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The Thinking Dog: Crossover to Clicker Training

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The Thinking Dog: Crossover to Clicker Training
by Gail Tamases Fisher
318 Pages | Paperback

Teach your dog to think

It is such a joy to work with a dog who proactively engages in behaviors while you build a relationship that will surprise you with its depth and versatility. Clicker training has proven to be the most effective means of developing a "Thinking Dog," one who offers behaviors in anticipation of a reward rather than a dog who has been trained only to wait for his owner's commands. One of the biggest obstacles the new clicker trainer faces, however, is his or her own history of training and habits of working with a dog. But you can make the transition once you understand how dogs learn and the mechanisms of operant conditioning. Learn from author Gail Fisher's crossover experiences as well as those of hundreds of students she has helped make the change over the past thirteen years.

You will learn
Experienced trainers applaud The Thinking Dog

The Thinking Dog offers a wonderfully thoughtful guide to clicker training. Written with the more traditional trainer in mind, Gail Fisher's long experience and hard-won wisdom shine through in her logical approach. Clear explanations, practical exercises, and lovely real life examples (including photos) make for a refreshing treatment of clicker training. I highly recommended this book to all thinking trainers who share with Fisher her "delight in watching a dog's mind turn on." The Thinking Dog is my new favorite clicker training book!

-Suzanne Clothier, author of Bones Would Rain from the Sky

Gail Fisher's grasp of all subject matter pertaining to clicker training shines through in this book! It is obvious that she is a "been there-done that" crossover clicker trainer, understands the needs of someone who wants to make the switch, and can hold the trainer's hand throughout the process. The Thinking Dog is a great refresher course for the experienced clicker trainer too.

-Corally Burmaster, founder and editor of The Clicker Journal

This is a must have book for anyone involved in dog training. Gail is a pioneer in the field of positive dog training and her own techniques have evolved over time as she has learned more about how dogs think and learn. This book provides a solid foundation for clicker training including answers to all the most challenging questions and patch around the most common obstacles.

-Robin K. Bennett, author of All About Dog Daycare, co-author of Off Leash Dog Play

Table of Contents
Acknowledgements vii
Preface ix
Introduction 1
PART I: Putting it in Perspective: Past and Present 5
1. Crossing Over 6
2. Learning and Training Fundamentals 15
3. Clicker Training Basics 36
4. Pitfalls and Payoffs to Crossing Over 48
PART II: Crossing Over...Just Do It! 59
5. Build Your Clicker Skills 60
6. Getting Behaviors 81
7. The Joy of Shaping 109
8. Building Behavior 128
9. Building Reliability, Precision, and Speed 166
PART III: Brass Tracks 183
10. Punishment, Corrections, and the Crossover Trainer 184
11. Engaging Your Dog 219
12. Putting It All Together 233
Afterword 290
Appendix A. Cornerstones and Charts 291
Appendix B. Developing your skills 293
Appendix C. They're all tricks to your dog 296
Appendix D. Earn Life: A program of polite living for thinking dogs 300
Sources and Resources 303
Bibliography 306
Index 307
About the Author 317

About Author

Gail Tamases Fisher has been training dogs professionally for over 30 years. She is the owner and founder of All Dogs Gym, one of the largest training centers in the country. Gail is the co-author of Training Your Dog and Teaching Dog Obedience Classes. She lives in Manchester, New Hampshire with her dogs, Cannon and Kochi, and two cats.