Dog Training wisdom & More


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Adding Distance to a Behavior

Adding distance to a behavior is one of those things that sounds simple on the surface but can get sticky in practice. In this video, KPA faculty member Hannah Branigan and her dog Rugby...

Michele Pouliot Teaches Head in a Prop

Canine freestyle, also known as musical freestyle, is a modern sport where dogs and handlers perform dazzling choreographed routines set to music. Each behavior is taught individually and cued...

How to Capture a Behavior

One of the fastest and easiest ways to train a new behavior on cue is to capture a behavior that your dog does naturally and that happens frequently. In this video, Ken Ramirez shows how he...

How to Paddle Board with Your Dog

Looking for a fun activity to do with your dog this summer? Stand-up paddle boarding (SUP) can provide an awesome outdoor adventure for both you and your pup. In this video, KPA faculty member...

Stationing for Veterinary Procedures

Let’s face it, most diagnostic or therapeutic procedures are not pleasant for dogs. However, by practicing at home for what the dog will need to do during a procedure, such as holding a...

Teach Your Dog to Put Toys Away

Are you always tripping over dog toys? Did you know that, according to the CDC, tripping over dog toys caused almost 10% of pet-related fall injuries? Fortunately, you can avoid becoming a...

Teach Your Cat to Ring a Bell

As many cats live their entire lives indoors, clicker training can provide valuable mental and physical stimulation. But where to begin? Training a cat to touch a target is not only fun and easy,...

Teaching a Release Cue

As important as it is to teach your dog basic behaviors such as “sit” and “stay,” it’s equally as important to teach a release cue to let the dog know when he can release from his current...

Modifier Cues: Left Paw Versus Right Paw

If you teach a dog to distinguish between his left paw and his right paw, you will have a terrific skill for competition training. The behavior has many other handy applications, such as grooming...

Leg Weaves for Canine Freestye

Teaching your dog to weave through your legs is great for building confidence, and the leg weave is a fundamental skill for dog sports like Canine Freestyle. The goal of leg weave is for your dog...

Teach Four on the Floor

Most shelter dogs have not been taught how to greet people, so they greet them like they would other dogs—they jump up, lick, and try to wrestle or play. Taking the time to teach shelter dogs...

Creating a Two-Part Sequence

If your dog is fluent in more than one behavior, those individual behaviors can be linked together by learned cues to form a sequence! This allows us to teach dogs more complex tasks, such as go...

Husbandry Work at Home

In the midst of the coronavirus outbreak, many pet owners are wondering how to implement husbandry care. Use this time to work on building calmness and trust in your dog while handling his head...

Building Confidence with Uneven Surfaces

Puppies are always learning. Their first experiences with new stimuli shape how they will respond to those stimuli later on in life. By exposing puppies to new stimuli, such as surfaces, in a way...

The Power of Environmental Cues

All behavior is impacted by the environment. Even if the trainer does nothing consciously, the animal will still perceive cues that are in the environment during training. In this video, Ken...

When Dogs are Quarantined, Too

A timely article in The New York Times online newspaper entitled “Helping Your Dog Survive During a Quarantine” provides excellent advice for pet owners who are anticipating, or already...

Teach Loose-Leash Walking

With longer, warmer days ahead, it’s a good time to enjoy the outdoors together with your dog. Why not prepare now by teaching your dog to walk nicely on a leash? One of the easiest and most...

Linda Ryan Earns ASAB CCAB Status

Linda Ryan, one of the first graduates of the Karen Pryor Academy (KPA) Dog Trainer Professional (DTP) program from the United Kingdom and now a KPA faculty member, recently attained accredited...

Match-to-Sample Revisited

Ken Ramirez believes that animals are capable of far more than we give them credit for—when training is fun! For example, animals can learn to identify a specific object among a group of both...

Get Your Dog Ready for Dog Sports

Spring is almost here and that means dog-sports season is right around the corner! Practicing key foundation behaviors now, indoors with low distraction, will boost your success when you are...

The Power of Relationships

Anyone who lives or works with animals knows how powerful the human-animal bond can be. In this heartwarming tale from his new book The Eye of the Trainer: Animal Training, Transformation, and...

