Most dog owners consider clicker training as a highly effective means of teaching a young pup to obey commands. While this is definitely true, many of them don’t realize that clicker training is also an opportunity for them to start establishing a happy relationship with their puppy.
According to Kevin Alexander, a well-known expert in clicker training from Kansas City, it is very easy for young dogs to grasp the idea that each click means they did something good.
To illustrate his point, Alexander cites the time when he managed to train a whole group of young Golden Retrievers, all of which were barely 3 weeks old, to obediently lift their paws upon hearing a command. He did this within a few minutes and with the use of a clicker. Evidently, the dogs quickly figured out that if they follow the command, they get a click and a treat, which is certainly a good thing.
Although most dog owners use clicker training to teach dogs basic commands, it can also be used to teach multi-step moves for good behavior. In fact, Alexander has used the clicker method to successfully teach dogs a various number of complicated tricks.
For instance, the simple act of lifting a paw can be the foundation for very complex tricks like ringing a bell if the dog needs something or even flushing the toilet after doing his business in the bathroom.
These tricks may sound impossible but with the help of a clicker, your dog can actually learn them quite easily. Once your puppy realizes the connection between the commands and the clicks, they will be quite eager to learn new things both to please you and to expand their small world at the same time.
There are some breeds of dogs that are very easy to train even without the use of a clicker. But for other breeds, such as terriers and hounds, investing in a clicker is really worthwhile if you want your dog to successfully learn many different kinds of commands.
Ideally, clicker training should be started as early as two or three weeks into a dog’s life. The earlier you start, the easier it is to train the dog. Of course, some dogs will be more stubborn than others but with the use of a clicker, you can easily train even the most uncooperative dogs in no time at all.