You can teach your puppy some useful and desirable behaviors (not only obedience commands) by using the clicker. Clicker training games are probably the easiest and fastest way to teach your puppy nice tricks, funny commands and polite manners.
Of course you have to familiarize your puppy with the clicker first. To do this you have to load or recharge the clicker. This way the clicker will be quickly associated with a treat in the puppy’s head. Clicker trainers know that this does not take very long. Some puppies can do this with just a few clicks.
It may take a little longer for a puppy to figure out that his behavior can trigger the click, but the focus comes immediately. Trainers who have been working with a clicker for some time can take a new puppy who has never seen the trainer before and keep him focused for 10 minutes.
Clicker Training Game: “Peaceful greetings”
Here is one of my personal favorites of click trainers from all over the world. It makes ‘no jumping’ a fun and rewarding lesson. I call it Peaceful Greetings:
Oh, those jumping, happy puppies! They see you, rush to your side and jump over you ñ how adorable – but what a pity to suppress this happy enthusiasm in a puppy who just wants to say hello! We suggest instead that you teach your puppy not to jump on visitors by rewarding the puppy for peacefully saying hello. This exercise is easiest to teach with a partner or in a group:
- Put the leash on the puppy. Have one person hold the leash and clicker while you step back from the puppy and hold treats.
- Approach the puppy. If he jumps up, do not make eye contact and do not say anything. Just go back and wait a few seconds. Try again. Keep walking towards the puppy and step back when he jumps up.
- At some point, the puppy will realize that he needs to try something else if he wants you to move towards him. If you step forward and the puppy keeps all four paws on the ground, the person holding the leash will click and the person approaching will immediately give a treat and praise.
- Practice this until the puppy consistently stops jumping. Then try it off the lead.
- This is best done in groups with children. Each person calls the puppy to them, but then ignores the puppy when he jumps, clicks and gives a treat when he stands or sits in anticipation of a reward. Puppies usually learn the difference in just one or two training sessions.
Not sure if clicker training is the right thing for you? Check out our dog training quiz: >>Click here.