How soon can you begin training puppies? As soon as their eyes and ears are open, according to some breeders, who are using the clicker on whole litters of pups, even before they are weaned. Why would you want to do that? Well, the clicker means good things are coming. The puppy that makes that connection can then learn that its own actions sometimes cause those clicks that lead to treats. And the puppy that makes that discovery has a big start on a happy future.
Foods: Hot dogs. Cheerios and other cereals. Freeze-dried liver. Crumbled ground beef. Pounce cat treats. Pedigree Tandem (break one piece into 3 or 4). Alpo Beef Bites (cut one piece into 6 slices). Alpo Beef Burgers. Rollover. Kibbled dog food (Nutro Max). String cheese. Leftover steak pieces. Hard-boiled eggs. Sardines (hey, they were leftover too). Atta Boy treat sticks. Snausages. Trout pellets. Rabbit pellets. Red licorice (found out tonight my wife's been sneaking this one in). Corn Nuts. Wheat Thins. Cheese Whiz. Popcorn. French fries. Ice cubes. Bread crust. Croutons. Rice cakes. Pureed liver. Dried liver. Canned cat food (use a spoon). Broken fortune cookie pieces. Cooked pasta (many forms). Rice balls. I'm sure there are more...
The reward after the click doesn't have to be food; it can be funâ€¦ with a toy, instead! A fast game of tug-o-war is a powerful reward.
Enter your dog's mind—or that of any other clicker trained animal—in the most exciting, enlightening new game for trainers and handlers ever devised. "You don't say!" The Word-Free Teaching and Training Game reveals the art and power of clicker training, and how it feels to be our dogs, in a clever table-top game played between two people.
The Training Game is a great way to sharpen your shaping skills and have fun at the same time. It allows you to see and experience other trainers' decision points, and to be aware of what you might have done instead. It also allows trainers to make mistakes, and learn from them, without confusing some poor animal or unsuspecting person! Maybe most valuable of all, it allows you to see the training process from the viewpoint of the trainee, which is often a highly illuminating experience. The training game also helps us get rid of the superstitious behavior of putting the blame for problems on the person or animal we are working with, instead of on the training contingencies, where it belongs.