Positive Reinforcement: Transition to Advanced Pet Training

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Once you have mastered clicking, treating and timing through positive reinforcement, you are ready for the next step.

The list is unlimited as to what you can teach your dog.  Obedience is utmost importance, so let’s start here.  Once you have mastered the click for the behavior, such as sit, work on your dog staying in the sit position until you release him from that position.  You will give the command to sit, then wait on the click for a few seconds and work up to minutes.  Then click, signaling to your dog he must keep the behavior until you release him.  You may need to start with just 3 seconds of sitting, then 5, then 30 seconds.  Always use a release such as “OK” or a movement of your hand. Always be consistent.  Your dog won’t always understand your words but will always understand consistency.

So try this:

Ask your dog to sit (or whatever command you want to work on). Keep eye contact so he knows you haven’t forgotten about him.  Start slow. Click after several seconds, treat.  Then as you progress and he are expecting him to sit longer, add the release cue (verbal or hand signal) then click, treat. Always to remember to click when the behavior or trick is complete.  Keep practicing and remember timing is the most important element of this training.  Eventually you can skip a treat with each click, gradually decreasing the amounts of treats as the click becomes the reward.

Use this on the stay, recall  and down command as well. It is best to keep working on different commands and behaviors so he doesn’t get bored and keeps learning.  When you are training with Positive reinforcements and clicker training, your dog is eager and happy to work and interact with you. Remember his is a social animal and will thrive with this type of interaction with you.