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Thursday, October 1, 2009

Thankful Thursday - Clicker Training

Let me start off by saying that I am soooo Thankful for our new puppy!! He is pretty much awesome. And he is learning very quickly. I have started clicker training him. I clicker trained Duke and he did very well. It is such a great training method and it really gets the dog's attention. Here is some info about it. I had posted a video of Duke closing the door and my friend Ter asked how I taught him, so I thought once we got a new pup I would post about it.

The way I trained Duke was with clicker training. Check out clickertraining.com, it is a great site full of resources. You get this little clicker thing and you are supposed to click it when your pet does something you want him/her to do. You don't even have to use your voice because if you click when they sit for example, and you keep doing it every time they sit (well, when you are having training time), they learn to associate the click with what they are doing at that moment. Then you immediately give them a little treat. We used little pieces of cheese or these little tiny dog treats. It is a really great tool. I started out with the Clicker Training for Dogs kit with the book, click-a-trick cards, clicker and treat sample. I bought another book later on, Clicking with Your Dog, and it is a great book. Very thorough and it is full of different tricks and sometimes a couple different methods of clicker training each one. Here are a couple links to items I use (I tried to link to the specific clickertraining.com items, but it only shows a general link):

Clicking with Your Dog book


Starter Kit

Here is a short clicking lesson:

The way I taught Duke to close the door was to get him to put his nose on the door on the side that you push to close it. As soon as his nose touched the door, I clicked & treated him. We did that over and over again until he got it down pat. Then we worked on getting him to push the door a bit with his nose and as soon as he did I clicked and treated him. And we did that over and over. We just kept at it a little at a time until he finally pushed the door all the way closed. At some point I stopped clicking and treating until the door was getting closed all the way. He actually learned very quickly so it didn't take as long as I make it sound. It just depends on how quickly it sinks in. I also taught him to open the door, that is what that rope was for on my doorknob. He just had to learn to pull it (when training I made sure it stuck through the door so the door didn't latch and he could pull it) to open the door far enough to get his nose & head in and open it the same way he was closing it. The video is a bit after he learned to do it all. He figured out his own way to do it, as you could see he pushed the rope with his nose so the door would latch and then used his rear to close the door all the way, it was so cute! And he was always using his paws like hands, that was cute too, but scratched my door up!

Here is the video if you haven't seen it:

Clicker training is really fun, really helps with the communication between dog and owner and its a great way to strengthen your bond with your dog. I hope this info is useful to someone and thanks so much for stopping by for Thankful Thursday!


Lexie Loo & Dylan Too said...

I'm so glad you're enjoying your new puppy!

Jan's Place USA and Mt Forest Pictures said...

I love that video, and was so impressed at how smart Duke was. You are going to have so much fun training Bo, he has some big paws to fill..but I have a feeling he will do it!

Vectormom said...

Great video! I like to see it in action and that really was in action! :)
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