The Clicked Retriever

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Lana Mitchell
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Dogwise Publishing
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Click your way to better obedience scores!
The retrieve is one of the most difficult skills for most dogs to master in competitive obedience. It is difficult because it involves a long series of steps that the dog must learn in order to retrieve the object successfully. More and more trainers are realizing that teaching a complex series of behaviors like this is most easily done through the use of clicker training using the same techniques used by large animal trainers working with whales, dolphins and elephants.

The Clicked Retriever teaches you step-b-step how to clicker train your dog to do a solid, enthusiastic and reliable retrieve. Learning no-force techniques builds trust between you and your dog, makes training more enjoyable for both of you and sets you up for life long training success built on scientific principles, respect and fun.

The Clicked Retriever
Gives you one of the best explanations of how to clicker train ever written.
Helps you understand why clicker training techniques can improve you dog's obedience scores and consistency.
Teaches you how to train complex behaviors by breaking them down into more easily trainable segments and then shows you how to link or chain them together to perform the skill.
Shows you how to apply retrieving skills to other activities such as flyball and service dog training.

Lana Mitchell is a pioneer in utilizing clicker training for competitive obedience, herding and conformation. Her clicker trained dogs have achieved High in Trial awards in both obedience and herding. After she started training with a click in the 1990s, Lana taught conformation and obedience workshops around the country with Karen Pryor and Gary Wilkes. Currently Lana competes in AKC obedience and herding trials, teaches clicker training classes and workshops for obedience, conformation and herding and is a regular contributor to the Clicker Journal. She lives in Louisville, KY with her Australian Shepherd, Nemo and her retired cutting horse, Ky.

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What reviewers are saying...

Written by professional dog trainer Lana Mitchell, who has helped pioneer clicker training since the 1990s and achieved High In Trial awards in both obedience and herding, The Clicked Retriever is a straightforward guide to using the clicker in retrieval training, one of the more complex types of training a dog can undergo because of its many steps. Chapters discuss how to build trust with one's dog without using force, training basics, retrieval basics, how to impress and strengthen the chain of retrieval steps, turning, holding and carrying, the directed retrieve, scent articles, and much more. Though written especially for dog show and dog obedience handlers, The Clicked Retriever is also ideal for anyone interested in teaching a hunting dog useful behaviors, or even ordinary pet owners who want to instruct their dog to play "fetch" rather than "tug of war". The Clicked Retriever even demonstrates how to apply retrieving skills to such activities as Flyball and service dog training. A superb, step-by-step pet trainer's manual. James A. Cox


First published in 1997, this new edition is jammed with training tips and step-by-step instructions. If you are new to clicker training, you will reap the benefits of the author's extensive knowledge of the art and science behind this training method... A glossary of clicker training terms is included at the end of the section, and the well-organized and detailed table of contents serves as the book's index... Even if you choose not to use a clicker, The Clicked Retriever is a valuable resource for your bookshelf. Terry Long

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  • 5
    The Clicked Retriever

    Posted by Allyson Tohme on 29th Oct 2022

    This book was first published in 1997 and is in large format size with 84 pages containing 21 photographs. The retrieve is a fundamental part of many competitive activities including Field Trials, Flyball, Gundog Working Tests, IGP, Obedience, Rally, Ring Sports, Working Trials etc (as well as being an essential task for many Assistance Dogs). The marks allotted to the exercise(s) range from 10 – 45% of the relevant section(s) depending on the discipline(s) and can mean the difference between success/failure and/or a placing so that it behooves any competitor to study this element in depth. Fortunately, this publication does just that. If the reader is not already a Clicker Trainer, then the first 25 pages of this book elaborates on the terminology including shaping, jackpots, criteria, etc However I am not convinced that reading this summary alone will equip the student with enough information without some previous access to a qualified dog training instructor, however sporadic. This section does serve as revision for the more experienced. Section 2 looks at shaping the elements of the retrieve including the 6 constant and several variable components. Lana breaks down all the behaviours involved in the retrieve and introduces chaining as well as the importance of the size of the dumbbell. There then follows a workbook consisting of 35 separate lessons including problem solving, directed retrieves, the US version of scent articles as well as touching on flyball and the requirement of Assistance Dogs. I am particularly enamoured of the following “The cookbook for training any and all dogs has yet to be written, since no two dogs learn alike and no two trainers train alike” The author then goes on to say “The following pages contain the very cookbook I earlier said couldn’t be written. It’s as accurate a cake recipe that doesn’t tell what temperature to heat the oven for baking the cake. The cook could still make the cake, having all the ingredients, but the final outcome will take experimentation with various oven temperatures” This is an outstanding book for splitters not lumpers and for the serious competitor/dog training instructor.