Clicker training is one of the most popular methods of training. It can be used to encourage desired behavior with “positive reinforcement”. It is primarily used with dogs but can also be used to train cats, horses, mice, birds and many other animals.
The first step in clicker training is to associate the clicking sound with something positive, a treat in most cases. Start by making the clicking sound a few times and immediately follow the click with a treat. This will teach your pet that whenever they hear the click, they will receive a treat.
Once you have established a link between the click and the treat, you can move on to step two. This involves “catching” your pet doing a desired behavior, such as sitting or walking by the cat without chasing it. You need to have your clicker and treats ready at all times for this step. As soon as you notice the desired behavior, click and give your pet a treat. Once this is repeated enough times the pet will understand that this action is something that will get them a treat. You can then add in a vocal command right before they are about to perform a desired behavior. For example, if you see your pet is about to sit, say “sit” and immediately follow it with a click and treat. After repeating this enough times it should eventually lead them to performing these actions by hearing voice commands.
This is not something that will happen overnight, you will have to be patient and consistent for this method to work. Be sure to start with simple commands and work your way up to the more difficult ones.
March 16th at 6:00pm we will be hosting a seminar here at the Dartmouth Veterinary Hospital to discuss different aspects of owning a puppy. We will be having company representatives and one of our own doctors present to go over some common topics.
If you would like more information or to let us know you would like to attend please call us at 902-434-0700. Your puppies are welcome, however please ensure they have been vaccinated to avoid any disease transfer from pup to pup. Hope to see you there!