I'm just beginning to clicker train my 3 month old pup. She's already got "come", "sit" and "down", well, down! LOL We're working on "stay". I'm using the clicker for housebreaking, and so far, it's working fair to well. Anyone out there suggest any other necessary commands? ~DD
DOGGYDADDY- How did you clicker train yours? Pardon my ignorance but i have never used that to train. But it sounds like you're having great luck with it so maybe i should try?! My pups are about 2 months old. Was it difficult to train yours? What breed do you have? Mine are boxer babies and we are trying to crate/house train them with moderate success however we haven't gotten the "sit", "stay", "come" down yet but we do have "no" pretty good. (i think more so it's the tone of my voice!) Can you give me some tips??
I started by, what they call, "charging the clicker". It's just getting your pup used to the fact that when s/he hears the sound of the clicker, they get a treat. I did it for about half an hour (using what would have been her lunch - don't need a fat puppy!) After that, I would carry the clicker with me everytime the puppy was with me (around the apartment, on walks, etc...) then, when I was "offered" a behavior I wanted (ie/ she sat all by herself) I clicked and then rewarded. After a while, she understood that by sitting, she got clicked and got a treat. Then I started to add the verbal command. Now she does it whenever I ask (it's been about 3 weeks). Clickers are only about $3-$6 depending on where you buy them. So it's not that expensive of a tool to give a try. I found this site really helpful: http://www.clickersolutions.com/index.html
It sounds like you're doing a great job with the clicker. I suggest you also teach her to maintain eye contact with you. You can wait for her to offer eye contact and then c/t, or you can hold food in your fist, off to the side of your body. At first, she'll sniff it, maybe nudge it, paw at it, maybe even bark at it. But, at some point, she'll look at you to find out what your problem is, and as soon as she does, c/t. Once she gets pretty good at holding eye contact for a little while, you can name the behavior. Lots of people use "watch." If you teach her to stay focused on you, you'll be able to teach her all kinds of cool stuff.
I clicker train my dogs, too. It's so much more fun than regular training.
I actually use the clicker to train my horses as well. We taught one of our beagles "bring" w/it so whenever we point to an item (slipper, his food dish, etc.) and say "bring" he retrieves it for us. (This was born out of neccesity as before he would always steal stuff and make us chase him around the table before he destroyed it.) I would add one more dimension to your training - add hand signals to accompany the command. This is helpful as your dog ages and perhaps his hearing diminishes, he can still obey commands with just a hand signal. One hand signal saved the life of my German Shep... I taught her down with the typical finger pointing down as a command to lie down, but I also taught her to lie down whenever I held my right hand straight up in the air (like raising your hand at school). The idea being that she could see and obey my command at a distance. She got lost in a city once and when she finally saw me she began to run full tilt toward me, but it meant she would have run into a busy street. In a panic I gave the down command with the raised arm (since she'd never have been able to hear me from that distance)and she immediately laid down and I was able to (safely) run to her and leash her. I was never so scared (or thankful) about her training as I was on that day.