Food for Thought: Treats Are Rewards, Not Bribes
Why Click Instead of Just Praising Your Dog?
Look, it’s the treat lady! . . . He’s only doing that because of the treats.. . . She won’t pay attention to me because she likes your treats better.
These are things I commonly hear from clients. Sure, dogs always love my treats, which are really tasty (apparently). And I do pay out a lot of them in a lesson. But not for free! They have to be earned by offering behaviors I want.
Reactivity to Strangers: Is Your Dog Protecting You?
I get this question pretty often from people who are new to clicker training. The basic explanation is that while praise may be fine for maintaining an existing skill, the click (or verbal marker) is simply the best, fastest way to teach new cues and skills. The click provides both information and motivation; both are necessary for learning in all species.
Stubborn Dog or Poisoned Cue?
When a dog reacts to an unfamiliar person coming towards him with raised hackles, barking, growling, and lunging, is he being aggressive? Protecting his people? These are two very common interpretations by guardians who are unaware of other, much more likely reasons for this behavior.
Don’t assume it’s about You.
Inside Out vs. Outside In
Does your dog have a delayed or unreliable response to Come, Down, or other commands? Do you see certain stress signals, like lip licking, looking away, sniffing the ground, moving slowly, or yawning? These responses indicate a poisoned cue.
Getting dogs to go outside is usually not a problem. Getting them to come back in can be challenging. You probably already know that reaching out to grab the collar just starts a game of Keep Away. Instead of nagging, pleading, or getting angry (which doesn’t make it any easier for your dog to come to you), here are four new ways to get your dog to come inside when called. Let me know which one works for you!