Bringing home a new puppy can be very exciting and the start of a new adventure. Teaching a puppy obedience is important for the new family member so they learn how to behave in your home.
It is recommended to begin a puppy’s training as soon as possible. The training phase can be a fun experience, but how do you keep their short attention span on you when you’re trying to teach them appropriate manners?
Supplies to Prepare before Picking Up a Puppy
- House or Crate
- Food & Nutrition
- Dry Food
- Wet Food
- Canned Food
As a new puppy parent, you’ve most likely heard of the Clicker Training Method. There are a lot of myths revolving around the technique, so you may be hesitant about using a clicker when training your puppy.
A clicker, also known as a marker, is simply a learning tool that helps trainers to focus the puppy’s attention back onto you and capture good behavior with a treat. The noise lets them know that a treat is about to be given for the action they performed. So, you can condition positive reinforcement and praise the puppy’s behavior more precisely.
Introduce the clicker to your puppy before you start conditioning their behavior with the
tool. When you start training your puppy, remember to be patient. It can take a while before they learn appropriate actions and tricks.
Be sure to not click closely to their ears, some dogs are very sound sensitive and the noise can startle them. If they become nervous around the instrument because it is too loud, you can easily correct this by purchasing a quieter clicker and maintain a wider distance when training.
Before you start obedience training, introduce the clicker to your puppy first. Have your puppy in front of you, then press the button so the puppy hears the click sound. When they have their attention on you, praise them with a positive word like “Yes!” or “Good!”, then immediately give them a small treat. Do this a few times so the puppy knows when you make the click noise, they will receive a treat.
It is important to capture the puppy’s attention quickly so they understand the positive behavior you want to achieve.
Keep the training sessions short and fun so your puppy does not lose interest in what you are trying to teach them. Dogs do not learn well in long 30–60-minute sessions. Instead, try to make each engagement within 5-10 minutes of learning.
Some believe the clicker myth that your dog will learn to work just for treats. This is false. When using a clicker, it will actually be easier to wean off the treats towards the graduation of obedience training. Since the clicker acts as a sign to your dog that a reward is coming, proceed to deliver the treat a few seconds later. Eventually, you can fade the treads away by rewarding the puppy with verbal praises, or a toy instead.
You will not need to use a clicker for the rest of your dog’s life. Once you feel that your puppy has learned the command you’ve communicated to them, you can start to use the clicker less frequently.
There are many pros when using a clicker. Dogs are very smart and are always learning, the clicker will provide a bridge to create faster training results. If your puppy will be trained by multiple people, the clicker will help keep their attention on the new trainer. Also, it can help to create a strong bond between you and your puppy. A preserved bond will bring lasting trust throughout your relationship together.