Powering up the clicker

What in the world does that mean?

This is the first step of clicker training, and what we try to introduce each puppy to before they head home.  It can be started at four to five weeks of age, depending on the developmental stage that each puppy is at.

To start, all I do is have an easy to eat, tasty treat and a training clicker. I do this in a small bathroom so the puppy doesn’t have a lot of distractions. I hold the clicker in one hand and the treat in the other. Then we just click-treat, click-treat, click-treat. That’s it! We are not doing any training, we are just getting the puppy’s brain to know that when it hears the click, a yummy treat will follow. It actually will produce a reaction in the brain. Remember Pavlov’s dog that we all learned about in high school science class? When the bell would ring,  the dog would salivate. It’s kind of the same idea.

Now, we are keeping these sessions short, only about two minutes tops. Then it’s really important to let the puppy’s brain rest and process what he or she just learned.

Later we will play little games with the puppy and click/reward for different behaviors. So this is just the start of some fun training that you can continue at home. There are a couple of books listed on the “Training” page of the website that are helpful if you’d like to learn more and go further with your puppy training.

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