The Secret to Just About Everything . . . .

. . . . .well, at least the secret to teaching most of the behaviors Rocket needs to know, that is.  And the secret is . . . . .

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A clicker!

I’ve come up with a top 10 list for why I like clicker training:

10.   You don’t wear your voice out yelling at your dog.

9.     A clicker trained dog can theoretically be taught to do anything it is physically capable of doing, without even touching him/her.

8.    A clicker trained dog learns to be a problem solver and to think for himself.

7.     A clicker trained dog works because he wants to, not because he is forced to.

6.    A clicker trained dog learns new behaviors more rapidly than with traditional training methods.

5.     Clicker training is a gentle way to train, won’t psychologically harm a dog, and because of this it can be used with very young puppies.

4.      Clicker training is based on solid scientific research into how animals learn.

3.      Clicker training creates a happy working dog.

2.      Dogs think clicker training is fun.

1.      Clicker training is fun for trainers!

To begin training Rocket, the clicker was first “charged up.”  For several days before every meal, I clicked the clicker and then immediately gave Rocket a piece of his food, several times in a row.  By about the third day, I could see he was beginning to understand that whenever he heard the sound of the clicker, he was going to get something good.  It was as though a light bulb went on in his brain that I could literally see happening, and now that he had made this connection, he began to try to figure out what he could do to make that clicker click again so he could get a piece of his kibble.  Since Rocket is extremely motivated by food, I now have a powerful tool I can use to communicate with him, and I can use this to shape most of the behaviors he needs to learn.

Rocket already loves the clicker and is proving to be a very quick learner.   I am having a blast working with him, and  I hope I can keep up with him!

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