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Skills for Every Day

How to Teach Your Dog Left and Right

This is a fun exercise that is handier than it seems at first. You'll set up two targets at a distance, and teach your dog to go to either target—left or right—on cue. Later, you will set up similar exercises to bring more general meaning to the cues "left" or "right."

A dog that understands "left" and "right" has a terrific skill for many competition venues including agility, herding, mushing, water dog, and retrieving. This understanding would also be handy walking on trails—and service dog owners could think of a dozen or more applications for "left" and "right."

How to Toilet-Train Your Cat, Clicker Style

Training your cat to use the toilet is becoming more and more popular. The benefits of having a toilet-trained cat can be well worth the training effort. Can you imagine never buying cat litter again? Never cleaning a litter box? No grit on the floor? No smell? There are even more advantages of kitty potty training. As you train your cat, you will become more aware of your cat's personality and health. Successful potty trainers really get inside their cat's head; they are able to see things from a feline point of view.

The Need to Gnaw: How to Prevent Puppy Chewing

Choosing to chew?

What do pet stores sell? Toys for dogs to chew on. Bones for dogs to chew on. Treats for dogs to chew on. Are you seeing a theme yet?

Housetraining Basics

Your goal is to teach your puppy the right place to eliminate. Here's how to potty train your puppy with clicker training.

Chill Out, Roger! How Clicker Training Helped One Dog Move from Crazy to Calm

Case study in communication

One of the best things about training pet animals is the almost-daily opportunity to improve communication between two different species. This opportunity is particularly precious when the pet was previously trained using outdated or ineffective methods. One communication success story from my own career concerns a dog I will call "Roger." (Note that in this article Roger's names and the names of his humans have been changed to protect their privacy.)