A Fun and Easy Way to Train Your Dog
by Robin Williams
Many of our clients are using clicker training as a positive way to train their dogs. If you would like to try this with your dog, here are some ideas to get you started. We are going to use a clicker, (you can buy one at any pet store or order one online.) You will also need some treats. You want a treat that your dog loves more than any other treat, usually small soft treats work best. This is called a (high value) treat.
Now, just click the clicker and give your dog a treat. Keep doing this until your dog responds to the clicker in any way. Look for any response at all, a turn of the head, flick of the ears, glancing your way. Anytime the dog does this give him a treat. Once you have the dog responding to the clicker you can use it to teach a behavior. Wait until you catch the dog doing a behavior you want to teach, such as sitting. All you have to do is catch the dog sitting down. As the dog’s rear end is going to the ground, click your clicker, (timing is everything) then give your dog the treat. Repeat this until the behavior (sitting in this case) is well established. If your dog doesn’t make the connection between the behavior and the click, go back & work on just clicking and treating.
Okay, now you can teach your dog to sit. You can teach almost any behavior using clicker training. You can also use it on many other types of animals: Cats, horses, birds, etc. They have even used it on fish!
If you would like more information on clicker training, Karen Pryor has a very good book “Getting stated with clicker training.” You can find it in bookstores. She also has a very good website www.clickertraining.com. We have found that dogs respond much better to positive rather than negative training techniques. Hope you enjoy learning this fun and easy technique.