A Clever Exercise To Try Tonight

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Your After Video Homework:

After you watch this video, please go try the exercise.  Then report back to this blog post and leave me a comment about any mental revelations this exercise gave you.  If you’re like me, doing this exercise gave me a deeper insight into how to communicate with dogs then almost anything else I’ve ever done.

I’m curious to see if it has the same effect on you.

Can’t wait to read your feedback!

NOTE: If your into this type of stuff and want to get access to my more advanced material I recommend picking up a copy of my Hands Off Dog Training DVD series.

There are 120 Comments

  1. BETTYE says:



  2. Brenda says:

    Great video, eye opening and hilarious. I would like to train my McNab to click everytime my husband actually puts his dishes into the dishwasher!!


  3. ccaldwell says:

    Excellent video. I have a 2 year old Borador (Spirit is his name) and when I am capable of explaining to him what I want, the results are amazing.

    Spirit & I are making excellent progress and I am blessed that he is in my life. I got him when he was 6 days old, his mother was a registered border collie and his daddy was a registered lab. His mom died giving birth to 6 pups.

    I raised him on the bottle with the plan to give him away when he got a little bigger—–That will never happen, Spirit is an excellent dog, kind with other animals, calm gentle attitude, sweet disposition, good energy and smart as a whip.

    My friend is a retired trainer for Police Dogs & has told me several times that Spirit is not the problem, I am! How true. Interesting how it works—-The more I learn, the smarter he gets. Keep up your good work, you are excellent!


  4. guilliaume says:

    We ‘say’ we love our pets, wives, jobs, aspirations, lives: How often do we regularly access the information available about those ‘topics’ we claim to cherish most, and how often do we exercise those informations? Isn’t true love the best proof of investment in success?


  5. Pedro says:

    That was a great exercise. It not only show how to use the clicker, but the psychology behind the exercise and how confuse will be the pet at the beginning. Until he get it.


  6. Sonja Lambson says:

    When I get these video’s to watch I never get any aound to go with it so I can’t tell what you are saying. It is very frustrating because I would like to hear it.


  7. McKaye says:

    Sounds like a fun game. I think I will have to try it with my dog.


  8. Angie says:

    Hi Chet,

    What a great video! I never used the clicker for my dogs, but can see how useful it would be. Time and repetition is the key. Thanks for the knowledge and entertainment.


  9. Lois Smith says:

    I am getting a puppy in September….and I want to start teaching her correctly from the beginning….I have never used a clicker, but now that I know where to get one, I will buy one and start practicing my timing.
    I am very interested in doing the correct method from the beginning rather than try to correct bad behavior later.


  10. chris says:

    hi everyone, great demo, I have another cool method of getting a point across to my dog, ie., for instance if my dog cann’t grasp what I am trying to get her to learn after a few minutes I employ my wife as if I was training her. The dog (chloe a boston) watches as my wife wins the treat everytime I ask her to do the behaviour., once my dog sees this she kind of gets jealous she didn’t get the treat and starts trying everything that my wife is doing. I give my wife hi praises with a treat, she pretends to eat it and we do it 4 or 5 times, once my dog makes the move I switch over to the dog only. Try it you might be surprised. You got to hand it to chet he can really cause you to understand the dynamics of dog clicker training. I should do a video of this type in post it on youtube. thanks for reading, any comments are welcome to my email face2friend at gmail dot com.



  11. Deborah says:

    Good exercise!


  12. Mitzi says:

    Wow! What a great exercise! I hadn’t thought of it like this. I am currently working with my 13 week old Goldendoodle and have VERY recently come across your site. I immediately ran by Petsmart and picked up a Clicker. This gives me a whole new insite… and also helps with my frustration in knowing exactly how to lead him to do what I am wanting. THANK YOU SO MUCH!


  13. Kate says:

    Hi Chet

    This is a really good way of teaching people patience when training their dog! I thought the most interesting part of this example is that the lady clearly didn’t get the moment of clarity, i.e. realising you wanted her to put her hands up, in the first exercise but she clearly did get sitting down in the second.

    My favourite bit about clicker training is when I know that Ellie, our German Shepherd X rescue dog, has understood what I am asking her to do. She suddenly gets it and consistantly repeats the behaviour. Some things just take a little more time and persistance than others.

    Thanks – I’m going to clicker train my husband to get the iron out….



  14. Matilda says:

    I have been doing this for a while with people that come to our foundation agility class at dog club. They all have to bring a clicker and I let them work in pairs. One is the trainer, one the dog and I tell the ones that are the dogs to try not to think like a human! I show them first with one of them and then they give it a go. They all think it’s great fun and it gives them a much better insight to what clicker training is and how it works.

    Matilda, New Zealand


  15. Pamela says:

    Love the video, excellent illustration!! When I watched the video something hit me square in the face…an AH HA moment.

