Dog Clicker Training Information
Dog clicker training is undoubtedly one of the most reliable methods of training a new pet dog. Beyond obedience, the clicker is an effective tool for pre-conditioning and reinforcing positive behavior in your dog.
Clicker training derives from the precepts of behavioral psychology which marks and rewards desirable behavior. It’s an excellent method in animal training as the distinct clicking sound serves as a communication tool – it tells your dog exactly when you like what he’s doing. As opposed to the use of punishment, dog clicker training’s click-and-reward principle works to encourage positive behavior by rewarding it right away. When you start to clicker-train your dog, remember to:
1. Practice and time your clicks before working with your dog. It is important that you learn to click at the precise moment your dog heeds your command. When your click is ahead or behind the precise moment of obedience, your dog’s association of the sound with the behavior could be confused.
2. Click when he’s doing it. Clicking should be done while your dog is doing as commanded, not before or after. This is important in order to communicate exactly what the treat – that follows the click – is for. Timing the clicks is very important.
3. Be consistent with the number of clicks. Click only once to mark the behavior. Don’t overdo it. If you like what your dog is doing so much you want to let him know you’re delighted, give him more treats but stick to one click. Consistency is as important as timing.
4. Less is always more. Keep your training sessions no more than five minutes at a time. You can do several five-minute clicker training sessions in a day. This is more productive than hour-long daily sessions as the repetitiveness of routines bore intelligent dogs.
5. Clicking for small steps is an encouragement. When you’re ordering your dog to sit, click as he starts to bend to the position. When you want him to respond to, “Come!” click as he takes a few steps toward you. When you’re dog learns to associate the sound with your approval, he’ll know when he’s on the right track.
6. Don’t get mad holding a clicker. When you’re mad, you’re likely to scold or jerk your dog’s leash. Be sure not to use or have your dog see/hear clicking. Dogs can sense your mood. If you confuse the clicker with scolding or correction, he’ll lose confidence in the clicker.
7. By all means, carry the clicker in your pocket. Click for voluntary or good behavior. When your dog cocks his head to one side (imitating the human pose for listening), click. When it sits still when a guest arrives instead of barking incessantly, click. Marking good behavior with a click as it happens is excellent reinforcement and won’t confuse your dog.
Training with a Clicker
Dog clicker training is a wonderful experience for both owner and pet. As your dog learns to understand you, you also grow toward understanding your dog. Often, the clicker is useful in gauging your dog’s abilities and reaching their potential by constantly striving for more. If you find yourself not progressing on a certain behavior, it’s likely that your clicks are ill-timed.
Puppy Potty Training 101
Puppy Potty Training 101
By: Cyd Oldham, Dog Behaviorist
Before you bring a puppy home, plan to take one or two weeks off of work, so you have uninterrupted time to focus on the puppy — and, in particular puppy potty training. Otherwise, it will take much longer to housebreak your pup.
Puppies learn new skills at different rates. It will take time for your puppy to develop a firm understanding of where it’s acceptable to potty and where it is not. It will take time for your pup to consistently understand that all of the house is the den, an area not to be soiled.
There are basically two methods to choose from when potty training your puppy. Once you have chosen a method – stick to it so you don’t confuse your puppy.
Potty Pad Method:
Prepare a “Safe Room” for your puppy (many people use a laundry room or bathroom for this purpose) by covering the entire floor with potty pads except for the place where puppy’s bed or crate is placed. Puppies will not soil their bed, so any place else puppy chooses to potty will be on a pad. After several days remove one pad from the room. The puppy will continue to use the potty pads to do his business. Every day or two remove another pad until there is only one left. This is a good method for people who must be gone from home for several hours, as puppy can learn to use the potty pad and finally be allowed out of the safe room with continued access to the room and his potty pad.
