If you have tried other training books and been unsuccessful in seeing progress with your supposedly difficult dog, When Pigs Fly is the book for you. Editorial Reviews. Review. Pigs is smart, well organized, has terrific exercises and catchy If you have tried other training books and been unsuccessful in seeing progress with your supposedly difficult dog, When Pigs Fly is the book for you. Apr 21, Winner of The Merial Human Animal Bond Award Winner of the Indie Book Awards for Animals/Pets Winner of the IIACAB Award for

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Take this quiz: Have you read every dog training book on the market, yet your dog still Your dog can be well-behaved just like any other dog - When Pigs Fly!. When Pigs Fly book. Read 30 reviews from the world's largest community for readers. Do you have an impossible dog? Does your dog come when called, heel p. Website for Jane Killion, author of When Pigs Fly!: Training Success With Impossible Dogs. Dog training for difficult, stubborn, and non-biddable breeds of dog.

I conditioned her to become operant and to love playing this game with me more than anything else, and you can condition your dog to be operant, too.


That will be covered in detail later. All you need to understand from this chapter is the concept of an operant dog, and why it is central to this training system. The operRuby has offered to take this jump without any ant dog is like the eager Golden prompting from me.

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You really the behavior that will pay off? You are going to train your dog to keep trying and be actively thinking. The operant dog has gotten off his duff and is on his toes, wanting to play the game. At least this gives you something to work with.

I want you to walk on the edge and push the envelope. You are going to get lots of behaviors from the dog, and then hone them down to the finished behaviors you want. The process can appear to be messy and chaotic when viewed in tiny segments, but the ultimate behaviors are continually being shaped, and the result is a dog that not only does the required behaviors, but does them eagerly, with his ears up and his tail wagging.

Once your dog is operant, it is easy to start shaping behaviors by reinforcing the ones you want and ignoring those you do not want. Now that you know that the first and most important thing you need to do with your Pigs Fly dog is to get him active and operant, you can begin to understand why traditional training methods fail these dogs and why it is so important to learn to train without using corrections.

There are lots of reasons why I avoid using punishment in my training program, but the one reason that is central to this book is that, even when expertly administered which it almost never is punishment has a blanket dampening effect of the dog. The effect of punishment is to make your dog unwilling to try behaviors, which is the exact opposite of being operant.

Sadly, many people are happy with this—they define a well-behaved dog as one that basically does not do anything.

That is antithetical to the Pigs Fly training system. For example, a particular Labrador Retriever who has a strong inclination to be interested in you and what you are doing, might put up with some punishment and still be eager to train, because his desire to be with you is a strong motivator.

The Labrador, in many cases, is hanging around with interest just to see what you would do next and if, joy of joys, you might ask him to participate in your next activity. The Shar-Pei, on the other hand, really has no interest in your next inevitably pointless and stupid activity. If you punish the Shar-Pei he is going to go from neutral-not-caring to actively avoiding.

If you punish your little Dachshund for chewing a shoe, he may generally freeze up in your presence and never do that, or any other behavior, in your presence again. Unfortunately, lots of people have that frozen little dog as a goal. Getting these zombie dogs to perform even desired behaviors, like sitting or coming when called, becomes next to impossible. Remember, you have not killed it but merely brought about an emotional state which is incompatible with the behavior you want to get rid of the animal is too upset by the punishment to do it for the time being.

He is also, incidentally, too upset to do much of anything right after a punishment. Punishment is like carpet bombing. Dogs who are punished a lot behave a lot less in general. They want a general toning down of the dog. It is the ghost of what once might have been a dog. Emphasis added 23 W h e n Pi g s Fly I think it is very nice that we can train our dogs without positive punishment.

However, that is not why you need to learn to train without using corrections or positive punishment. You need to learn to train that way because it is the best way to get your dog to trust you enough to try things freely. He will continuously offer behaviors until he hits on the right one. All you have to do is cherry pick and reinforce the behaviors you want.

