Want to raise your furry companion into one well-behaved doggie? You can foster obedience in your pet--and lift his mood at the same time--by using clicker training, which helps hone your pooch's skills through positive reinforcement.
"Clicker training is a training system that involves a reward and makes use of a clicker, which is a plastic box containing a metal strip you press to produce a clicking sound, to express approval of a dog’s actions or behavior," author Lynn Lopez writes in the October 2011 issue of Good Dog Magazine.
Can't wait to get started? Here's a preview of Jojo Isorena's guide to clicker training in Good Dog Magazine. He's a canine behavior and training specialist from BetterDog.
1. FIGURE OUT WHAT TREAT YOUR DOG WILL WORK (DIE) FOR.
Ideally, it should be something small—the size of an M&M or smaller for smaller dogs—so your dog doesn’t get full quickly. It should also be easy to consume (so you can work with lots of quick repetition). Biscuits, for example, won’t make for a good treat because it takes a lot of time to chew them!
2. PAIR THE CLICKER WITH THE TREAT.
Click and simultaneously give a treat to the dog. Do this repeatedly, about 15 to 20 treats. Then, little by little, add a slight delay to the delivery of the treat, so the dog gets used to it. When the dog has learned that a click signals a treat, start clicking and rewarding for simple desired behaviors, like looking at your face or coming to you.
To get more information about clicker training and read the rest of Jojo's instructions, grab a copy of Good Dog Magazine's October 2011 issue, which comes bundled with Good Housekeeping Magazine, out on stands now!
Also in this issue:
- Fear Not! Help Your Dog Overcome His Phobias
- Dr. Dog Answers Your Questions
- Trick or Treat! 16 Cool Canine Halloween Costumes
Want to read more Good Dog excerpts? Check out this article:
(Photo by Elf via Wikimedia Commons)