Teaching Voluntary Weight Checks

Weight checks are a standard part of every vet visit, but for many pet owners getting their dogs onto the scale can be a drag (literally)! However, with a little target training and lots of...

10 Amazing Cat Tricks

Just because it’s National Train Your Dog Month doesn’t mean that dogs get to have all the fun! KPA Certified Training Partner (KPA CTP) Jacob Hollingsworth and his rescue cat Kitty not only...

Teach Your Dog to Cheek Target

What types of useful behaviors can you teach with targeting? In last week’s blog Teaching Your Dog to Hand Target, we explored the many useful applications of teaching your dog to target the palm...

Teach Your Dog to Hand Target

Trainers are often asked, “What behaviors should I begin teaching my dog?” Teaching your dog to touch the palm of your hand is not only very easy for beginner clicker trainers to teach, but it is...

How to Teach Cooperative Nail Trims

If you and your dog find nail trimming stressful, you are not alone. Nail trimming is one of those necessary but dreaded tasks that many pet owners prefer to hand over to professionals. However,...

How to Teach Your Dog to Back Around You

A fundamental skill for canine freestyle is the dog backing around the handler. It’s also a fun trick that will impress your friends! Before you begin teaching this behavior, make sure your dog...

Dog Trainer Foundations Skills in Action!

Karen Pryor Academy’s Dog Trainer Foundation course offers dogs and their humans what they really crave: fun together! When you build a solid foundation of positive reinforcement skills, your dog...

Puppy Show and Tell

Puppy training is more than socialization and problem-solving; it’s about setting the foundation for a lifelong partnership between people and their dogs. By building a solid foundation built...

Sit: Adding the Cue

Is your dog performing a new behavior reliably, but not necessarily when you want him to? Maybe you're hoping for a sit, and your dog is frantically running through his entire repertoire trying...

Teach Your Dog Left and Right

Teaching your dog to tell the difference between left and right on cue is a fun exercise that is handier than it seems! It’s a terrific skill for many competition venues, including agility,...

Low-Cost Enrichment Ideas for Shelters

Life in a shelter is stressful for dogs—even at the most humane shelters. A variety of enrichment activities can enhance the quality of dogs’ lives while they are at the shelter by reducing...

Teach Go to Place

With the holiday season around the corner, now is the time to begin holiday training. What if instead of jumping around like a lunatic when the doorbell rings, your dog waits politely in a down...

Teach Clapping as a Secondary Reinforcer

When you give your dog a treat for a job well done, you are using a primary reinforcer, which is something that an animal needs to survive (i.e., food, water, shelter). While food reinforcers can...

Interview with Laurie Luck

Karen Pryor Academy (KPA) faculty member Laurie Luck will lead KPA Dog Trainer Professional (DTP) program in St Louis, (application deadline 06/01/2018). Learn more about the DTP program or apply...

Teach Your Dog to Offer a Paw

If your dog pulls away when you touch his paws, you are not alone. Many dogs dislike having their paws touched. However, there are circumstances when you need to handle your dog’s paws, such as...

Shaping a Head Dip

Shaping, the process of teaching a new behavior by breaking it down in small increments, is a great way to encourage creativity and focus in animals as well as an essential tool for teaching...

Can Dogs Count?

When we think of animal training, we don't often think beyond teaching certain cues. However, Ken Ramirez encourages everyone to think beyond the cue and rethink what dogs are capable of. With...

Teach Your Dog to Back Up to a Target

Teaching a dog to back up is important for many dog sports, as it is a fundamental skill. However, did you know that backing up can be a particularly useful skill in everyday life as well?...

Training with Non-Food Reinforcers

One of the biggest objections to positive reinforcement training is the perception that it’s “all about the food.” However, while food may be the primary reinforcer for training new behaviors,...

Wait at a Boundary: Part 2

Teaching your dog to wait at a boundary, like the threshold of a door, is not only a useful skill but could also save his life! In Wait at a Boundary: Part 1, KPA faculty member Shelly Brouwer...

Training Games: Fun with a Beach Bucket

With scorching heat in many parts of the U.S., many dogs may not be able to enjoy long walks or trips to the dog park on hot days. Here’s a fun training game that boosts your dog’s creativity and...

