Soon after learning that a click marks the exact behavior and tells the animal what earned its reward, newcomers to clicker training wonder how to go about getting that clickable behavior. On this point, the answer they hear depends on whom they ask.
Dogs smile. Just like people, dogs pull the corners of their mouths up high toward their eyes, partially open their mouths, and smile. In 1872, Darwin wrote of the universality of facial expressions in The Expressions of Emotions in Man and Animals. Roughly 130 years later, Dr. Patricia McConnell authored For the Love of a Dog in which she compared human and dog facial expressions using the methods developed by Paul Ekman, the world's leading scientist on the topic. The truth is out: dogs smile, and, of course, experience emotions.
Run toward the sun
Spring seems to be the ultimate door-dashing season, as sunshine returns to cure the cabin fever that plagues many humans and canines during the long winter months. In busy families, the front door seems to be in perpetual motion, constantly revolving and providing myriad opportunities for escape. Friends and clients who have dealt with the stress and worry of a lost dog due to an open door accident utter a common refrain: “It was only open for a second.”
A click for all ages
As your dog moves into her senior years you’ll probably notice some subtle changes—she groans a bit when changing positions, hesitates briefly when a
Psst! Do you want to know the secret to getting things done?
Do you feel guilty about not walking your dog every day? Or not training as often as you should, or even not training when you really need to?