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Books & Links |Timing Games |Tricks & Games | Problem Solving

Books & Links


Good beginner books
The Power of Positive Dog Training
by Pat Miller

Click for Joy: Questions and Answers from Clicker Trainers and Their Dogs
by Melissa C. Alexander

Advanced Reading

Excel-Erated Learning: Explaining in Plain English How Dogs Learn and How Best to Teach Them
by Pamela J. Reid

The Culture Clash by Jean Donaldson
Don't Shoot the Dog!: the New Art of Teaching and Training
by Karen Pryor


General Interest
Bones Would Rain From the Sky : Deepening Our Relationships With Dogs
by Suzanne Clothier

The Other End of the Leash
by Patricia Phd Mcconnell

Lads on the Wind
by Karen Pryor

A Dog and a Dolphin
by Karen Pryor

I highly recommend for herding
MUCKSTER BOOTS The best boots for all weather. The artic boots are great for cold weather

J.B. FIELD SOCKS I absolutey love these socks my feet are always warm. 70% merino wool 30% Nylon Canadian Made found at TSC stores.



Canadian Kennel Club (CKC) Rules available for members

American Kennel Club (AKC)

Canine Performance Events, Inc. Rules available at this site

American Herding Breed Association (AHBA) Rules available at this site

Australian Shepherd Club of America (ASCA) Rules available at this site.


Training your dog, whether with a clicker or any other means is all about timing. Click too soon and you will actually inhibit your dogâs action÷click to late and you are marking a completely different behavior than you have intended.

Use these games to increase your timing!

This game is a Cute Game. Blow bubbles, jump and squish the bugs while defending your bubble.

This game allows you to "dart" sheep if they run out of the flock and it gives you a penalty if you click too soon!

This one requires more movement of the mouse!

Herd those cows!

Penguin Panic

Avoid the squares and the walls!

Brain puzzle! Follow the ball.

Download Sniffy the Virtual Rat!

A fun and cute game for timing with variables!

The penguin and the Yeti=a favorite!

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Tricks & Games

Into every dog's life a lot of FUN must fall!

Tricks & Games classes are a wonderful activity for dogs and handlers who love to learn, love to perform and can laugh at themselves! This program is a wonderful complement for Therapy Dogs who want to do "shows" at the nursing homes and hospitals they visit.

You may find that a dog who appears resistant to more formal activities really does enjoy learning tricks. Some dogs that we would consider "dumb" because they canât follow orders, are actually very smart but see no reason to please their indulgent owners (Anybody out there have a cat?).

This class will teach you how to get the behaviors you want from your dog (not just tricks!). We will introduce an array of tricks that allows you to have fun with your dog while amazing your friends! No two classes are exactly alike, so take this class often!

The class is open to dogs over 10 weeks of age

No prior training experience is necessary.

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Problem Solving

We all run into problems from time to time with our pets. If you are having problems with housebreaking, jumping, running away, aggression, etc., we would like to help you succeed in solving these problems.

Behavior Modification
If we are to understand behavior and particularly to change it, we need to understand the process by which dogs learn and the role that reward and punishment play in that learning. Our success will be a function of our ability to shape the behavior of our pet.

Operant Conditioning
The pet owner whose pet has destroyed a room operates on the premise that if a pet anticipates an unpleasant consequence after a behavior has occurred, the pet will not want to engage in that behavior.

We are using an operant conditioning model with the following assumptions:

  • behavior produces consequences
  • behavior is a function of its consequences
  • behavior followed by positive consequences tends to be repeated; behavior followed by negative consequences tends to stop and how we behave in the future will depend on what those consequences are.

Law of Effect:
If the dog's actions have pleasant effects, then the dog will be more likely to repeat them in the future. If, however, the dog's actions have unpleasant effects, dogs are less likely to repeat them in the future.

This approach to understanding dogs behavior focuses on observable outcomes. In this approach there is little attempt to understand the internal state of the dog, only what is observable. Furthermore, this approach assumes that:

  • all complex behavior is learned, shaped, and subject to observable laws
  • one can change behavior through rewards and punishment
  • behavior is determined by the environment; i.e., determined by the consequences or anticipated consequences of that behavior
  • some of what dogs learn is not the direct result of reinforcers but rather the result of observing other dogs and the consequences of their actions and modeling that behavior
  • virtually all work behavior is operant -i.e., it generates consequences in its environment and these consequences in part shape and control behavior

There are four different kinds of reinforcers:

  1. positive reinforcement: an act is followed by a pleasurable reward (eg. the dog does something right and the pet owner praises the dog)
  2. negative reinforcement: (dog does something right and the pet owner doesn't respond as harshly as he usually does)
  3. extinction: dog does something wrong and pet owner doesn't praise dog as he often does)
  4. punishment: dog does something wrong and pet owner responds harshly

A Behavior Modification program is based on the following issues:

  • what behaviors are desired
  • are these behaviors observable and measurable
  • what reinforces these behaviors
  • when are the reinforcements applied
  • what are the consequences of these reinforcements
  • how can the reinforcement pattern be improved.

Based on the answers to these questions a Behavioral Modification Program includes the following steps

  • target specific behaviors
  • analysis of the causes and antecedents of existing behavior or barriers to new behavior
  • explicit goal setting; concrete measurable goals
  • training
  • clear reinforcement: praise, toys, food, etc.
  • concrete continuous feedback

Be careful about using PUNISHMENT.
Punishment can produce fast results in the short run, but it can lead to some serious problems in the long run. Some of these outcomes include destructive behaviors, aggression, fear of the pet owner, and learning to avoid punishment. Most typically,dogs learn what not to do when punished, not necessarily what to do.

  • over the long term there can be recurrence of undesirable behavior
  • deliver the punishment during the undesirable behavior
  • give moderate levels of punishment-not too high or low
  • punish the undesirable behavior, not the dog ( check your emotions when using punishment)
  • use punishment consistently
  • there must be an alternative for the dog
  • clear communication is necessary

We are constantly shaping our dogs behavior. Much of our success will be dependent on our skills in this area.

  • dogs differ in what values they place on rewards and the pet owner assumes one reward will work for all
  • repetition increases learning
  • feedback: learning increases when the dog gets clear feedback on the results of its actions
  • don't give the same level of rewards for every behavior
  • owners need to be very clear about what is being rewarded
  • clearly define an acceptable level of overall performance or specific behavioral objective
  • make sure the target level is attainable; remove external obstacles
  • use reinforcing rewards that are salient to the individual
  • make rewards contingent on high performance or drawing near to the objectives
  • be careful not to reward inappropriate behavior
  • minimize the time lag between behaviors and rewards; use continuous reinforcement
  • when using punishment, treat it as a learning experience; make sure you are clear what behavior is to be corrected
  • try to use natural consequences
  • carefully examine the behavioral consequences of your non-responses

Bill 132 has caused a huge amount of concern for dog owners due to not only the definition of "breed specific", but also to the concern of what constitutes aggression. Some dogs react in what might be perceived as aggressively towards other animals as well as people. It is necessary for all owners to be able to control their dogs. If you have any concern that would have you doubt your ability to control your dog in any situation, we can help. Private lessons, in your home or ours, are available. Please e-mail us to request more information or to book a time.


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