Outside Only Method:
You must spend time with your puppy for this to work. Remember that dogs “poop” after they eat – so if you free feed your puppy (leave food down all day long) you will never know when he needs to go. Feeding puppy 3 times a day is best. As soon as he is finished eating, take puppy outside to the place you would like him to go potty and tell him “Go Potty,” then wait for him. When he goes, praise him heavily then take him back inside. Puppies “pee” much more often – sometimes as often as every 30 minutes to an hour. You will need to take your puppy outside to that same spot and tell him “Go Potty” very often, giving him a couple of minutes to go. If he does, praise him heavily before returning to the house. If he does not, take him back inside, but don’t wait the full time before taking him back outside again. You might try taking him out again after 10-15 minutes. Also, some puppies sniff around to find a “spot” before they potty in the house, some don’t. Keep a close eye on your pup – if he has lost interest in what he was playing with and seems to be wandering aimlessly – He Needs to Potty.
A very important tip – dogs never understand punishment after the fact. When an accident happens, just chalk it up to your not watching puppy closely enough, clean it up, and move on. “Rubbing his nose in it” accomplishes nothing except to make puppy afraid of you.
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Puppy Training Guide – Some of the Best Puppy Training Tips
Having a dog is like have a best friend. If you trained him in the right way that is. Here’s a few tips if you encounter puppy training problems.
1) You should begin to train the puppy early between the age of eight and twelve weeks. At this age they are more receptive to training. The older the dog gets the harder it will become. This is because they have already learned a great deal of things. It is possible to train older dogs too, but its much harder and needs more work, so the sooner you start the training, the better.
2) You should train your dog in a quiet area. The puppy is easily distracted by everything around. So if you have a quiet spot at home or outside, train him/her there.
3) Be patient! A puppy is just that, a puppy, not a child. They do not really understand your words (At leas not in the beginning) so it is very important not to give up. He will learn sooner or later.
4) You should never yell at the dog, it really doesn’t help you in any way. The puppy will just look at you with his big eyes wondering what you are yelling about. Using firm voice is one thing, but yelling is not ok.
5) The best words you should make your puppy used to are such as sit, fetch, stay, down e.tc (You should make sure that all members of your family uses the same words or you will confuse your little pup)
6) You should also get your puppy a toy box, and that box should be filled up with some nice items your dog may chew on. Else he will chew on everything that he isn’t allowed too, I speak of experience. Not only are the items good for learning purposes, they also help your dog to have a good teeth, and at younger age it also helps to relax the tension in the teeth, allowing the puppy to be more relaxed. If you see that your dog is starting to chew on something that is not allowed, pick him up and place him near the toy box and start playing with the items. Soon the dog learns not to chew on things he is not supposed to, IF you stay focused and consistent.
7) If your puppy has an accident in the home what should you do? Well first you should place him in a secure area, like a crate (crate training is by the way one of the best training the is for your dog) and remove the accident. Its important that you get rid of all the smell or there is a great risk the puppy does it again, because the area smells like toilet. Remember dog has a greater sense of smell than we humans do, so ordinary soap and water will not do the trick. If you ask in the local pet shop, they will help you find the right product for you. And remember, never ever punish your dog for the accident! If you see the dog in action, pick him up and take him for a walk.
Yelling and behaving badly afterward (and 1 minute is long time afterward) the dog will not understand what you mean. And some people rub the dogs nose into “the accident” that is just cruelty to the puppy, and it might even make him ashamed to do his needs, even outside. So if you do this to your dog, stop it, right now.
As a final word, if your puppy chews on things he is not allowed, or you find an accident in your home, remember that this can never be the dogs fault. To avoid puppy training problems stay focused on your puppy at all time!
Last Minute Information on Westie Training
Westies will really go exploring if they can help it, since their disposition and terrier temperament include the irresistible urge to check and investigate. For them, new ventures mean more learning. One of the things he will understand very soon is that you are a good provider of what he needs. Soon, he will see that aside from material needs, he can also get from you the decision to know what is right and wrong to do. Earning the dog’s trust is important in westie training.
