Norwegian trainers, authors, and Karen Pryor Clicker Expo Faculty members Morten Egtvedt and Cecilie Koeste are among the top clicker trainers in the world. Their Canis Clickertraining Academy offers clicker training classes in 18 cities in Norway, Sweden, and Denmark.
"Clickertraining: The 4 Secrets of Becoming a Supertrainer" is one of the best introductions to clicker training I've seen available. It starts with a brief introduction to the history of clicker training and then explains just what clicker training is. At the heart of their approach are four foundation principles of clicker training:
- Focus is on rewarding the correct behavior
- The dog offers the behavior voluntarily
- Systematic use of a conditioned reinforcer (the clicker)
- Focus on what you can see
The authors explain not just what clicker training is (and is not!), but also how it works and why it's important to adopt the foundation principles whole-heartedly. ("Corrections" and punishments have no place in clicker training, and this book explains why.)
And then they get into the nuts and bolts of clicker training, from planning criteria and delivering timely clicks and treats to through training techniques to stimulus control (the dog does what you ask when you ask it) and generalization (the dog can do the behavior in any setting regardless of distractions). Along the way they point out many "secrets" of clicker training (information that's not obvious just watching someone clicker train an animal). Best of all, they provide step-by-step instructions to clicker train a variety of useful and fun behavior.
Note: Please don't be put off by the sales & marketing page the authors use to sell their book. This is an excellent e-book well worth the cost, not one of those all-too-common "secrets of dog training" e-books that promises the moon and then doesn't deliver on that promise....
Before Cesar Milan became a TV star as “The Dog Whisperer,” Paul Owens was using real “dog whispering” techniques - positive reinforcement training - to help dogs and their owners. “The Dog Whisperer: A Compassionate, Nonviolent Approach to Dog Training” by Paul Owens should be on every dog owner’s bookshelf - or better yet, in their hands, open and being read.
Not just a training book (although there’s plenty of excellent training advice here), “The Dog Whisperer” is a comprehensive overview of everything you need to know to have a well-behaved dog and a wonderful relationship. Diet, play, exercise, stress, communication, leadership: they all affect your dog’s behavior, and Paul Owens explains how to manage these to your advantage.
As for training: from “How Dogs Learn” through “The Lessons” to “Dealing With Problem Behavior” you’ll find everything you need to start you on the path to a better-behaved dog and a happy, healthy relationship with your animal companion.
Originally published in 1999, “The Dog Whisperer: A Compassionate, Nonviolent Approach to Dog Training” is now available in an updated edition (2007).
The Association of Pet Dog Trainers collected "top tips" from their members and assembled them into this neat little book.
Here's an excerpt:
Good communication is the best way to get good behavior. Learn to read your dog's postures, expressions, movements, and vocalizations. Observe ear and tail positions, general body posture (especially "fluid" and "curved" versus "stiff" and "angular"), and facial expressions. Be precise. (Write down "mouth open, panting slightly, tongue hanging out, eyes bright, facial muscles relaxed" rather than "looks happy.") Study videos, books, photographs, and other people's dogs. Notice your own body language and how it affects your dog. Your body says a lot and your dog notices! --Ann Dupuis, Your Dream Dog, Randolph, MA
Oh, yeah, did I mention I have several "top tips" in this book?
I'm in good company, including locally-known trainers Donna Savoie (a student of Emma Parsons and also of mine, and a really good trainer in her own right) and Jessica Janowski and nationally and even internationally known trainers such as Nicole Wilde, Nina Bondarenko, and Sue Sternberg.