Clicker Training, How fast can you train your dog??

Clicker training  An amazing dog training tool.

When I’m ready to teach my dogs a new command the first tool I reach for is the clicker.  Now, that’s pretty strong praise from a dog trainer.  For it to be the first thing I reach for means it’s got to be powerful and it’s got to work fast and if you understand this technique and use it correctly there is almost nothing faster.

Unfortunately, it’s rare that I have a client call me and say "I want to do clicker training exclusively."  Lucky for me, I had one of those clients this week.  Elizabeth had a new Terrier dog that was a rescue and was 4 years old.  She’d had the dog for a little over a week and had already gone through the conditioning phase of clicker training when I got there and had already gotten a very fast sit and down with the pup.  After the introductions we started using the clicker to get a longer stay in the sits and downs which was one of the things she wanted to practice. It worked like a charm and the pup got the idea very quickly.

After working on the static commands, we took the pup outside where it was paying attention to everything but us.  The first exercise we did was to click the dog when it paid any attention to us by looking our way.  After a few minutes of that Kusco (the dog) got the idea that paying attention was a good thing and we started to move with him.  To make this blog posting short enough, let’s just say that in the course of four, count them 4, blocks we had a dog that went from pulling on the leash and darting every which way to heeling, and we did this WITHOUT one single leash correction!  Even though I train lots of dogs every day, it still amazes me to see a pup go from knowing nothing to getting a strong basic idea of a command that quickly.  If you have the patience for it and don’t mind taking the time to do the initial clicker conditioning, clicker training is an amazing tool to work with your dog.

Click, click….treat…good dog!

Steve Haynes
Austin Dog Trainer

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