Proofing Tessa’s Stay by the Gate [video]

Here is a training session with Tessa proofing her default stay by the gate. When we arrive at the pasture gate, she sits and stays on her own (by default, without being cued) and stays there (but is allowed to go to a down) until she hears the release cue “Okay”. We have been working on this for awhile. Our next steps are to keep proofing with different distractions, duration and distances and work the the real release cue. 🙂


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Reward Your Dog Without Treats or Toys [video]

Here is a short tutorial of how to reward your dog without treats or toys – by playing chase! I was just practicing Tessa’s tricks, working on a little routine and once we finished the tricks, we ran around together. She loved it and it really helped her focus on me more. I did notice that she was bitting at my legs (probably a herding instinct). If your dog does this, stop playing right away (without using a NRM). You can also avoid this problem by playing chase with your dog and clicking before they nip, the tossing a treat or toy.

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Teach your dog to open their crate using free shaping [video]

Here’s a short tutorial of how to use Free Shaping to teach your dog to open their create, go inside and close the door. Tessa already knew this trick, so she makes it look really easy. 🙂

Free shaping is rewarding approximations until you get the final behavior. You don’t use any lures or prompts.

This video is for the 2012 Shape Fest. Anyone can enter their tutorial of how to teach a trick using free shaping as long as they use only positive methods.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask!




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5 Food Aggression Exercises – clicker training [video]

Here are five exercises to do to help fix mild cases of food aggression in dogs. Food aggression is a lack of trust. The dog thinks that you are going to take away his/her food and guards it. It is best to deal with this problem in the beginning to prevent it from getting worse. You can use clicker training to build a positive association with you being around your dog’s food.

Here is a list of the 5 exercises demonstrated in the video:

1) Ask for tricks and behaviors
2) Hand feeding
3) Trade game
4) Dropping treat in bowl while passing by
5) Handling exercise

Caution: These exercises may not be safe to do with dogs who have more extreme cases of food aggression. Always be careful when working with a dog with food aggression. For more serious cases, contact a professional.

Never punish your dog for showing aggression in any way. Over time, punishing your dog can result in a dog who doesn’t show warning signs before biting creating a dog who is very dangerous to be around. It also creates fear and doesn’t actually solve the behavior.

Additional tips:

I have a movie on my main YT channel, ClickerPets, that may also help with mild cases of food aggression. It is a fun, mentally stimulating puzzle game that involves the dog’s meal. It is called the Triple Cup Kibble Challenge. Here is the link:

When you don’t have time to work with your dog during his/her meal, you can use prevention so your dog doesn’t end up showing aggression and practicing this behavior. Here are some tips:

1) Feed your dog little amounts throughout the day
2) Give your dog a Kong with his/her food in it
3) If you have a young puppy, take away his/her food and give it back with something better, like cream cheese, peanut butter, yogurt, cottage cheese – this creates a positive response in the beginning, setting a good foundation and preventing food aggression
4) With very young puppies, dangle your hand in their food. Do not use this techinque for dogs who already have food aggression
5) Make a “Peanut Butter Cup” for your dog. Click the video link below to see how you can make one for your dog:

If you have any questions, please leave a comment below.

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Play clicker games with your dog – dog training [video]

Clicker games are fun games to play with your dog that teach your dog to be creative in the behaviors that he/she offers. In this tutorial, you will learn how to do a clicker game with your dog. With this game, you will wait and capture a behavior that your dog offers and then shape it. This game is very similar to free shaping, except you don’t have a goal of a specific behavior that you want to teach.

If you have any questions, please leave a comment below of email me at Thanks!

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Fun and recalls [video]

Here is a movie of me practicing recalls with Tessa as well as other fun things that we do up on the hill. Socks, the cat, likes to follow us and watch Tessa. Socks doesn’t like walking on grass, so she either jumps from rock to rock, or sits in one spot until we have gotten far away from her and then, she comes running up to us as fast as she can.

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Tessa learns to retrieve to hand [video]

Here is a movie of Tessa’s progression learning to retrieve to hand.

The music in this video can be found at: Freeplay Music

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