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Fundamentals

Why Train Your Dog?

Regardless of a dog's breed, size, or age, he can benefit from good leadership, household rules, exercise, and training. Whether your training goal is to have a high-scoring obedience competitor or a dog that is a well-mannered family member, the fundamental ingredient for success is the same. The bond between you and the dog will pave the way to training success.

Operant Conditioning vs. Clicker Training

While some use the terms interchangeably, others distinguish between "operant conditioning" (OC) and "clicker training." What is the difference, and how does understanding that difference make us better clicker trainers?

Well-Trained Pets Are Just a Click Away

by Laura Mahoney

Originally published in the Times Picayune, December 16, 2004

Does your dog look at you cockeyed when you ask him to sit? Does your cat use your couch as a scratching post? If you answered yes, treat yourself to a clicker kit for Christmas.

Clicker training is all the rage, and it really works. For many years, clickers or whistles were used to train marine mammals. Punishment, our typical method for training others, is futile when working with giant animals that cannot be physically controlled.

Why Use a Clicker?

Once the horse understands that a whistle or a click means food, I can link that sound to behavior. The horse begins to learn that the only time he hears the click is when he presents certain behavior. Now it's the horse who thinks he has me trained. He's aware of the power of his own actions. Present behavior. Get treat. What a wonderful system!

Tucker's Top Training Tips

Tucker is my Labrador puppy. He's stop-dead-in-your-tracks handsome. Really. Cars have pulled over to tell me how handsome he is. Spend some time with him and you find out just how sweet and calm he is, too. He' so calm, people can't believe it. ("That's the calmest, lab I've ever seen. Golly Jed, come over here. Do you see this sweet puppy. He's real different from my daughter's lab. Is it the same breed?"