We hosted the first Courtney Keys Clicker Training for Relationship Building workshop this last Sunday.
It was a beautiful, sunny day with plenty of shade and a nice breeze. We were all pretty comfortable and the dogs did very well.
After giving us a basic introduction to the theory and methodology of clicker training, Courtney began by testing our skills.
She brought a nice selection of objects to have our dog interact with. I chose a low sided box, Dominique opted for a bell. Melody, a bouncy peanut and Lance went for the bell too.
Since I’m the host, I played guinea pig first. That way everyone could see how NOT to do clicker training! Courtney helped me understand that my timing is off and I tend to rely quite a bit on luring. Hard to stop those old bad habits, but I tried very hard. Thankfully, Emma always tries to make up for my deficiencies.
Everyone did very well and we all learned something new.
We moved on to do something each of us had as individual goals. Mine was teaching Emma to jump up to me. I’ve had pretty decent success at general obedience and trick training in the past, but was having trouble with more advanced tricks. It didn’t take long to realize I had been going about it from the wrong direction.
It was really interesting to see how quickly all our smart dogs progressed when given the proper cues from us. The precise nature of the clicker allows for a much faster communication with our dogs. I look forward to putting into practice the information I learned.
Here are a few photos (phone) of what went on in class.
We are all looking forward to the next workshop Directionals & Verbals that will be held this coming Sunday. If you have an opportunity to join us, we’d love to have you!