accomplishment ACE Adopt the Internet Day advocate AKC ALIVE Andrea Arden APDT attention aversives Be the Change for Animals beagle beds Bianca bibliophile birthday blessings blog hop BlogPaws board and train Boston Terrier bullied by the blog C-WAGS C.L.A.S.S. call to action CCPDT CDSP certification Certified Pet Dog Trainer change chapter 1 Chapter 3 Chapter 4 Christmas Cincinnati click and treat clicker expo clicker training coming when called commitment common sense communication competion coupon cpdt CPDT-KA craft crisis response Dads Daisy decisions dog shows dog training dominance Easter economy emotions empathy equine Face of Crisis facebook family focus food Fortunate Fido Frames of Mind fraud Gardner giving goals group class harness holy week house guest humanity Husker Ian Dunbar individuals instinct integral internet Jade Jean Donaldson joy K9 Chaplains K9 Comfort Dogs Karen Pryor Ken McCort Lake Township Lana Mitchell learning learning theory leash aggression life experience lifestyle training living positively mama beagle Meagan Melissa Alexander minature horse Morgan Specter Mr. Chewy mule Nevada Humane Society Never Shock a Puppy normal Northern Illinois University Open House openminded opportunity pack theory Parents of Murdered Children party Patricia McConnell peace personality pet blogger challenge Pet Blogger Hop Pets without Parents Philadelphia polite greetings POMC positive reinforcement positive reinforcement clicker training precious priorities product review puppies puppy class Rainbow Bridge Rally Obedience relationships relaxing research review rewards routine safe versus dangerous service dogs SPA sports stress success Sue Ailsby Sweet Spots Doggy Ice Cream TDInc. teacher technology The Clicked Retriever therapy dogs thinking time tools tornado toys training plan training tip travel tricks twitter unconditional love video work in progress

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Saturday Pet Blogger Hop

It's been a busy, busy week with the children, their families, and the staff of Lake Elementary and Walbridge schools in Lake Township, Ohio.  We have spent their first few days of school with them with our dogs helping to ease the transition into a new school year after a devastating tornado in June destroyed their high school and affected many, many lives.  It has been a humbling and blessed experience.  I don't have any photos yet, but will post some as soon as I can.  If you are interested in knowing more about this wonderful ministry of dogs and comfort and unconditional love, please go to the teams' national website at

Today is the Saturday Pet Blogger Hop!!!  Please visit these great pet blogs soon -- enjoy this last weekend of August!!!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Philadelphia Freedom

We spent last weekend in Philadelphia with three other K9 Chaplain/Comfort Dog teams supporting the wonderful people at the Parents of Murdered Children National Conference.  It was a wonderful weekend spending time with old friends and making lots of new friends.  When the conference was over, we were able to check out a few of Philadelphia's hotspots with our youngest daughter and the dogs.  We hope to go back soon, bring our oldest daughter, and spend a little more time enjoying the history and the sights.
Marley and Husker hard at work!
L to R: K9 Chaplains/Comfort Dogs Marley, Daisy, Husker, and Connor
Daisy, Kendra, Husker and Ken running "Rocky's Steps" at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Kendra didn't even know who Rocky was!  We'll be borrowing the movie from the library soon.
Waiting with the dogs for my turn to go see the Liberty Bell.
Ken, Kendra, and Husker outside the house where Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence.

 It's the Saturday Pet Blogger Hop -- enjoy these fabulous blogs!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

"Stubborn" Dogs?

I get many calls from people telling me their dog is "stubborn" and won't do what he is told or "stupid" and can't learn anything.  Nothing could be further from the truth!!!  This is a relatively simple issue -- the lines of communication are crossed, disconnected or otherwise compromised and the dog has no idea what you are asking him to do!

So how to "fix" this?  Find a positive reinforcement clicker trainer or a good clicker training book, dvd, or video online.  Introduce your dog to the wonderful world of "you do something, I click, you get a yummy treat."  To get you started today, get your clicker, get some fabulous, I-will-do-anything-for-you treats, and your dog (if your dog is confused or has never experienced this, he might try to walk away from you; put a collar/leash on him so he can stay with you and see how wonderful training is!!).  Click, give your dog a treat.  That's all.  Nothing else.  Don't ask him to do anything except eat the treat you are giving him.  Click, treat. Click, treat.  Do this about 10-12 times.  Send your dog off to be a dog!  Do this several times throughout the day.  Click, treat.  Click, treat.  This is "warming up" or "charging" the clicker.  This exercise first teaches our dogs about the clicker and as we continue to do it, reminds our dogs about the clicker.  (I still "warm up" the clicker pretty regularly with my dogs -- they love it!  It's easy, it's fun, and they love the treats.  It's a good reminder to both of you of the power of the clicker.)  

Wow!  You have just become really clear and concise to your dog.  Is he starting to sit, to down, to give you lots of eye contact?  Now you can use this little noisemaker and some treats to communicate with your dog!

The next thing I would click and treat is eye attention or focus.  When your dog looks you in the eye (or for some dogs at/near your face -- some dogs do not like to make direct eye contact, but they are still focused on you -- click and treat that), click and treat.  No words are needed -- the clicker and the treats communicate for you.  If your dog is fixated on the hand with the treats, bring that hand up to your nose, when your dog looks at you, click and treat.  Do this a few times and then wait for your dog to look at you -- be patient, it will happen!  Ta-da!  Your dog has just learned that the treat comes from the hand, but looking at your face causes that hand to open and share the treat!

Happy clicking!!!

In this first video clip, Husker, a clicker-savvy dog, is enjoying a routine clicker charging session.

In this second video clip, Izzy, a dog new to clickers is responding well to the clicker.  Even when she gets stressed and stops to scratch, she returns to giving eye contact for the click and treat.

It's the Saturday Pet Blogger Hop -- enjoy these great pet blogs!