Teach “Go On” and “Go Around”

Have you ever observed a dog performing behaviors at a distance from his handler and wished you could teach your dog to do that? You can! Teaching your dog to work at a distance is not only a fun...

KPA CTP in the News: Ask the Trainer

Juliana Willems, KPA CTP, of Dog Latin Dog Training returned recently to Dr. Katy Nelson’s Ask the Trainer television segment. Offering answers to pet owner questions and suggesting steps to fix...

Teach a Paw Target

Training a dog to target an object with his paw is easy and fun. A paw target is a foundation behavior that has many practical applications, including closing doors, wiping paws, ringing bells,...

Teach Your Cat to Spin

Everyone knows that you can teach tricks to dogs, but did you know that cats can be trained easily, too? Since many cats live their entire lives confined indoors, clicker training can provide...

Teach Your Old Dog New Tricks

Chances are that when your dog was younger, you spent many hours training new behaviors like spinning, jumping, bowing, and more. Now that your dog is a senior and slowing down physically, he may...

Wait at a Boundary: Part 1

Do you have a dog that barrels out doorways or from the crate? What about from the car? This can be a dangerous behavior, but boundary training can help. Anything can be used as a boundary. In...

Stationing for Concept Training

Stationing—training an animal to go to a designated area and stay there until cued otherwise—is an essential tool for most training. In this video, Ken Ramirez demonstrates how good, solid...

Shaping a Head Turn

Teaching your dog to turn his head is a fun exercise, and the skill is handier than it seems. A head turn can be used as the start of teaching “left” and “right,” a directional skill that is...

Teach a Puppy to Enjoy a Muzzle

Being very comfortable wearing an appropriate and well-fitted muzzle is a good training goal for any dog—particularly in situations where the dog may become worried or uncomfortable (think vet...

How to Capture a Sit

One of the fastest and easiest ways to train a new behavior on cue is to capture the behavior. “Sit” is a simple behaviors to teach your dog, because it’s a behavior that your dog already offers...

Interview with Laura VanArendonk Baugh

Karen Pryor Academy (KPA) faculty member Laura VanArendonk Baugh will lead upcoming KPA Dog Trainer Professional (DTP) programs in Washington, DC (application deadline July 8, 2019) and in...

How to Teach a Chin Rest

Teaching your dog a chin-rest behavior is useful for training shy, overly excited, or reactive dogs. It is also helpful building cooperation during medical procedures (vaccinations, medication...

Teach Your Dog to Go Around an Object

Are you looking for a fun training exercise this spring? Teaching your dog to go around an object, such as a cone, is a useful skill and the foundation for many dog sports. Learn how to teach...

Teach Your Cat to Target

Targeting, where an animal touches an object with her nose or paw, is not just a useful behavior for dogs—it can be a very useful and fun behavior for cats, too! A target can be used to lead a...

How to Transfer a Cue

Cues should always be clear and consistent. However, cues do allow for some flexibility and can be transferred. Are two cues too similar, so similar that your dog confuses them (for example,...

Teach Settle on a Mat

Teaching your dog to settle on a mat is very useful—for both practical and safety reasons. Dogs need a safe place to settle down. When you teach your dog to settle on a portable mat, your dog...

Dog Saves Valentine’s Day

Dogs make the best Valentines—today and every day! They love unconditionally, are faithful and unselfishly devoted, and can always make you smile! In this video, Karen Pryor Academy (KPA) faculty...

Chin Rest Behavior for Veterinary Care

Teaching your dog a chin rest is useful for building cooperation during medical, such as vaccinations, administration of medications, and eye and ear care. Watch as Karen Pryor faculty member...

Make Your Shelter a Bark-Free Zone

Constant barking is stressful for shelter dogs, staff, and visitors. A small shift in routine management can reduce the noise level to zero. Watch as Karen Pryor Academy faculty member Steve...

The Shaping Game

Shaping is the process by which you gradually teach a dog a new action or behavior by rewarding him during each step of the process. It is a great way to teach some difficult behaviors, expand a...

Teach Your Dog Directionals

Did you know that you can teach your dog the difference between left/right, up/down, or over/under? The second course in Karen Pryor Academy’s (KPA) Concept Training series dives deeper into...

