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Special Situations

Clicking a Deaf Dog

The best example of a clicker trained dog that I know personally is Lynn Gardner's Aussie rescue named Maggie Mae, in Ontario. Maggie's owner has trained her to recognize over 200 cues, and often does clicker demos with her in schools. Maggie's click is the blink of a flashlight, just a regular pen light pointed at her; and most of her cues are American Sign Language words. The trainer holds the light in one hand along with the target stick if using one; and treats in the other, just as we do with target and clicker. The dog has to be watching the trainer to see the blink, but she watches very carefully, you may be sure! Once when Maggie was sitting in front of Lynn, at attention, Lynn gave her a hand signal, and the dog rolled over on one haunch and scratched herself. I couldn't help but ask, "What was THAT signal?" "Relax," said Lynn.

Adopting a Shelter or Rescue Dog: How to Find the Right Match

Originally published 10/01/2010.

Adding to the family

October is the American Humane Association’s Adopt-A-Dog Month. Adding a dog to your household can bring great joy, but adopting a pet is a bit like looking for a roommate or significant other—the more you know beforehand, the greater the odds of a successful relationship. If you already have other pets, it can be even harder to find the right match. To ensure a successful adoption, think carefully about what it is you're looking for before you go to select a pet.

Desperately Seeking Snoozing: How to Help Your Dog Relax

Excited, exhausted

It might seem that it would take voodoo, or something similar, to teach unruly, out-of-control and/or overly enthusiastic dogs how to be calm and relaxe

Kids and Dogs: Making it Click!

Contrary to popular belief, kids and dogs are not always “a match made in heaven.” Young children are among the most frequent canine bite victims, primarily because they do many things (usually inadvertently) that dogs do not like. Luckily, there are a number of efforts a parent can make to ensure that the family dog and the children in the household are not only able to tolerate each other, but thrive together as a training team.