Your first session instruction:
Giving information to your dog (immediate feedback to his actions) is the most important part of communication, when training your dog
The best we can do to convey information, is to create a magnificent marker!
A marker is a signal that solely identifies an action the dog performed. Since we know that immediate reinforcement (of any kind) is the most effective way to teach the dog, we are able to be very precise to identify an action we want to reinforce.
To create a marker, you need to make a choice of what it should be. For example, a clicker, a whistle, a “Yes”, a finger snap….etc
Once you choose the kind of marker you like, you should condition the marker as such, by simply displaying it, and providing the best reinforcer (food, toy, etc) AFTER A SMALL PAUSE.
As the marker always precedes the appearance of the reinforcer, the marker will gain an announcing effect. Thus at the time the marker is displayed, the moment of successful behavior can be very precisely identified.
To make it very clear, the marker is a signal for “hey dog, this is exactly what you did right- and know that we looked at this picture I just took for you- I will pay you”…..read the complete instructions
Your second session instruction:
After testing the dog’s reaction to the click by clicking and observing him twitching in your direction looking for the reinforcer, we can now start shaping specific behaviors.
Remember that we first needed to condition the clicker properly by marking each change of behavior in order to avoid the click getting connected with a particular behavior!
Since he is now operating in his environment to find out how to trigger the click and receive the treat, we can start shaping or capturing behaviors that we want him to do.
This is still happening without speaking. We have to have a behavior first, before we attach a cue to it.
Shaping or capturing going to a place
The first behavior we teach is going onto an object, a clearly defined space. Use an elevated object or one with a border/ very defined edge.
Choose a particular object that you will be using, before you start generalizing multiple objects, so the dog can easily recognize it.
For example the blue little plastic kids’ swimming pool (it has an edge) or a pallet (it is 4 inches elevated). Those suggested objects make it very clear in the beginning stages of learning, where to be and where not to be in order to trigger the click. Compared to a flat matt or towel.
It helps to trigger the dog’s interest in the beginning if you put the object down as he is there and you are READY to start the session, meaning “finger on the clicker.
As soon as you put it down and he orients himself to the object, click and treat….. read complete instructions
Your third session instruction:
Take the sit position “sit”
This session is about training a sit- not staying in a sit position.
Realize that taking the sit position requires the lowering of the rear end.
Staying in a sit position is the behavior of holding still- no movement!
Thus going into a sit versus holding this position are two different behaviors!
Usually the sit is an easy behavior to create as it is the most natural. Especially in sight of the reward a dog will sit in order to get it. He has been sitting at an early age when nursing and the behavior has resulted in getting milk!
For that matter a number of owners that have tried to clicker train their dogs BEFORE they considered our services have just been clicking and treating for sitting behavior from the beginning. It was reinforcing for them as it was offered by the dog quite often. This procedure unfortunately led to the dog associating the click with a cue for sitting. Now they are at a dead end of operating conditioning with the clicker. All the dog is thinking of is sitting! He is not trying to make the click occur as he has triggered it so many times when he sat.
Take the treat in your hand but do not lure with the treat into a sit. Just wait until you observe a small increment of the behavior. Maybe a rear food movement? Maybe a complete sit?
Do not say anything…..read complete instructions
Your fourth session instruction:
The down position can sometimes be a little more challenging to shape or create as it is not a normal position for the dog to take willingly.
Versus the sit position which is easier to produce since it is more natural. Especially offered in presents of a desired reward. The dog is naturally performing the behavior of laying down when he sleeps or when he is in submissive mode. During the training process neither of those drivers for the behavior is present- hopefully!
The dog should not be sleeping, and submissive modes are to be avoided at all costs.
Training the down behavior is almost the only behavior that we utilize luring for.
Once we do, we make sure that the luring is used as little and short as possible for the reasons explained here.
Different techniques are available to create the behavior:….read complete instructions
Your fifth session instruction:
Come when called (recall) is the most essential behavior to train a dog to do!
Of all behaviors we train, it must be the most reliable, and here is how.
How useful is a recall from a down of sit, a “prepared recall”?
When do you call your dog in normal life?
When he is running away, chasing a rabbit, running towards another dog- person or animal.
We call that “surprised recall”!
At this point he is NOT in an obedience command such as down or sit.
We choose to teach a recall behavior being attached to his name as a cue.
Very similar to clicker conditioning, when we click followed by a treat. It is a side effect that the dog comes to us after he hears the click. He comes to pick up his treat!
Say his name and provide a treat. Regardless where he is and what he is doing. He hears you say his name. It is just meaningless at this point. It is ok if you have to bring the treat to him after you said his name. No behavior is required on his part. You will see that he makes a connection between hearing his name- he will get a treat. Thus, he will come to you to pick it up when he hears it. Keep in mind that all teaching happens in an environment with no distractions!…..read complete instructions
Your sixth session instruction:
It is of great necessity to crate train your dog. You will eventually have to put him in a crate as you can not supervise him 24/7. The crate is the only way to keep him and your furniture safe!
See it as if you are creating a comfortable house or a den for him versus a prison cell.
The beginning of crate training a dog, the easy way!
No pushing or shuffling, no forcing your dog to enter and stay.
The crate should be a place he likes to be in.
It will be, especially if it is his own idea to get in it.
Prepare the crate without him seeing that you place his meal into the back end of the crate.
Bring him in the room and turn him loose.
Once he smells the food, he will search for it and find it when he enters the crate.
No action required on your part!…..read complete instructions