Clicker training and positive reinforcement are my way to go and I think I have a proper understanding of these principles.

However, it is very rare to see tutorials, videos or live training with two people, one being the "trainer", the other one being the "assistant".

So for example, would we benefit from that while training for sit/down/up/etc. at a distance?

I can imagine letting my dog sniff around while someone keeps him on a loose leash, then I call his name, get his attention and ask him to sit. My dog will most probably come towards me before sitting. Then having someone next to him to prevent him from doing so could be a nice help. I would do that with a dog that already good training with sit/stay at a distance, so that the assistant would just need some gentle leash pressure to stop the dog and wait until he sits.

Does anyone have experience with that? Could it be a real plus or do you have argument why this is a better way?

  • At least this one got me the "Tumbleweed" badge :)
    – Cedric H.
    Commented May 24, 2015 at 17:51

1 Answer 1


Having an helper during training can be great, especially when training distance. The helper can either dispense treats after a marker or prevent the dog from reinforcing when it does something wrong. Bad Dog Agility has a podcast specifically on different ways you can use a helper: http://baddogagility.com/episode-72-three-ways-to-use-a-helper/.

As a note, if you're going to have an "attention" / "watch-me" cue, I would make it separate from a name or any other command that generally means "come closer to me." That way you don't need to worry about the dog taking a couple steps.

Of course, you're also going to want to train without a helper so the dog doesn't get used to one and think it only gets rewarded when the helper is there. The best way I've found is to "ping-pong" distances. This is especially helpful for creating fantastic stays. Don't forget to walk back to your dog from the long distances too even if it takes several seconds.

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