    I am a corporate trainer and use something VERY similar to this in presentations and training about giving feedback and coaching. It’s called yeahs and boos. Basically we do the same thing, bring someone in and try to get them to “do” something (pick up a pen etc..) first with only boos. It takes forever, if they even get it. Next we bring in someone else and use yeahs and boos. Task accomplished in a fraction of the time. The point being they reach the goal much quicker with both types of feedback, especially positive and letting them know when they are doing something right (reminds me of the game we played as kids “you’re getting warmer, ah cooling off, warmer, ah man your burning up….”)

    I guess what I’m saying is I have taught that class dozens of times and still fell into being inconsistent in my personal life with my puppy. Then we both get frustrated. Definitely not her fault but mine. I have used the clicker but not that much. I’m putting it on a string around my neck and who cares if I smell like jerky treats all the time, my dog will be well behaved  Thank you again!! I would love to see one of your live demonstrations. Do you come to Texas?


  16. lilly says:

    wow. from the dogs point of view.

    i don’t have a clicker but i will try thinking from my dog’s point of view when next i try to train her on something new.


  17. sarah says:

    i get it now, i was expecting too much from my puppy, to much information for him.


  18. Dear Chet,
    I can get the video to work but I can barely hear what you are saying. After reading some of the comments, I am dying to know what this is about. It’s not my computer because I have no trouble hearing anything on my computer. Perhaps you can send it in some other way. Thank you,Alma


  19. Cindy says:

    This really shows how each command we expect our puppies to do can be very confusing and frustrating.

    I can see how easy it would be for the puppy to misread our body language when trying to express our desires if we had no immediate sign of their success for them.

    It also demonstrates how excited they are when they finally figure out exactly what we want them to do; they in turn after doing such a great thing, gets a reward, Puppy thinks,”Wow, I am wonderful and she is proud of me,let’s do this again!”


  20. Christy Pressler says:

    OMG! Really made me think how frustrated the dog must be…the dog truly has no idea what you want and has to guess alot. This was an awesome example. You are truly gifted and I love your hands-off training program I purchased from you. So easily explained and I receive awesome results on training my dogs.
    Thank you!


  21. Jane says:

    Thanks Chet – this finally opened my eyes and hopefully start a whole new phase in training our puppy. Thank you so much!


  22. Laurie says:

    I couldn’t help but laugh. I haven’t tried this yet, but I get it. The other day I was wondering what it was like to be on all fours, so I tried it. I spent part of my afternoon on all fours,trying to see the things I could smell on the counter, go around tight corners in my place, and just generally experience it from my dog’s persepective.I did try this when my kids were little, but it isn’t the same. I don’t have hands and arms and fingers when I pretend to be a dog. I did not like bumping my nose/face on everything. This was the lady in the videos first try to earn clicks, but he definetly had her attention (that’s a good start). I have been training my dog since puppy (14 months now) and sometimes if he gets a little confused (especially when he really wants that treat NOW) he will run through quite a few of the tricks he knows,I beleive because he doesn’t want to wait for the command, and hopes he hits the right one I was thinking of. I am working on getting him to wait, not guess what I want. But it is funny when he knows I have a treat in my hand and he starts doing things I haven’t asked him yet. He will usually start with the last thing he did at our last session and work his way through a few things until I stop laughing and tell him wait, I haven’t said anything yet. Just like the lady in the video, not knowing what was expected of her, then guessing until she got it right.Then the light bulb goes on.


  23. nise says:

    As a trainer I have seen this game played many times…HOWEVER..everytime I have seen it, trainers have played both parts so naturally the behaviors are learned quickly. My hat is off to Chet for using someone who was (excuse the term) clueless. This better demonstrates the level of understanding that a dog might have when learning a new behavior. It raised my eyebrows and I think I owe my wonderful maltese an apology for some frustration I’m sure I have caused her. *on my way to get the treats. 😉


  24. mary says:

    I have already realized that there is a “language barrier” with my schnockerr.
    (schnauzer-cocker). She sits and looks me in the eye and makes various sounds and tilts her head to wait for a response. Unfortunately I do not speak schnocker and she does not know much English! This video was a fun way to really see how it is for her!


  25. Terri says:

    We tried the clicker game and it was insightful. We felt kind of stupid but definitely understand the concept. It should be challenging when we start the training with the puppy. It’s true that the dog has no idea what you want it to do. Hopefully, we’ll start soon.


    leah Reply:

    i cannot find a clicker- do not live in your country- i cannot click my fingers- am a pensioner- what can i use instead of a clicker? love your mail;- thank you


    Minette Reply:

    Try ordering online. sometimes you can find toys that click at toy stores.

    Essentially you are looking for something with a constant, meaning the same, noise all of the time. The noise shouldn’t change, it should always be the same and it shouldn’t be so loud as to scare your dog.

    Then just pair the noise with the treat!


    Debbie Reply:

    I am slightly handicapped and can’t use a clicker so I use the word “yes” in place of a “click”. You just need to practice it until you can say it exactly the same every time. Even when you get excited, you must say it the same way each time. Works like a charm!

    Minette Reply:


    I use my voice AND a clicker at the same time in the beginning so that I don’t have to worry if I leave my clicker at home!

