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A Dog Trainer’s Guide to Best Practices

The right skills at the right time

It’s a great time to be a dog trainer! More and more pet owners are seeking training for their dogs.

Clicker Training in the Equine World: An Interview with Alexandra Kurland

Alexandra Kurland has been training horses and teaching since the mid-1980s. In the early 1990s, after reading Karen Pryor’s Don’t Shoot the Dog, Alexandra headed out to the barn with a clicker and a pocket full of treats to see what her horse thought about clicker training.  What Alexandra quickly discovered was that the clicker was an effective communication tool, a tool that horses not only understood, but responded to with great enthusiasm. Alexandra documented her experiences, and over time developed a systematic, very detailed program for clicker training horses. Her books, including Clicker Training for Your Horse, along with her video lesson series, The Click That Teaches, are designed to give horse owners an overall roadmap. Now, largely thanks to Alexandra, horse owners are putting away their whips and spurs and discovering what Alexandra had the foresight to discover decades ago—clicker training produces eager, happy horses and delighted handlers. We are thrilled that Alexandra Kurland will be sharing her knowledge and insights once again at ClickerExpo 2011, and appreciate that she has taken time to give us a glimpse of some of that wisdom today.

The Training Game: A New Perspective

Tell me why?

“My dog loves to eat his kibble while training at home. I am so surprised that he will not eat it in the group sessions.”

 “Our dog stays motivated and focused for training when the house is quiet. But as soon as there are distractions, she does not want to eat the kibble.”

 “Why does my puppy focus so well for the trainers during classes? She really seems to enjoy her interactions with them.”

Professional trainers hear comments like these from our dog teams every day. Owners are completely baffled as to why their puppies or dogs refuse to focus on them amid the distractions of daily life. How can this be, they wonder? Their dogs love the dog food at breakfast and dinner, so there should be no need to introduce new treats. These owners truly believe that feeding kibble is reinforcing in any environment.

Clicking Birds: A Veterinarian's Perspective

Leigh Clayton is a resident in avian/exotic animal medicine at Boston's Angell Animal Medical Center, formerly Angell Memorial Animal Hospital, specializing in avian care. Recently we asked her a few questions about why she recommends clicker training for every patient she sees.

Fear Not: Navigating the Holidays with an Adolescent Dog

Celebration?