Clicker Training with Luigi

Luigi and I were practicing our pose for when we win a blue ribbon at a future trial. OK, that’s not the reason were were posing, but it’s what I’m gonna tell you.

Helen and Luigi

Hmmm…all my dogs are sleek. I’m not. I’m going to have to do something about that probably.

Meanwhile, Luigi is not only a hard worker. He is photogenic. Here he is fetching a dumbbell.

You go, Luigi!  You rule, my Italian friend.

Here he is jumping.

Jumping Luigi!

And landing.

Jumping Luigi!

I’m a clicker trainer.


Luigi learned everything he knows in obedience through my click/treat methods. Though when I’m at drill class, I will use a word like “good!” rather than the clicker. The sound of the clicker is not pleasant to everyone’s ear, so why stir the pot? Some people don’t like clicker training for that very reason – the noise of the clicker. But any noise can be the precision marker telling the dog what he is doing at THAT moment is IT! Then the treat follows the marker. It takes practice marking that exact moment. Luigi knows.

I know.

On a side note, years ago, the first dog I used the clicker on was Baby. I was so thrilled when my clicker arrived in the mail. I took it, some treats, and Baby straight outside, and tried it on her. Baby, the Queen Mother Diva, did not appreciate my new clicker. The noise of the first click drove her straight through the opened house door, into the bedroom, and onto her bed, which is sometimes my bed. Ewwkay. She’s grown to appreciate the clicking noise since then, especially as our household has grown. Competition does something special to a Diva. Makes them a little more appreciative of their human. Uh huh. But not that much more. Beauty sleep still outweighs getting up when she’s called…unless she wants to.


I carry a very nice treat bag around for clicker training. It is the best one I’ve found. The opening snaps open and shut, so there’s no messing with strings, clips, or other closing mechanisms when you want to get to that treat fast. Good timing is everything in the clicker world. This is a stock photo. The treat is way too big for clicker treating, by the way. They need to taste a treat, not have a meal, as while doing a clicker session, the handler will be doling out lots of treats.

The Outward Hound Treat And Training Bag

Remember, when the handler doles out treats during training or otherwise during the day, those calories should be considered when doling out other meals. (Note to self: that goes for the human, too.)

I use a humane choke collar when I take my kids off the Fort Doberdale campus to train. This is a collar that can be adjusted to the exact size of the dog’s neck. When the dog pulls, it will not choke him like a traditional choke collar will. This is a stock photo from Coastal, which is the company that makes this particular collar. Others are made with cloth instead of chain. These collars are shamefully not allowed in the AKC obedience rings. Either a buckle collar or a traditional choke collar is allowed there.

Coastal Check Choke in red.  Also comes in blue and black.

Back to Luigi. After he and I finish a training session, he loves playing ball solo with me. That’s the best treat for him. (Baby’s is a Frisbee.)

My new Cuz ball!

I like playing ball with my boy, too. There’s something fun about playing fetch with a dog who brings the toy back, just to chase it again. Not all of the FDSP has that innate behavior. <coughBabycoughDivacough> Differences makes the world go ’round.


About Helen

I'm a Southern California living in South Florida. I've been here for 10 years as of October 1, 2007. No matter where I live, I'm a dog lover, and my breed is the Dobermann Pinscher of the Working Group. I am also fond of the Australian Shepherd of the Herding Group. My life revolves around my dogs, which is something those family members of mine don't understand. So I'm an island in that respect, but have built friendships with those who are doggie lovers and respect the canine as much as I do. Some do rescue, some train in, compete in, and judge AKC trials. The common thread is our dogs are family.
This entry was posted in Baby, Luigi, Training. Bookmark the permalink.