Tag Archives: dog training

The Joy of Training With Food

Thank you to Debbie Jacobs, who pointed out that many training videos do not include the moment the trainer feeds her dog, and that we need to see that.  Training your dog with food is not only effective. It’s also … Continue reading

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Posted in Enrichment, Food reinforcers, Training philosophy | Tagged , , | 11 Comments

World Dog Trainers’ Motivation Transparency Challenge

What should a dog trainer be willing and able to tell you about his or her techniques? And how valuable is it to get that information in clear, concrete language? Renowned dog trainer Jean Donaldson has put a lot of thought … Continue reading

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Posted in Critical Thinking, Dog training hints, Punishment culture, Training philosophy | Tagged , , | 10 Comments

How I Count Out Training Treats for Three Dogs

When questioned about possible weight problems from training with food, we R+ trainers always say something like, “No problem! Just subtract the training calories from your dogs’ daily meals and it will work out!” For me, that’s not as easy … Continue reading

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Posted in Dog training hints, Positive Reinforcement, Treats | Tagged , , , , | 23 Comments

But I Want to Use All the Tools in the Tool Box!

Have you heard the one about the toolbox? This is the sixth in a series that details and rebuts fallacious arguments against force free training. Today’s erroneous argument is directly related to “But Every Dog is Different!” in that it … Continue reading

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Posted in Punishment, Punishment culture, Reinforcement, Training philosophy | Tagged , , , , , | 37 Comments

The Right Word: Reducing Errors in Verbal Cue Discrimination

I’m an auditory person. I grew up in a whole family of musicians. I love language and sound and music of all sorts. For the first half of my life I lived almost exclusively in the company of musicians, and … Continue reading

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Posted in Cues, Discrimination, Dog training hints, Generalization, Multiple dogs, Training philosophy | Tagged , , , , | 8 Comments

But Every Dog is Different!

But every dog is different! This is another common argument against trainers who train without force. It usually goes like this: But every dog is different! You can’t just use a cookie cutter! But every dog is different! Why limit … Continue reading

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Posted in Operant conditioning, Punishment, Reinforcement, Terminology, Training philosophy | Tagged , , , , | 55 Comments

But What if Your Dog Runs Out Into Traffic?

Anyone who spends any time on FaceBook reading the arguments between trainers who train mainly with positive reinforcement and those who don’t has seen this question. Just lately I have seen three different versions of it: But what if your … Continue reading

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Posted in Dog training hints, Punishment, Reinforcement, Terminology, Training philosophy | Tagged , , , , , | 49 Comments

A Secret for Training Two Dogs

I think this is as close as I’ll ever come to a “how-to” blog. Here is my usual disclaimer: I am not a professional trainer and I have trained only my own dogs. But there is a secret to training … Continue reading

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Posted in Clicker, Cues, Dog training hints, Multiple dogs, Reinforcement | Tagged , , , , , , | 13 Comments

There is Hope: One Trainer’s Journey from Liverwurst to Kibble

Recently on a dog training Yahoo group, a trainer wrote about needing to use hot dogs and lunch meat to train her dog. She was dismayed that her dog wouldn’t work for kibble. She asked the group if she was … Continue reading

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Posted in Dog training hints, Reinforcement, Training philosophy, Treats | Tagged , , , , , | 15 Comments

Safety Behaviors: Down at a Distance and Recalls

These behaviors may save a dog’s life someday. Today I practiced two of our three main safety behaviors: coming when called, and dropping and staying at a distance. We left Zen, the third, for another day. Down on a hand … Continue reading

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Posted in Cues, Dog training hints, Reinforcement, Safety, Treats | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 36 Comments