It really is that simple well, almost. This little dog is eager to try attempt a new behavior because she trusts that her owner will not correct her. Dressing for the Occasion A Note on Equipment It is very important that you use only collars and harnesses that control your dog without delivering a punishment.

I recommend a flat-buckle collar for most dogs. The only other collar I will ever use or permit in my classes is a martingale collar. Sometimes called Greyhound collars, these collars have a limited ability to tighten, but will never close so much as to choke or hurt the dog. My Bull Terriers have big necks and they can easily slip out of a buckle collar, so I use martingale-style collars. If you are afraid your dog might slip out of his collar, the martingale is the way to go.

If the dog pulls, the energy of his pulling actually turns him around in the opposite direction from that in which he was pulling. Be aware that squirmy dogs can get out of them, so I recommend clipping the leash to both the harness and the collar.

Head halters tend to suppress behavior rather than helping you re-train it. It appears to me that many dogs find having their heads trussed up and manipulated in this way punishing. Because the leash is hooked to the front of the harness, a pulling dog will get turned around instead of going forward. A determined dog can squirm his way out of a front-hook harness. Clip your leash to both the harness and the collar as insurance against an escape.

You will need a long lead ranging from ten feet to thirty feet long. Nylon leads are more durable and safe than leather or cotton web leads. This will give your dog a sense of freedom and the opportunity to make choices about behavior, while at the same time limiting his ability to run away from you.

You can use a fanny pack or you can download a bait bag to clip to your waistband. Better yet, you can go to your local hardware store and get a free or inexpensive fabric nail apron.

I like the nail aprons because you can store a selection of toys and different kinds of treats in the pockets. The clicker is a little plastic box with a metal tongue it that makes a clicking sound when pushed and released. The clicker is used to let the dog know when he has done something right.

The clicking sound is of no significance to an untrained dog. We must invest the click with a pleasurable meaning by associating it with food rewards.

In order to make the click mean something to the dog, we start by clicking and then delivering a treat right after the click, again and again. After a short while, our dogs figure out that the clicking sound always means food, and that makes dogs love the sound of the clicker. The choice of what kind of clicker to use will depend on you and your dog.

Clickers come in a variety of shapes and sizes and they vary in how loud they are. Most have recessed metal tongues that you need to press firmly to make the clicking sound. There are also clickers with raised buttons on them—very helpful for peo- 27 W h e n Pi g s Fly ple with long fingernails, arthritis, or large fingers.

Some dogs are frightened or startled by the sound of the click at first. There are many different types of clickers and not all of them make as loud a noise as the original box-type. If your dog is not comfortable even with one of the quieter clickers, wrap it up in a small towel to muffle the sound to start.

Since we will be pairing the sound of the clicker with food rewards, in no time at all the click will actually make your dog happy and content when he hears it.

When Pigs Fly Dog Training, LLC

For additional information on clicker training, see the Resources section at the end of the book. Say you want to teach your dog to run next to you and go through the middle of a tire suspended off the ground, like those used in agility. He could run around it to the left, run around it to the right, go underneath it, or jump through it.

Jumping through it is only one of four possibilities, and it is the most difficult one to do. You line your dog up and move him towards the tire. He goes around it. You do nothing. He goes under it. He goes through it and a-hah! To use an example that is more practical for most people, say you want to teach your dog to lie down on a nice fluffy dog bed in a corner while you sit on the couch and watch TV.

It may seem obvious to you that the dog is supposed to go lie down on that dog bed on which you have spent so much money, but he has no idea what you want. There are at least three other corners in the room, plus lots of comfy furniture, not to mention the thick oriental carpet under the coffee table and that nice little niche behind the armchair.

He has lots of choices and the dog bed may or may not be the most attractive one. Clicking and treating at the right time By clicking when your dog is actually on that can result in the behavior you desire. Just bed, you can communicate to him that this ignore other behaviors and reward what is where you want him to be, and that good you want. Sure, but it is much less clear. The click is a completely artificial noise and has no pre-existing meaning for the dog.