Teach Your Dog to Target

January is National Train Your Dog Month, a time to celebrate the joy of training. Enjoy a healthy relationship with your dog in the new year! One of the most important foundation behaviors you...

Your Cat Can Do WHAT?

The cat: independent, strong-willed, often aloof. Not exactly training material, right? Surprise surprise: clicker training blows the roof off of many preconceptions—and the oxymoron of a trained...

The ABCs of Barking

Barking happens for a reason. Sounds obvious, right? It didn't always, according to applied ethologist Julie Hecht, writing in the spring 2013 issue of The Bark. At the turn of the century, barkin...

How to Crate Train Your Dog

The holiday season is a joyous time for humans. It's full of festive parties, holiday décor, delicious treats, and visitors. However, while holidays are fun for people, this time of year can be...

Give Thanks for Pets

If you are hosting Thanksgiving this year, your focus is probably on the bird—not the dog. But to ensure a happy and stress-free day for both you and your pet, plan ahead for safety on...

Thanksgiving Feast—in a KONG!

Holidays are fun to celebrate with furry family members, but the abundance of guests, commotion, and food can be challenging for you and your dog. A KONG toy is a fantastic way to keep your dog...

Define Positive for Me…

A recent article in the Psychology Today e-magazine discusses the challenge of finding true positive reinforcement animal training. Karen Pryor Academy (KPA) is cited as a reliable source of positi...

Interview With Lindsay Wood Brown

Karen Pryor Academy (KPA) faculty member Lindsay Wood Brown will lead a KPA Dog Trainer Professional (DTP) program in Richmond, Virginia (application deadline 8/23/18), and Murfreesboro,...

Interview With Helix Fairweather

Karen Pryor Academy (KPA) faculty member Helix Fairweather will lead a KPA Dog Trainer Professional (DTP) program in Portland, Oregon (application deadline 8/30/2018). Learn more about the DTP...

Interview with Sherrie Yuschak

Karen Pryor Academy (KPA) faculty member Sherrie Yuschak will lead a KPA Dog Trainer Professional (DTP) National program in Columbus (Reynoldsburg), OH (application deadline 7/27/18)....

Interview with Laurie Luck

Karen Pryor Academy (KPA) faculty member Laurie Luck will lead KPA Dog Trainer Professional (DTP) program in St Louis, (application deadline 06/01/2018). Learn more about the DTP program or apply...

The Keep Going Signal

Ken Ramirez, EVP and Chief Training Office of KPCT, revisits the Keep Going Signal (KGS), a confusing training tool. Ken spoke about the KGS at ClickerExpo this year, and, at the recent Art & Sci...

KPA Welcomes Sam Haeussner

Karen Pryor Academy (KPA) is pleased to welcome Karen Pryor Academy (KPA) Certified Training Partner (CTP) Sam Haeussner as Alumni Relations Coordinator, supporting a rapidly growing constituency...

How to Teach Loose-Leash Walking

Get your dog to walk without pulling! But how? We are masters at allowing our dogs to drag us down the street. The most asked question at obedience classes and private consultations is "how can I g...

Interview with Hannah Branigan

Karen Pryor Academy (KPA) faculty member Hannah Branigan believes that clicker training is the perfect technology to teach new behaviors, especially for competitive performances. Here, she talks...

6 month dog trainer professional training program with Shelly Brouwer

Interview with Shelly Brouwer

Karen Pryor Academy (KPA) faculty member Shelly Brouwer , CTP, will lead a KPA Dog Trainer Professional (DTP) program in Boulder, Colorado (application deadline 11/26/18). In this interview, She...

Instructor Laura Monaco Torelli of Karen Pryor Academy runs the (KPA) DTP Dog Trainer Professional Program in Chicago IL

Interview with Laura Monaco Torelli

Karen Pryor Academy (KPA) faculty member Laura Monaco Torelli will lead KPA Dog Trainer Professional (DTP) programs in Chicago, Illinois, (application deadline 05/28/2018). Learn more about the...

6 month dog trainer professional training program in San Diego, CA

Interview with Nan Arthur

Karen Pryor Academy faculty member Nan Arthur will lead the KPA Dog Trainer Professional (DTP) program in San Diego, California. Applications are being accepted for this program until May 21, 2018....