Charging the Clicker or Marker “Yes”
Using a clicker a marker word such as “Yes” can speed up the training process by marking the correct behavior in a timely manner and can help teach and reinforce positive behaviors. Start by having the clicker in one hand and and plenty of tasty high value treats ready. To start press the clicker and give him a treat or say “Yes” in a upbeat tone. Repeat this about 10 - 20 times each session. You can also click, back up and reward with food as well like we discussed.
Remember to praise in a higher tone of voice, correct (No, Ehh Ehh) is a lower tone of voice. Your voice can be an amazing training tool.
Timing is essential in training you have about 1.3 - 1.5 seconds to reward the behavior. Rewarding positive behaviors the moment it is happening (Take a photo with the clicker). This is where reward markers come in the form of a verbal cue of “Yes” or a Click marker followed by a treat. The Clicker is your bridge to give you more time to get the treat.
Use play, treats and toys when training Belle Keep training sessions fun and upbeat always end on a good note. If you do not feel like training or in a bad mood, tired or sick, do not train wait until you are feeling better. If you are loosing patience with Belle take a break and give him a time out in him crate so you can relax. Give him something to play with while they are in there.
Training is all about consistency. Training needs to take place in all different environments so Belle knows the rules apply everywhere, not just at home. The more you train the better your relationship will be. A good rule is to work Belle for about an hour a day. Break up sessions into 5-15 minutes sessions. A rule is a rule. Create boundaries and stick to him . Be a fair, consistent leader so Belle knows what to expect from you.
Reward markers (Taking the picture)
Mark the exact moment we like a behavior with verbal marker "Yes" or a Clicker and praise. Then reward Belle with a treat. Yes or a Click is always followed by a treat. Clickers are very precise and speed up the training process. They can be used in the beginning stages of training a new behavior and then weaned off or replaced later with the word Yes. You can always reintroduce the clicker later again if you decide to teach a new trick. Think of the clicker like taking a photo of the the exact moment the behavior is achieved. (Ex: Butt touches the floor in a Sit)
When using treats use very small pieces. Soft treats work best so they can quickly swallow himand move on rather than crunching on a biscuit and then going from crumbs on the floor and getting distracted.Take into account how much you are feeding and if necessary decrease a small amount of Belle ’s meals.
Having fun is also a very important part of training too. Through training we build a better relationship with our dogs, setting up clear rules and boundaries and playing with Belle during training break up your sessions in to a few minutes and then play with Belle for a few minutes. Have Belle try a game of fetch. You should initiate and end the game as well. If she gets overly excited, stop the game and ignore her
Use Life’s opportunity to Train
Finding time to train can be challenging at times. Use life’s natural moments to train such as on walks you can add Heel and a structured walking, Look/attention. Sit at all thresholds, corners and when you stop. On a long stop add a Belle. At home, practice Place while you are watching TV, on the computer or reading a book, even while eating or preparing meals. When you know someone is coming over.
Ok, Free or Break
Every Cue/Command has a beginning and and end, so instead of repeating “ Stay" we start with the Cue such as Sit/Down Willa/Place and end with a release cue such as OK, Free or Break. Remember to always release with one of these words, so Willa knows exactly when to break a command. The release is the reward. Always go up to himto release as to not to build anticipation.