Most dogs enjoy the opportunity to interact with their people and as long as it is fun, they can actually enjoy the training process. The biggest problem when training a dog is that they don't speak "human" and that is where the clicker comes in. By clicking when the dog performs the wanted behavior, it tells the dog "Yes!! You did what I wanted!" and the sound of the click is the reward for the correct behavior. With repetition, you dog will understand what you want and will have fun trying to get you to click again.
Clicker training is a positive reinforcement type of training. There is no punishment and the goal is to keep it fun and positive for everyone involved. Because your dog is happy to be with you and is having fun, he is never afraid of you.
Before you start a training regimen, be sure the entire family is on board. When training your dog, everyone needs to be involved, even any children in the family. Before you begin, you will need a secure, safe area to work with your dog, a clicker, treats that your dog loves and lots of time and patience. The beauty of the clicker is that even young children can participate with supervision and gain the respect of the family pet.
At first, start slowly with your dog and reward any type of effort that is close to what you are asking for. This provides positive reinforcement and tells your dog "What a great try!" Be sure and use the correct word for the behavior that you are trying to get and stick with that word. For example, many people will interchange down and off and they are two separate commands. Everyone in the family needs to be as consistent as possible so that your dog is not confused. The more time you spend working with your dog, the more quickly he will improve. As he improves, you can ask for more precision before you click.
Clicker training is something that you need to spend some time doing with your dog. Remember, your dog doesn't speak "human" and he may be a little confused at first. Practice as much as you can but don't drill the poor dog to death. This training should be fun and allow you to bond with your dog.
Eventually, your dog will begin to understand what you want. If you are teaching your dog the "down" command, initially you will reward any attempt to lower his body to the ground.
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