Ten Great Reasons To Start Clicker Training Your Labrador
1) You have a Labradoodle or any other breed of dog that needs some extra love and attention.
If your dog is not getting enough exercise, socialization, or just plain care then it will become bored very quickly. A well trained dog does not need much time to get used to something new. When you are ready to start training your dog, you can do so at home with no expensive equipment needed!
2) You want to give your dog a second chance.
If you had given up on him when he was young, why would you continue to keep him from enjoying life?
Some dogs never learn. They are stubborn and they refuse to change their ways. With proper training, these dogs can be taught to enjoy all the things in life that most humans take for granted. Clickers are one of those things which many people overlook because they think it takes too long or is too complicated. But once you have learned how to properly use a clicker, you will realize that it is really quite simple.
3) You want to teach your dog how to behave around strangers.
Many times people treat dogs like they are children, but if you don’t train them right, they can grow up into destructive adults who cause damage wherever they go. Dogs must learn that people aren’t always nice and friendly. People often make mistakes and sometimes even act inappropriately towards others.
When your dog is trained to behave properly around others, he will not growl or bark at them.
4) You would like to stop being embarrassed by your dog.
Your dog may be a sweetheart at home, but take him out in public and let him get nervous or excited and he is sure to do something embarrassing. When he rolls on the ground and starts slobbering all over the place or worse, it can make you look bad in front of other people. A well trained dog will know how to act properly in social situations.
With a clicker, you can teach your dog that these embarrassing things will no longer be tolerated.
5) You want your dog to have something to do while you are at work all day.
A lot of dogs get bored and decide to tear up your house looking for something to do. They get into the trash, eat your shoes, or even worse. With proper training, your dog can spend all day looking for fun things to do without causing any damage.
He can entertain himself while you are at work and you won’t have to worry about coming home to a destroyed house.
6) You want to have an obedient pet.
Dogs are called man’s best friend for a reason. They are there for you when you need a companion to talk to or even just someone to listen. But a lot of dogs don’t understand English, so you need to teach them how you want them to behave.
With proper training, your dog will be an obedient companion that you can take anywhere without worrying what trouble he will get into.
7) You want to have a happy dog.
A dog can’t express his feelings, which means you need to teach him how to behave in a way that makes YOU happy. If you often get angry with him, he will start to behave in a way that makes you angry on purpose. When you teach your dog how to behave properly, he will learn how to make you happy.
You will notice he is a lot happier when he knows what you want from him.
8) You are bored and don’t know what to do.
That’s why you are reading this book in the first place! Training your dog will help you learn how to create a fun and happy life together. You will have so much fun training your dog, you might even forget that this whole thing was your idea in the first place!
So now that we have all the reasons why you should train your dog, let’s get into the nitty-gritty and talk about the proper way to do it. First and foremost, you and your dog are a team. While you are ultimately in charge of what happens, you need to teach your dog that HE is in charge of himself.
You are going to be setting rules for him and he needs to follow them if he wants affection from you.
It’s also important to remember that dogs are visual creatures. This means that it is best to use visual aids whenever possible. Also, consistency is very important.
You cannot teach your dog one thing one day and then change the rules the next. Your dog will not understand and it will cause a great deal of confusion for him.
So let’s get started on teaching your dog how to behave! The first thing we will start with is your very own personalized ‘commands’ for your dog.
First Thing’s First: Your Own Commands
The first thing you are going to need is a pack leader. That means someone who is always going to take care of you and be there for you when you need them. In the canine world, the leader of the pack is called the Alpha.
The alphas job is to take care of the rest of the pack. He hunts for them, leads them to their destination and protects them from danger. You need to become an alpha if you want your dog to behave properly.
So in order to do that, you have to think like an alpha. Alphas are confident and strong. They don’t take crap from anyone else, but they are also fair leaders.
You need to display these traits if you want your dog to listen to you.
Alphas are also very protective of their pack. They are very aware of everything that is going on with their pack members. If a lower member of the pack acts out of line, the alpha takes care of it.
These are all traits you should aim to emulate. So let’s get started…
How To Be A Good Leader
Leadership is something that comes naturally to some, but if you find yourself struggling with these concepts, do not worry. It is never too late to change your ways.
Have you ever seen a group of dogs walking down the street together?
You probably didn’t know that they were probably all from the same family. Dogs are known as ‘packs’ for a reason: They like to be around others that are just like them. They feel more comfortable and safe that way. Your dog is no different. This is why it is important that you become a good leader for your dog. He will look up to you and copy your behavior. If you want to teach your dog to behave in a certain way, you have to behave in that way FIRST.
So how do you become a good leader?
Let’s start with how an alpha acts towards others:
1) They are confident and strong.
Are you confident and strong? Do you walk tall and have a big stride?
An alpha is confident in themselves. They are sure of what they are doing and where they are going.
Are you the same way?
If you are not, this is something you need to work on before you can become an alpha to your dog.
“But Zee, I’m not a leader!” If you are saying this, then you are simply just denying reality. Everyone is a leader of themselves; someone who makes decisions for themselves and lives their life the way they want.
If you are living by yourself, you are the leader of your own life. If you have siblings then you are still a leader because your parents are probably not home as much as you are. If you have friends or a boyfriend/girlfriend then you are a leader of a group. Becoming a leader is something that we ALL have to do at some point in our lives. Becoming a leader of your dog is just another step in your life.
You are already doing it unconsciously, so why not do it on purpose?
And how do you do that?
You display the traits of an alpha.
What are those?
I’m glad you asked. Let’s get into that…
2) They are confident.
Confident people don’t worry too much about things. They believe in themselves and their abilities to get the job done.
Sources & references used in this article:
- Robotic clicker training (F Kaplan, PY Oudeyer, E Kubinyi, A Miklósi – Robotics and Autonomous …, 2002 – Elsevier)
- Reaching the animal mind: clicker training and what it teaches us about all animals (K Pryor – 2009 – books.google.com)
- The thinking dog: Crossover to clicker training (GT Fisher – 2009 – books.google.com)
- Should old dog trainers learn new tricks? The efficiency of the Do as I do method and shaping/clicker training method to train dogs (C Fugazza, Á Miklósi – Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 2014 – Elsevier)
- The righteous mind: Why good people are divided by politics and religion (J Haidt – 2012 – books.google.com)
- Ten arguments for deleting your social media accounts right now (J Lanier – 2018 – books.google.com)
- The Labrador Handbook: The definitive guide to training and caring for your Labrador (P Mattinson – 2015 – books.google.com)
- How Long Does A Dog Stay In Heat: Your Expert Guide And FAQ (P Mattinson – thelabradorsite.com)
- The use of a behaviour test for the selection of dogs for service and breeding, I: Method of testing and evaluating test results in the adult dog, demands on different … (E Wilsson, PE Sundgren – Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 1997 – Elsevier)