Congratulations on your decision to learn about clicker training for your new puppy. The method behind clicker training is one of the most effective learning tools for animals (and is even used on humans), and it works fantastically on dogs of all breeds. It was first developed using rats, then tried successfully on marine mammals, and then used widely on dogs. Dog trainers around the world are using to this method, not only because it’s highly effective, but because it’s extremely humane, enjoyable for both pup and owner/trainer, and is an easy method to master once you understand the principals and begin to practice them. This site introduces you to the lingo and principals you need to know to get started -- and beyond -- with clicker training for puppies and dogs.
Stella was an adorable, out-going puppy. The charming mix of Labrador Retriever and American Staffordshire Terrier gave her dark, expressive eyes and a stocky, muscular frame. She was ten weeks old when her owners brought her home from the shelter. She was so adorable that they cuddled her almost constantly. She was so precious that they just “dealt with it” when she nipped, and made excuses for her when she piddled in the house. She was so cute that they gave her everything she could have ever wanted – except discipline and training. Imagine a puppy that wouldn’t come when she was called, chewed the sofa, did her “business” wherever she pleased, whined incessantly when she wasn’t getting her way, and guarded her toys and food by growling. As Stella got older these behaviors weren’t so cute anymore.
Stella’s owners’ desire to make her “happy” only resulted in her becoming aggressive, fearful, and confused about her place in the pack order of the household. What started out as a sweet handful of puppy quickly became a tornado disguised as an adolescent dog. She became afraid of strangers because she was not socialized to greet people properly, and she displayed separation anxiety behaviors, such as scratching the front door to splinters when her owners were away. Her life wasn’t fun – she became hyper-vigilant and thought it was her job to run the home. This is a big job for a puppy. You see, puppies not only need to be trained, they want to be trained. Had she been trained, her life would have been a lot more comfortable.
With the help of some clear boundaries, consistent socialization, and clicker training, Stella ended up being a very well-trained and well-loved member of the home. She began to respect her owners and learn her role in the family pack. She began to calm down. Stella got her groove back!