I'd like some tips on clicker training my new dog.
November 26, 2008 8:13 AM Subscribe
I recently adopted a 2 yr. old Shih Tzu from the pound. He's been to the vet and has a clean bill of health. He's settled very well into things here and I'd like to start working on training him. After reading about several different methods I find clicker training the most interesting but I've never done it before. Anyone have any suggestions or tips?
My new dog Ernie is a very smart, very sweet young Shih Tzu. He's outgoing without being hyper or over-excitable. He is inquisitive, curious, gentle and quiet. He's not scared or timid nor is he aggressive in any way toward other animals or people. But he doesn't appear to have been trained. He doesn't even know how to sit at this point. I want to start training him on the basics and I think clicker training looks like a good way to go about things.
Has anyone ever used clicker training? Are there any tips you might have for making the experience a fun and effective one? Anything you wish someone had told you about clicker training before you started that you learned along the way? Do I need to "charge" the clicker (teach the dog to associate it with rewards) before starting to shape behavior? I've read conflicting opinions on whether this is necessary. Any good books I should look out for? Can I do this completely on my own or should I also get us into a class together?
Despite having had dogs for most of my life I've never taken part in any formal training program. My last dog was sort of a little miracle and just seemed to magically learn what I wanted her to do so she spoiled me a little, I suppose. Still, training looks like a lot of fun for both me and Ernie and I'm eager to get started. Thanks in advance for any suggestions!