Chinook Dogs are smart, sensitive, loyal individuals who respond with great enthusiasm to clicker training. Chinooks can be highly motivated to work for treats!
Using positive methods, children can learn to help train their puppy. Notice how focused Otie is on his young trainer Olive while he does a cute trick for her!
Melissa C. Alexander's training book "Click for Joy" has a chapter on finding the right dog trainer.
Some great tips from her book include the following:
"Observe a class or a client session. If the trainer won't let you do that, look elsewhere."
"What methods are being taught and/or used during the session? If you don't feel comfortable with even one thing, this isn't the class for you."
"Are the students and their dogs happy and relaxed? Are they having fun? If not, keep looking."
Dog trainers have different training philosophies, qualifications and experience. When looking for a training center for your Chinook, look for one that uses positive methods - you and your trainer should "click"! Find a trainer that you feel comfortable with because if something doesn't feel just right, it isn't!
Finding the right trainer may take some time and some research on your part. A mediocre center may be conviently located down the road from you while the center with a training philosophy that matches your own may be an hour or more away so be prepared to travel to go to a really great class. Finding the right trainer can make all the difference in the world for you and your Chinook!
Once you're found your trainer, your job isn't over! More quotes from "Click for Joy":
"After you choose a trainer, remember you're still the dog's owner. Don't turn over your dog's leash unless you know what the trainer is going to do. Don't let the trainer correct your dog. If at any point you feel uncomfortable, call it a lesson learned and leave - even if you've paid money for the class."
"Don't let a bad experience with a trainer damage your relationship with your dog."
Click for Joy! Questions and Answers from Clicker Trainers and their Dogs, Melissa C. Alexander, c 2003 Sunshine Books, Inc.
Here's a true story demonstrating the importance of having a clear definition
of the differences between training-with-a-clicker and clicker training.
A trainer I'll call Celia, is a correction-based trainer who uses a clicker as a praise marker. One of our customers, Mary, brings her 10-month-old black Lab Casey to our daycare and attends our agility class. Because Celia's school is close to Mary's home, when Celia told her that she, too, teaches "clicker training" Mary enrolled in Celia's obedience class.
A "Clicker Class" That Wasn't
As printed in The Clicker Journal, Issue 60/61, May-August 2003
A few weeks ago Casey's agility instructor noticed that Casey was subdued in class. On questioning, Mary said that Casey had had a bad experience at obedience class. During the heeling exercise, she had "refused" to walk. Saying that "willful" behavior had to be dealt with, and Casey must not "get away with it" Celia took the leash and dragged Casey along the floor.
Horrified, our instructor explained that this is definitely not clicker training and for whatever reason Casey had refused to walk, she was not being "willful." She had Mary spend the rest of the class session playing with Casey to try to recapture some of her enthusiasm. By the end of class, Casey was better but still not her old self.
The next week, Casey was worse: totally shut-down,depressed and unwilling to even move. When her instructor asked if anything further had happened, Mary sheepishly admitted that she had been in conflict over the different information she received, and had, she now realized in error, believed Celia's assessment of Casey as a "dominant, willful dog." She had returned to the obedience class, and once again Casey had been dragged in an attempt to force her to walk in a circle with the rest of the class.
The fallout from this treatment didn't stop with agility class. Generalizing the treatment to the presence of other dogs, Casey (remember, we're talking about an adolescent Labrador Retriever) totally shut-down in our doggie daycare as well. Sadly, she wouldn't play with her friends. It has been several weeks since Casey got dragged, and she's slowly getting better. We hope she'll get back to her old self sometime soon.
Finding the right trainer for your Chinook dog
The following article could very well have been written about a Chinook:
Training Tip: Find a dog trainer near you!
Chinook Dogs are smart, sensitive, loyal individuals who respond with great enthusiasm to clicker training.
Chinooks can be highly motivated to work for treats!