Clicking With Canines

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Steve Benjamin, KPA CTP

I owe my introduction to clicker training to Abbie Tamber (Dogs on the Run) in Oxford, New York.  Through Abbie's excellent instruction over the three summers and a couple winters my three dogs and I attended classes, I learned the basics of clicker training.  Though my agility skills were far below what my dogs were capable of, I nonetheless became hooked on clicker training as a wonderfully simple and fun way to teach dogs everything from simple manners to complex agility skills.  I wanted to know exactly how it worked, which led to a self study of the science of how animals learn.  

I joined the Association of Pet Dog Trainers and spent two years studying for the certification exam to become a Certified Pet Dog Trainer (CPDT).  The exam tested my knowledge of learning theory, instructional skills, training equipment, dog behavior, and husbandry.  I also began giving free home clicker lessons in order to obtain the necessary 300 hours of training experience required to take the exam.  I passed the certification test in November 2003, started "Clicking With Canines," and in March 2004 began teaching group classes.

I have attended seminars for trainers given by Melissa Alexander, Terry Ryan, Turid Rugass, and Kathy Sdao, as well as five ClickerExpos hosted by Karen Pryor.  In March of 2007 I was selected to be on the faculty of the Karen Pryor Academy for Animal Training and Behavior.  Clicking With Canines is one of the Academy's teaching facilities where students of the Academy come to complete the hands on training workshops required for graduation from the Academy.

I have met wonderful people in my classes and the dogs have been awesome.  It is very rewarding to help people understand and train their dogs, but it is especially reinforcing to see those "light bulb" moments that dogs have as they learn the skills necessary to have a happy life with their human families. 

Steve and "staff" hiking the Adirondacks

Karen Pryor Certified Training Partner and Karen Pryor Academy Faculty Member
The Karen Pryor Academy for Animal Training & Behavior, opened in May 2007, is an educational institution that teaches inspired animal training through innovative programs designed for both experienced and aspiring teachers. The Academy advances the field of force-free training through community and peer collaboration, and helps faculty and alumni become more successful through close business partnerships.
As a Faculty Member of the Academy, I guide and assist students through the on-line lessons and host them at four two-day workshops at my classroom.  The workshops provide an opportunity for the students to demonstrate the knowledge and skills they've mastered during each Unit of lessons and enable hands-on work with other dogs.
The long-term vision of the Karen Pryor Academy is to create a large, cohesive, and committed group of professional dog trainers who verifiably practice and promote the powerful force-free teaching principles championed and practiced by Karen Pryor and the advisors and faculty of the Academy.


Steve Benjamin, KPA CTP
Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner
Karen Pryor Academy Faculty Member
P.O. Box 5715
Endicott, New York 13763