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Click for Joy! Questions and Answers from Clicker Trainers and Their Dogs (Karen Pryor Clicker Books) Paperback – February 1, 2003
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So, after you have worked your way through the tasks that you want to learn how to train and to train your dog to do in "Getting Started: Clicker Training for Dogs," this book, "Click for Joy! . . . ," takes you further with many, many more tasks, how to train your dog to do them and all that. You will love ALL of the tasks, yet you will have to choose which ones are more important to you and your situation. This, I think, after learning the process and the best ways to train your dog, is the hardest part of all.
You can thumb your way through over 200 pages of tasks or you can look them up in the index. It is nice to just think about a task, see if it is in the index (it usually is, too!) and then get started.
While most talk about the organization and the number of tasks included, I like to stress that your dog, through working and learning with you, will develop a new and deeper relationship with you! Your dog will (if you are patient as well as methodical as you ought to be) also be more confident as well as secure with you. This is because the entire process, repeated from the learning and training from task to task, will build a "leader of the pack" confidence in you in your dog. When your dog knows that you are a leader and that she can trust you and know that you will always lead her in a positive direction, your dog will be so much more trusting, confident in knowing that she is pleasing you in a positive way and this will result in a greater sense of security in knowing her "place" in the pack, a vital instinctual need of every dog! This is the greatest part of clicker training. Also, you can, over time, stop giving treats for the accomplishment of every task learned, only offering treats for learning "new" tasks.
So, hang in there and, as I like to say, "You will get a truly loving licking while you keep on clicking!"
Melissa Alexander fully explains all aspects of clicker training, as well as some of the concepts of operant conditioning. The book is laid out in a Q & A format and each question has a sidebar with related questions to refer to. I found this feature incredibly useful as the questions in the sidebar were nearly always questions that had already popped into my head. She also offers quotes and success stories that are both encouraging and humorous (like the dog who unintentionally learned to put her head in a box instead of her toy). The sections covering reinforcement and punishment was very clear and really helped me to understand why this training method works so well.
While I wouldn't recommend this book as a stand-alone clicker manual (it's mainly about theory; not much on training specific behaviors), it's an excellent book for what it is. Definitely something you should add to your bookshelf if you're new to clicker training.