At first, you get the impression that the dog’s learning is progressing into the wrong directions. But prepare to implement training as a never-ending process. For example, you will need a response to the fact that your westie is quick to develop ways to catch your attention and get you to pass on to him a treat. Thus, your training goals need to include how to veer your dog’s natural instincts into its socially acceptable version, while giving the dog a proper lifestyle.
Here are some tips in order to take to heart westie training:
1. Every dog needs to be given the chance to have training, and it can start at eight weeks of age. Time spent on inculcating basic manners and obedience skills to your westie need to be fun and will create a special loving bond between dog and trainer.
2. Look for a reliable dog trainer, school, or private obedience teacher. Good sources of a contact can be the dog’s vet, groomer, or breeder. Once you have chosen, ask if it is possible to sit in a class session.
3. No dog training can consist of force and abuse. The best methods of training dogs rely on the use of reinforcements and corrections. We ourselves are aware that the behavior that is rewarded will be repeated by the dog.
4. When unacceptable behavior happens, correct the westie verbally right there and then. On the other hand, the best reinforcer is a treat. Praise, attention and play are also important.
5. Exercise fairness and compassion on your westie. Never hit or yell in correcting.
6. Shower praise on the dog when he does what you want.
7. In the long run, you will need to be consistent and confident. And not only that; the complete family needs to agree and stick to what the major family member teaches.
8. There needs to be a fair amount of time each day to attention, affection, training and play. A quarter of an hour of training a few times a week will have you and your westie keen on learning.
9. Among the many training commands out there, your westie will need the following in particular: sit, stay, heel, down and come. A well-behaved dog is a delight to know.
10. Westie training eats up time and wears away our daily focus, but yours for the keeping is a westie that is a pleasure to live with.
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Dog Training Videos – A Great Way to Learn How to Obedience Train Your Dog
Do you have a new puppy or dog that you want to make sure is well behaved and obedient? I’d like to recommend that you get started the right away by following one of the excellent on-line video dog obedience training courses. If you like to learn best from watching and listening to an expert teach you, rather than trying to learn something new from a book, you will really benefit from getting yourself a copy of an on-line video program.
By starting to train your dog with the expert advice you can get through a great dog obedience training program, you will be getting started the right way-that way you can avoid the mistakes nearly everyone makes, which make it much more difficult to train their dogs themselves. Avoiding the mistakes of bad training techniques is almost as important as teaching the exercises themselves as far as getting quick and long lasting results. By watching an expert training a dog on a good dog training video you can really get a good feel for the training, and how you should go about training your dog.
By listening to the expert’s voice on the video, you will find that the tones of voice you use, as well as your body language, are important tools in your training effort. You will learn that you must use an upbeat and cheerful voice and lots of praise to get the great results that positive conditioning creates. On the other hand, if your dog isn’t behaving properly, you will learn what tones of voice to use to correct your dog-and why raising your voice to yell at your dog is a big mistake that will set back the training. In a book you are told what tone of voice to use, but with a dog training video you can actually hear the right vocal tones.
Dog training videos are great for those of us who seem to learn better by watching and listening than merely by reading or through just a vocal explanation. I know that I learn best when I can actually see how something is done, as well as listen to an explanation, so dog training videos really appeal to me.
I like to watch the dog videos on the Internet for good ideas and also for the entertainment. If you have watched some of these you can see everyone seems to have their own way of going about it. I have noticed that all the best trained pups and dogs were trained with positive training techniques.
However, I wouldn’t recommend trying to learn everything you need to know about obedience training and raising your dog from watching homemade Internet dog training videos. Anyone who wants to learn to train their dog using dog training videos as a guide really needs a complete program of step by step dog training videos that take you on a logical course from puppyhood basic training steps, and then through all the more advanced tricks as the puppy matures enough to absorb further training.
- Michael Ellis on Training Small Dogs to Heel