Positive Association

Online Relationship based Dog Training

Certified Dog Trainer, Dog Training, Leash Training, Positive Reinforcement, Puppy, adoption, dog training, puppy training September 2007, Chester, my 8 week old foster pup.Can you feel the connection in this photo? I fostered Chester with his three brothers (one was Pablo) for the ARLGP. This photo was taken the day before I let Chester go …

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What is clicker training?

Modern trainers use clickers to train their dogs because it aids in the animals understanding of what is rewardable. The animal quickly learns that when it offers the behavior again, it will be rewarded. This positive reinforcement approach will often cause an immediate “wow” moment for both handler and animal. 

The clicker is a small hand-held gadget that emits a sound when you press it.  The sound the clicker makes is a signal to your dog that the behavior it just offered is rewardable.  This “click” is always followed by a food reward. Think: Click and Treat!  Note, the clicker is NOT for getting attention.  

Dog Bite Prevention

As a dog trainer, I often work with dogs who have bitten people, yet I am able to hand feed and often begin body handling them without getting bitten myself.  Since dog bite prevention is a critical focus of my reward-based dog training, I will share some simple techniques to reduce your chances of being bit by a dog.

Learn to read dog body language:

If the dog is facing you, look for signs he is calm and relaxed. These would include a loose body (free of tension), open mouth, relaxed ears, soft blinking eyes, relaxed neutral tail and ears. These are communications signs from the dog that he is feeling okay about you near him. This handsome boy is offering me friendly relaxed body language as he stands at an angle showing he is feeling comfortable about my presence.

Dominance: Reality or Myth

Unfortunately a popular reality TV show has captured people’s attention and is talking about dogs as pack animals and again perpetuating the idea of using “calm-assertive energy” (read: fear and intimidation) to resolve issues with problem dogs. Like most “reality” TV shows

by Donald J. Hanson, BFRAP, CDBC, CPDT-KA

It was in the September of 2000 that the first version of this article appeared in Paw Prints, the Green Acres Kennel Shop newsletter. I have updated the article ten years later because sadly there are still too many people, some of them animal professionals, and some who try to play the part on TV, promulgating the dominance myth.