Why does your dog always spin before sitting? Or bark before jumping?
Do you have a smart dog who just can't seem to understand a simple cue?
Have you ever wondered what your dog was thinking?
Enter your dog's mind—or that of any other clicker trained animal—in the most exciting, enlightening new game for trainers and handlers ever devised. "You don't say!" The Word-Free Teaching and Training Game reveals the art and power of clicker training, and how it feels to be our dogs, in a clever table-top game played between two people.
"So often when training a dog, we worry about what the dog is doing or not doing, rarely realizing that the dog is reflecting our own abilities, anxieties and lack of experience. By separating learning the clicker skills from training the dog, you can relax, practice and develop good timing, understanding and truly experience what it is like to the â€˜clicker taught'," observes Kay Laurence, clicker trainer and designer of the game.
This is how it works: Find a partner and grab a set of "You don't say!" One player becomes the teacher and the other becomes the learner. Open the set and spread the various objects in it across your table top. You'll see each set is filled with a curious—but not random—assortment: dice, toy solders, toy cars, dominos, clothespins, hair clips, and more. Each set also includes a clicker, a set of playing cards, and a collection of "rewards."
Now, with your clicker and rewards, can you train your partner to point to a clothespin? Can you train her to pick up a toy soldier? Can you train her to roll a domino and turn the toy car upside-down? Can you put each behavior on a cue? All without speaking a single word?
Yes, you can! In the process, you'll discover more about when to click, how to deliver the reward, and shape behavior in less time than you ever knew before. You and your partner will find yourselves howling with laughter, gasping with sudden understanding, and having a lot of fun. Players can hardly believe how quickly their clicker training skills advance, saying:
- "Thirty minutes of playing this game brought me more understanding than three years of clicker training."
- "I understood what the dog must feel like and I understood exactly what I needed to learn as a trainer."
- "I wish I had learned my clicker training skills on this game rather than my very, very patient and forgiving dog. Wow!"
"You don't say!" is the ideal introduction for students and other newbies to the principles and practice of clicker training. Launch a clicker class for pet owners with a round of the game, and watch your students become thoughtful, skilled clicker trainers right from the beginning.
It is experienced trainers, however, who often learn the most when playing "You don't say!" The cause of stubborn training problems becomes clear. Alternative methods of reaching the same goal arise. Long-term misunderstandings between you and your dog can be erased. And, because it's a clicker game, your leaps in learning will be reinforced by all the fun you have playing the game. "You don't say!"