Puppy

Beginning Clicker Training

By February 21, 2014 No Comments

Zara graduated from Puppy Kindergarten a few weeks ago and we’ve signed her up for the next training level at Woofs: Puppy Basic. This class is more obedience-oriented uses a method called Tranquil Training that focuses on encouraging positive behaviors.

Chris and I went to the first class on Tuesday night without Zara. The instructors had asked us to leave the dogs at home so they could provide a good introduction to the class without any canine distractions.

Everyone went around the room introducing themselves and saying what type of dog they have. We also had to say one thing we liked about our puppy and one thing we didn’t (for Zara: the fact that she is super sweet and cuddly but we don’t like how she eats her poop). I liked the instructors, Carrie and Patti, because they were enthusiastic and seemed very knowledgeable.

One of the tools of Tranquil Training is a clicker, a small handheld device that makes an audible click when you press it. The clicker provides concrete feedback to the dog that they have done what you’ve requested.

After showing us the clicker and demonstrating on one of the instructors’ dogs, they gave each of us in the class a clicker and some human treats (goldfish for us!). We paired up and had to demonstrate clicking each other when we did the desired behavior. The key is to click exactly when the behavior happens, like when the dog’s butt touches the floor in a sit. You also have to make sure to click first and then treat.

Chris and I enjoyed training each other and eating our goldfish. :) When we got home, we started practicing with Zara. In the video below, Chris is asking Zara to sit. At the beginning of the video, I am trying to call Zara to me to get her up so she can sit again.

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