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Click for Joy! Questions and Answers

Managing the Treat-Free Competition Ring

Q: How do I move from food treats to praise only?

Adding the Cue: An Excerpt from Click for Joy

For two reasons: First, when the pup is learning the behavior, we want him to concentrate on the behavior. At that point, the cue is meaningless to him anyway—just another bit of "noise" to sort through. In the beginning, make learning easier on your dog by minimizing distractions, including meaningless cue words. Second, we want the cue to be associated with the final, perfect form of the behavior. If you add the cue in the beginning, you run the risk of having an unfinished version of the behavior crop up with you least want it to—like during the stress of competition—even though you continued to shape a more precise behavior.

ClickerSolutions: Clicking for Joy

In February 2004, my book Click for Joy! received a Maxwell award from the Dog Writers Association of America for "Best Training or Behavior Book of 2003." The award itself is a heavy medallion, reminiscent of an Olympic medal. Writing a book is much like running a marathon, so I suppose an Olympic medal is fitting, but, in the case of Click for Joy, I think an Oscar metaphor is more apt. This book was a team effort, and there are many people to thank, including the thousands of people who are or have been members of the ClickerSolutions mailing list. Without ClickerSolutions, there would be no Click for Joy.

Which Book is Top Dog? Click for Joy! Named Top Dog Training Book of 2003

New York, NY February 13, 2003--Which book should you get to train that new puppy or grown dog? Click for Joy!, by Melissa Alexander(Sunshine Books,2003),took home this year's coveted Maxwell Award from the Dog Writers Association of America for best book on dog behavior and training.

Click for Joy Foreword and Introduction

It was Karen Pryor who popularized the term and the practice of clicker training. Her 1985 book, Don't Shoot the Dog, captured the public's interest, and its appearance inadvertently led to a widespread assumption that clicker training was new. In fact, as Pryor herself explained in the introduction to her book, clicker training is based on the science and technology of operant conditioning and has been used since the 1940s.