Jedi Dog Training

Long ago, Long ago from a dog pound far far away. There was a Shetland Sheepdog named Bootsie who showed me the power of the force. The dog read minds and learned to be a polite despite uneven inept training. My first dog was a wonder.

Later, through working and learning with dogs, and falling in love with Star Wars, I realized increasingly that all dogs know the force. The force is an energy field. The force, for the sake of this blog, is the connection that we have with our dog. I recognize this force and that makes me a JDT (Jedi Dog Trainer). When a trainer can step into the flow of the force, the rest of training is just vocabulary.

Throughout our careers as JDTs, we’re trying to increase the connection, the flow of the force between us and our dog. Using the force to accomplish remarkable things is what Jedi do. And I ask you, what’s a greater thing that a well, trained dog? You don’t have to tell anyone that you used the force. You can let them wonder.

A clicker is the Jedi Dog Trainer’s answer to the light saber. The only answer is to use it every time we use it. Some Jedi trainers use a clicker exclusively, but some prefer other methods. To me, verbal markers are like hand to hand combat. Some Jedi use them better than they use a lightsaber and are just as accurate. I prefer the light saber and the clicker. I’m built that way.

One of the first things to instill in your padawan dog is that you really do have the connection. The way of Jedi dog training has many paths. A Jedi trainer must learn to balance all those paths to force connect with their dog.

Let your padawan see you put a treat in your hand, then close your fist around it. Hold the treat below and about 6-8 inches in front of your dog’s nose. Look at your dog and watch for those inquisitive beautiful eyes to flicker upwards towards you. The moment that they do, open your hand and let your padawan take the treat from your palm.

Congratulations, you and your padawan have made the connection. You’ve taken your first step into a larger world.