in St. Louis, and we use clicker training for all our rescues! I got hooked on clicker training when I fostered catatonic puppy mill dog 3 years ago. My best friend and Director of Sheltie Rescue gave me a copy of Don't Shoot the Dog, then taught me clicker. Touching Lucy or even attempting to put a leash on her was out of the question. If not for clicker training, I would never have reached Lucy Blue. Her story is on our website at www.DogForMe.com and click on Lucy Blue. She is also in the All Sheltie issue of Dog Fancy."
"I got my kitten, an 8-month old tabby, from the Irvine Animal Shelter. He was taken there a week before I got him because the family he was with couldn't control him.the shelter was worried he would be a 'problem child.'
I can't believe how quickly my order (for a Clicker Fun Kit for Cats) was filled and shipped, and I'm truly amazed at how quickly my cat and I were able to get the basics of clicker training. In just a few short weeks, my cat has gone from a wild, uncontrollable kitten that bit non-stop to a curious and joyful creature. I won't say he's any less 'wild', but we've been able to direct his energy and enthusiasm into more productive outlets than aggression towards people.
He actually looks forward to the training sessions and will initiate them himself if I become lax. I can't believe how calm our household has become. With love and behavior shaping, he's turning into a beautiful and wonderful companion. This training really works and just about anybody can do it!! I tell all my friends to try it."
"The remarkable effect on everyone in a shelter who uses the clicker and reinforcement is the collective sigh they hear back from almost every animal when they realize that the humans, often for the first time, are listening to them." Read more
Upper Valley Humane Society
"...The most compelling demonstration of dog training and behavior that I have ever seenâ€¦no dog should go without this information....Today we have seen something that will go around the world." Read more
Dr. Nicholas Dodman,
Tufts School of Veterinary Medicine
Tufts Animal Expo, October 2000
"I attended a K. Pryor seminar 2 months ago and was amazed with clicker training. I have two cross-over dogs that are having a great time learning all over again."
"Clicker training has changed my whole approach to dog training. Thank you Karen for opening my eyes and shutting my mouth!!!"
"I am very happy and excited to have found a training book for cats. I have a Burmese cat that is full of energy and needs motivation to stay challenged. Thank you for developing and sharing this product... "
Note to Karen from her cousin...
"Please come to dinner. The cats would like you to see some of the new tricks they have taught us."
"Thank you very much. You have given me a solution to my problem. I have always wanted a well trained dog now I can accomplish that goal. It will also allow me to get another dog because now I will be able to train the new dog."
"My dog ruby, a 6 1/2 month old spinoni is the biggest dog I've ever had. Before I ever took her home (at 8 weeks) I watched you video on clicker training for puppies and one of your intro books. I was amazed at how kind and effective the training was. And it worked! This dog can do more things, and learns faster, than any dog I've had before. Thanks for spreading the word."
Chapel Hill, NC
"Did you know I use your book in my teaching at Stanford? It's a computer science class, of all things (although I'm an experimental psychologist). In my class we explore how computer technology can use principles of operant conditioning, for better or worse, and I've found your book to be the most interesting way to introduce my students to this area (along with a demonstration with my Australian shepherd, which students love, of course.)Thanks for writing such a great book. It's one of the most important books I've read in the last few years, since I believe it gives enormous insight into the behavior of many living things, including humans."
"I am a concert pianist/teacher in NYC. A student of mine (and her husband and dogs) were in Woburn, MA at a dog show where you had a booth. Linda (Drogin) recognized you and went beserk with joy. She is well aware that I use Don't Shoot the Dog as a Bible in my teaching. She and Jeffrey have their own copy and are as enthusiastic about it as I am. She told me that she babbled and gushed, and told you about me and got your card.
"I saw Don't Shoot the Dog mentioned years ago in an article on teaching piano. I've read it four times and refer to it again and again whenever I feel stuck and in need of a lift. It always works! I have bought and given away at least 15 copies and I've recommended it to countless other friends and students.
"The clarity of writing in Don't Shoot the Dog itself demonstrates good teaching. The organization of the material, pace and entertainment value of the book are representative of what we should all strive for in making lessons both productive and fun. I've certainly gotten a lot of mileage out of the book (more than any other I've read) and I'm grateful for it."
"I have watched the Clicker One video three times now and thoroughly enjoyed it, you have done a good job. Mind you what a way to get me hooked. The first 3 dogs I see are gundogs, 2 being my two favourites (Gordon and Flattie), only needed a collie to complete the set! You should have seen the dogs faces though when they heard the clicker on the tape. All four ran over and sat in front of the TV heads on one side. In varying degrees they soon switched off to the sound when they realised it was not for them this time.
"I found the tape very easy to follow and it certainly heartened me to realise that I wasn't getting it totally wrong even with my limited knowledge of clicker training. I have only seen two other clicker videos at other's houses and this is by far the most straightforward and easy to follow, making perfect sense. The introduction chat about the tools (clicker and food) served as a timely reminder about remembering diet and gave sensible suggestions on what to use and why.
"Having the explanations and objectives of each session given separately and immediately followed by a demo helped a lot. I found it easier to watch the reactions of the dog and handler and understand having had the talk first. I was interested in your piece about the different types of clicker. One of my bitches gets frightened by the sharp sounds so I could relate to this as well. It also takes away the mystic that seems to surround those little clicker boxes. I have quickly read the book and find that is in the same vein and easy to read. Needless to say that will be read again (and again) and digested in sections as I try things out.
"I think the main thing the video brings home is how much fun you and your dog can have together when it comes to learning new things that benefit both of you. That is after all why we have these wonderful creatures enriching our lives. Thanks again for your time and effort put into this. I look forward to learning more and practising. I look forward to the sequels as I will certainly be wanting those when you make them."
Anne Westover, Hampshire, England
"Yaaay, the video finally arrived! I am horrendously busy at the moment as our club has a two day Championship Agility event which starts tomorrow. I managed to watch the video in between making a cheesecake, a batch of chocolate brownies, cooking 4 dozen sausage rolls, and turning two french loaves into garlic and herb bread.
"It's now well after midnight (and I still have a few more jobs to do), but I just had to drop in to say how much I enjoyed it. The greatest thrill is discovering that I am doing a lot of things right when I have always assumed I was pretty hopeless. I am relieved to find that my timing is much better than I expected it would be. I even found myself sometimes mentally urging one of the students to click, and then had my instincts confirmed when Kay pointed out where the click had been missed or when it had been too slow.
"Some of the things I realise I now have to work on are: throwing the food away from the dog more than I do at present (but they are so good at catching treats ); having shorter training sessions (I can't help it - I get too engrossed); increasing the size of my treats (I think I've been a bit stingy, judging from the treats shown on the video); getting more fluency before moving on (i.e. stop expecting the dogs to come up with something even better if I stop clicking the first behaviour - mind you, they usually do).
"The opening shots of Mabel interacting with the log had me jumping up and down in my seat because Dixie does all those things when I put a big hatbox down for her (as does Zoe to a lesser extent).
"All in all, I have given my dogs and myself a big pat on the back and I haven't stopped grinning for hours, even though I am dog tired (pun intended). Well done Kay and crew. Consider yourself well and truly clicked. Can't wait for the next installment (please make it twice as long)."
Debra Kiernan, New Zealand