Training classes have definite benefits. An instructor walks you through the process of getting the behavior you want, the class offers structure and motivation to keep training, and your classmates are available to act as extra hands or distractions. Unfortunately, not everyone has access to good training classes. So how can someone get the benefits of class without taking one? A recent thread on the ClickerSolutions mailing list brainstormed ideas for training alone.
Some people object to positive reinforcement methods because they believe that the dog should simply work for them - not for food or for a sound (clicker). These people are usually highly committed to corrective methods - and what they don't always understand is that their dog isn't working for them; he's working to avoid being punished.[...]
Susquehanna Service Dogs, based in Pennsylvania, raises and clicker trains service dogs and hearing dogs to assist children and adults with physical disabilities. Another successful placement just made news with the Pocono Record
Why do you train? Is it because you need your animal to do certain behaviors, and you want to be able to elicit those behaviors reliably? Or is it because you've found that training helps you build a bond with your pet and is a rewarding journey for both of you? Reliabilty or relationship?
A one-year-old golden retriever had a solid retrieve a few months ago, but lately he has been letting the dummy slip from his mouth and hasn't been returning directly to his trainer. His trainer believes he is stressed by the training but is unsure how to fix this problem.