Thus, once you condition your dog to understand that the click equals goodie, that sound will always and only mean that. Your voice, no matter how odd a marker word you use, will never be as clear. No matter how skilled you are, no matter how hard you try to make your marker word sound exactly the same each time, there will always be nuances of meaning any time you say a word.

This will slow down the learning process. This is not to say that you will never use verbal markers or that you will have to train everything using a clicker. However, for formal training sessions when you are introducing your dog to new things, the clicker is indispensable.

A spoken word must be recognized and interpreted before the dog understands that a behavior is being marked. In contrast, a click is processed almost instantaneously.

Karen Pryor and veterinary neurophysiologist Barbara Schoening have been doing some research into the neuropsychology of clicker training in an attempt to discover exactly why clickers do work so well. Their hypothesis is that the click is processed in a different part of the brain than spoken words are.

According to Pryor in an article entitled The Neurophysiology of Clicker Training: Research in neurophysiology has identified the kinds of stimuli—bright lights, sudden sharp sounds—that reach the amygdala first, before reaching the cortex or thinking part of the brain.

The click is that kind of stimulus. Other research, on conditioned fear responses in humans, shows that these also are established via the amygdala, and are characterized by a pattern of very rapid learning, often on a single trial, long-term retention, and a big surge of concomitant emotions….

Once a dog is properly conditioned on the clicker, he will react to the clicker reflexively. He literally cannot help but respond. The clicker is definitely a power tool! I have clickers stashed in every room of my house—windowsills are great places to keep clickers. Do this exercise at home at first.

You want the environment to be a relatively boring for the dog so that the exercise is very interesting by comparison. Start with about 20 very small pieces of really yummy treats.

The treats should be relatively small and soft so that the dog can eat them quickly. Hot dogs, cheese, ham, baked liver, and cut up chicken or steak are all popular training treats. Dried salmon is great for finicky dogs. Use something your dog goes crazy for—no dry kibble or other boring dog food.

When Pigs Fly: Training Success with Impossible Dogs

If you have a dog that does not relish food treats he is probably overfed. If your dog absolutely will not work for food, try toys or verbal praise or a head scratch. Shove a treat in session. You want to time the click and the treat very closely together when you are starting out so the dog makes an association between the two things. Do that about 20 times. We are conditioning the dog to have an almost involuntary response to the clicker, and many repetitions are needed to do this.

Why do you need to deliver the treat so quickly after the click when just starting out? That is because scientific studies have proved that a reinforcement has to be delivered within a half second of a new behavior in order to have the maximum effectiveness. When you are powering up the clicker, be certain that the click comes before the treat. Remember, we want the click to be sound that tells the dog that he is going to be getting a treat.

If your dog has heard the click immediately before the treat many, many, times, what do you think the click predicts for your dog? A treat, of course! If your dog has heard the click after the treat many, many times, then what do you think the click predicts for your dog? The click has to come before the treat to have any meaning for the dog.

Click and treat twenty times, twice a day for three days. By the end of the third day, I can guarantee you that your dog will get whiplash when he hears the click. Once the clicker is conditioned in this way, you will no longer need to get the treat to the dog so quickly. Now the clicker can serve as a bridge to mark the correct behavior with surgical precision, and then you can give the dog a treat in a relatively relaxed fashion.

You need this kind of bridge to be an effective trainer. You still want to try to click as soon as you can after the behavior occurs, but now the treat delivery can lag a few seconds. So long as the clicker is strongly powered up, the better the chance the dog will understand what he did to earn that treat.

Without a bridge like a clicker, it is very difficult to make your dog understand what he is being rewarded for, and chances are you might end up reinforcing the wrong behavior. Take the example of sitting. You may think, if you feed within five seconds of your dog sitting, you have reinforced the sit.

Sit 2. Lick chops 3. Wag tail 4. Turning head away to the left! Can 31 W h e n Pi g s Fly you see how, without a powerful marker that serves as a bridge, you may actually be training something other than you thought you were? All it really means is that you have taken something that has absolutely no meaning to the dog the click and paired it with something really good the treat again, and again, and again, and again, until the dog actually begins to equate the meaningless thing the click with the really great thing the food.