  26. john says:

    a chet it was a real good video, but before i saw this video i was wondering if i coul use some thing else like a whisel but i saw a publish reply from Debbie on December,29 at 2:05 pm saying she just say ‘yes’ the same way . P.S can i use the whisel cause it hard to fine a clicker were i live


  27. T March says:

    I’ve seen this kind of demonstration several times before (using a human to demonstrate the principle), and in each case the results were far quicker… This is not to imply that this particular woman is slow or less-than-smart, but it does give some food for thought. Maybe it’s a good illustration of the phenomenon of variability, and it’s possible that being up on the stage, being watched and laughed at (even if in a good-natured way) could have slowed her response. In any case, I’d say that it’s important not to get discouraged if your dog doesn’t seem to be as quick as another dog, or to give up if the desired results don’t come as quickly as you think they should–anyone who has been involved in dog training knows how common this is!


  28. Ming says:

    My 3-y-o shih-tzu is a sweet darling while staying home with us. The only problem with her is the uncontrollable aggressiveness(barking, leash pulling, jumping..) toward other doggies while walking outside of the house. How do I apply your “clicking” technique to correct it?


  29. Hilda Duncan says:

    Sorry, the video had no sound. I can not respond.


  30. Kristin says:


    I think you just proved how much smarter dogs are than humans!! LOL!!! Love getting all of your videos and updates on dog training. I am working with my young boxer 6 mos old. He can sit, stay, roll over and heel indoors…still working on outdoors though….long process. We are beginning boundary training with bright flagging tape. Wish me luck!


  31. Meshelle says:

    That was awesome to see clicker training in action. Didn’t realize how difficult it is for the ‘trainee’ to learn. Patience and timing is everything.Thanks Chet for showing me the window to my dog’s mind. Can’t wait to try it out myself.


  32. gene selner says:

    Chet, very good . Most novice dog handlers create their own problems.This video should help them understand the importance to only reward for correct behaviors. They reward for all behaviors.


  33. Jim says:

    Very interesting. To be put in that situation would definately make you see from your pets point of view.


  34. Ave Guevara says:

    I’m thoroughly enjoying your teaching style. New to this, although my dog came to me as a pup clicker trained, I was not trained to continue it. So, 2 years later, we’re doing this. Love this video. I see how if there’s even a one second delay the trainee will miss the point, as you’ve demonstrated (by accident?) on this great video.

    I’m very excited to do this exercise with my grand daughter, of course she’ll expect a treat if she gets a lot of clicks 🙂

    Enjoy the commentary on this video also.


  35. Julie says:

    Thank you so much for introducing my daughter and myself to this program of teaching with the clicker. This excersize especially helped us to see what the dog is going through in the learning process.


  36. Sue M says:

    I have used the clicker successfully with treats, and it is quick-to-learn process. I have also implemented “naming” a behavior and they learn quick with that also.I wait for them to do a natural behavior and put a name to it.
    For example: if they sit, I name it “sit”. If they sit up, I name it “sit up”. Same goes for roll over, dance together, twirl, go around, come, stop, down, off and so on.
    I try to use a hand signal with each verbal command, so now I can take them thru all their tricks just with hand gestures. It’s lots of fun!
    My goal is that they would follow commands by hand signals if they are off leash and away from me. But that’s a long way off. Still hopeful~

    And Chet, you were right about having someone else demo it for the dog.
    My female dog will do a command or trick and the male won’t because he isn’t as quick a learner, but when he see’s her getting rewards a few times for doing the trick, he will catch on.
    Thanks for your videos. They are good short lessons and also reminders of things I’ve forgotten that worked before.


  37. Jess says:

    Although this site is mainly for dog training, other animals can be taught with this way of training, and what I have right now is a cat. I haven’t tried really teaching him yet, but he is intelligent. Once, when I came home at lunch unexpectedly (I don’t usually come home at lunchtime), I noticed he was meowing in a way that he only does when he doesn’t have something he needs (like his water has dried up or his litter box is too soiled). So I checked his water dish. It wasn’t empty, but I didn’t even think about cleaning out the litter box just then because I had a limited time on lunch break. So I got some lunch out and walked around doing things that needed to be done. At that time I noticed him sitting in front of the bathroom. The door was closed. I keep the litter box in the bathroom. That was the first time I remember the door being shut (I usually make sure it’s left open). *light bulb moment* My cat had been trying to tell me he couldn’t use his litter box! …I am grateful I came home halfway through the day that day instead of the end of the day! Needless to say, animals are smart, and it is crucial to have a common language (in this particular case, tone of “voice”) to communicate.


  38. Moni says:

    Chet, Thanks for the video I’ll have to try it on my hubby. I have known about clicker training for quite a while but you and my recently adopted independent Schnauzer have given me the incentive to finally do it.


  39. Betsy says:

    Glad I watched this. Tried it on my 10 year old son. He struggled with how to earn the clicks and I discovered I need to work on my clicker timing. Thanks. Can’t wait to start with my 10 week old puppy!


  40. Carol says:

    Thanks Chet. It has made me more patient with my dog and not expecting her to pick commands up quickly.


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