Here is THE secret to dog training. 

Your dog may be smarter than you realize...Your dog already knows how to do the tricks.  The training is really for YOU Training is about learning how to communicate with your dog.  Your dog doesn’t know English and you don’t speak “dog”,  so learn a common language.  This will strengthen your bond and be fun for both of you!

Clicker-training

Clicker training is a technique that makes it possible to teach a dog things that otherwise may seem impossible!  While many simple tasks can be taught without using a clicker, there are other circumstances where clickers are the greatest tools ever!Get a Clicker

Clicker Basics

Here’s a quick intro on how to use a clicker.  The point of a clicker is to mark a specific correct behavior with a “click” sound.  It is similar to saying “good dog”, but it is faster and if used correctly, your dog will associate that sound with getting a reward (usually a treat). 

To get a better understanding of clicker training (because your dog will probably get it faster than you!) try the Shaping Game with a human friend.  I haven’t tried it yet, but it looks like fun and even just reading the instructions gave me a better understanding of my dog’s point of view.

Introduce the clicker to your dog. Don’t skip this step!

  Start off by asking your dog to do something simple that he already knows how to do, for example: “Sit.”  The second your dog’s rear touches the floor, “Click” and give a small treat.  After you do this a few times your dog will realize that “Click” = treat!

Now, try teaching your dog a new trick! 

Tip: keep training sessions fun and short!  Lots of short sessions are better than one long session! 

Give Your Paw

Shake a Paw!This may be the most natural trick for dogs prone to pawing.

1. Find out what usually gets your dog to paw at you and use it to get him to do it.  (You might need to tease your dog with a treat if he is not a chronic “pawer”)  As your dog’s paw is in the air, click and treat. 

2. Repeat this 15- 20 times until your dog is offering his paw readily.

3. Now leave your hand outstretched and wait your dog out; don’t prompt him in any other way and see what happens.  If he lifts his paw at all, click and treat.

4. If after a few seconds he does not lift his paw, go back to helping him for another 10-15 repetitions before you try again.  You want the dog to understand that lifting his paw is what gets the click and treat to happen. 

5. If you are using your outstretched hand as the prompt that gets your dog to give his paw, this can be turned into the cue for the behavior.  Show your hand and click your dog as he is stretching out his paw.

6. Add the verbal cue “Give Your Paw” when your dog is raising his paw to slap your hand on a regular basis. 

Everything Dog Training and Tricks Book7.  Practice in different environments with various distractions, being careful not to overwhelm your dog.  If the behavior falls apart in the new place don’t be afraid to make things easier for him and help him out.

8. Avoid repeating yourself over and over; give one cue, wait for your dog’s response, and click and treat.  

I found this trick in a great book called The Everything Dog Training and Tricks Book by Gerilyn Bielakjiewicz.  Check it out!

If you are interested in clicker-training there are A LOT more resources that you can check out!

Clicker Training Lessons

Clicker Solutions – Frequently Asked Questions

Clicker Training USA – An Online Clicker Training Community

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