The result is that when the dog hears the conditioned reinforcer the click his body will actually respond as if food is present—the parasympathetic nervous system kicks in and sends out signals for the dog to relax and feel happy in expectation of the food. Remember Pavlov and the dog who drooled when he heard the bell?

So, once you have finished loading the clicker, you have the ability to reward you dog not just with food, but with a whole feeling of happiness and contentment. How cool is that? How did you do on this exercise? Was it easy? Were you all thumbs? You will get much better at handling the clicker with just a little practice. I have a friend who, when she first started with the clicker, used to try to click the food and feed the clicker to her dog! If you were using a regular box-type clicker, you might often pick it up facing the wrong way, and when you try to click it nothing will happen because you will be pressing on the non-flexible end of the metal tongue.

This is especially frustrating when you quickly grab the clicker from your pocket and then miss clicking a great behavior because the clicker is facing the wrong way in your hand.

You can, however, tell if the clicker is facing the right way in your hand without looking at it by very slightly depressing the tongue without actually clicking it—if it does not have any give you know you need to face it the other way. In no time at all it becomes second nature to feel for that spring of the metal tongue so you know you are holding it correctly.

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You Rang? Awesome Name Recognition The first thing I teach any dog after powering up the clicker is name recognition. I want my dog to get really excited when he hears his name.

Name recognition is not the same as a recall. Option one is to put a leash on the dog you want to take out and open the gate a crack. If you are lucky, all three dogs will press their noses to the crack, and you can start shoving with your feet at the two that you want to remain. If you have small dogs you might actually be able to lift them up with your foot and toss them a good distance away. Next, open the gate and hope that the dog you want to go through does so quickly, before the other two can recover and storm the gate.

If you are skinny and fast, you might be able to slip through the gate after him and turn around in time to start shoving the other two with your feet as you close the gate on your ankle. Cursing is optional.

If you are not skinny and fast, you can use your body as sort of a plug to block the opening as you move through in a crouched position, while continuing to kick backwards with your feet as you move through. Ruby, stay. Augie, come. He is going to be staring at you at that point, anyway, so you can take advantage of that and pair his name with the click.

While the dog is looking at you, say his name, click and treat. Do that times in a row. Congratulations—your dog knows his name. In order to do this, you have to be sure that the only time he ever hears his name is when a good consequence is to follow. In your daily interactions with your dog, his name must always be connected to something good.

Both of these dogs know their names. I can ask Augie to stay while I ask Nicky to come through the gate. Both dogs will get nice treats for these behaviors. This is so especially important with a Pigs Fly kind of dog. He is not going to cut you any slack in that equation. On one side of the balance sheet is a great big world, with all the interesting smells, sights, and sensations that God put there.

Cook- 34 3 — What are Cl ickers and Markers? Rides in the car? Chasing squirrels is not nearly as fun as a car ride! Latest shopDisney Update. All ShopDisney Updates. Official Travel Partner. Dinosaurs Live! Recent Movies Avengers: Subscribe Join Our Email List.

Frank Ansley. Product Details. Simon Spotlight June Length: Resources and Downloads. When Pigs Fly Trade Paperback Get a FREE e-book by joining our mailing list today! More books from this author: See more by Lisa Wheeler. More books from this illustrator: More books in this series: Thank you for signing up, fellow book lover! See More Categories.Most have recessed metal tongues that you need to press firmly to make the clicking sound.

Start with about 20 very small pieces of really yummy treats. Dressing for the Occasion A Note on Equipment It is very important that you use only collars and harnesses that control your dog without delivering a punishment.


Nylon leads are more durable and safe than leather or cotton web leads. If you have this book or download this book or are going to download this book About The Book. There are also clickers with raised buttons on them—very helpful for peo- 27 W h e n Pi g s Fly ple with long fingernails, arthritis, or large fingers.

Jumping through it is only one of four possibilities, and it is the most difficult one to do. If you laughed when you read the definition of biddable you definitely do not have one of those dogs.

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