Smart cookies

Smart cookies

A black nose pokes into my home office door followed by big, charcoal blue ears over liquid brown eyes. Belle steps halfway into the room, cocks her head, and softly whimpers. She knows I can’t resist her charm. “Uh huh,” I mumble, “it’s past time for bed. Just need...
DIY food bits for training

DIY food bits for training

“What treats are you using?” “Steak.” “Oh, that’s how you’re getting her to work for you!” Well, that’s not entirely why she’s working for me, but we’ll save the technical explanation for another day. Right now, I’m here to answer the...
Deaf dogs can’t be trained

Deaf dogs can’t be trained

“Argue for your limitations, and sure enough, they’re yours,” wrote Richard Bach. If you wish, you can also argue for your dog’s limitations. “He’s just dumb.” “She’ll never calm down.” “Blind dogs are...
Training treats

Training treats

Who decides what is rewarding to your dog? Your dog, of course! What defines a reward is different for different dogs, and different for the same dog depending on the situation. While toys, enthusiastic praise, being released to go outside, and many other...
What’s the deal with all the treats?

What’s the deal with all the treats?

Good training is about getting the most reliable behavior in the least amount of time without unwanted side effects. In other words, it’s all about efficiency. “Work smarter, not harder,” that’s my free-time-loving philosophy. While my ego would like to think that my...

What are you clicking?

If you are using an event marker like a clicker or a short, consistent word like “Yip!” or “Great!” to train your dog, first, yay for you, smarty pants, and second, remember what you’re marking. The information that you are intending to give your dog is...

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