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Training Theory

Does Your Dog Require a Leader? If So, What Kind?

The scientific study of behavior has led to some very useful ideas and insights about how dogs learn, really about how all animals learn. All organisms—dogs, cats, parrots, alligators, or humans—learn pretty much the same way. We each find different things reinforcing or punishing, of course, and we experience sensory perceptions differently. Some species or individuals are more tenacious, others more sanguine, some sleep most of the day, some are capable of learning more complex skills. Our unique environments play a large part in shaping us. But whether we live under the sea or in the desert, spend most of our lives perched on a tree branch, eat grass or hunt large prey, there are over-arching principles that govern how we learn.

 

Is Dog Dominance Fact or Fiction?

The answer is...it is a fact.

However, we need not imply that simply because dog dominance is a fact, dogs are constantly trying to "rule the roost," or that we need to eat first, go through doors first, never let our dogs sleep on the bed, etc. That would be circular reasoning.

Designing Effective Reinforcers: What Every Teacher and Humane Educator Should Know

Editor's note: Lynn Loar, Ph.D., LCSW, President, The Pryor Foundation, recently contributed an article to the summer and fall issues of The Latham Letter. Entitled Designing Effective Reinforcers: What Every Teacher and Humane Educator Should Know, the article was co-authored with five children. We're pleased to introduce the piece, and two related brochures created by some of the children, to readers of www.clickertraining.com.

Podcast: Are You Clicker Training, or Training with a Clicker?

Listen to Kathy's podcast (available at the bottom of the page) to find out more about Are You Clicker Training, or Training with a Clicker?

Kathy Sdao is a top trainer and ClickerExpo faculty member. She began teaching people how to clicker train their dogs in 1996. “At that time, most pet owners had never heard of clicker training and few class instructors took it seriously. Mine was the only advertisement in the local Yellow Pages that mentioned the word ‘clicker.’ I had to persuade students to even try this novel gadget. A decade later, clickers are now common in dog training classes. But, I suggest, clicker training still is not. I do believe 'clicker training' is an unfortunate term for what we do.” Why? Listen to Kathy’s podcast and find out. Read the original article here.

If you enjoy Kathy's podcas

How to Create a Reactive Human in 10 Minutes or Less

Recently, I was chatting in the classroom with a few of our more experienced students. They mentioned encountering the following scenario quite often while exercising their dogs at a local park:

Individual is walking dog on leash. Dog sees other dog, barks, leash goes tight. Owner pulls dog back on leash, saying, "Be nice! Be nice!" and fumbling with a tight leash until the distraction has passed. 

Sounds like a recipe for reactivity, right?

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