Happy New Years! This week's blog post will be on how to "charge" the clicker. You may be asking what is a clicker. A clicker is a dog training tool that lets out a clicking sound when you push it. Why would you want to use a clicker? Clicker's are consistent they always let out the same sound and they are fast to use, which are two very important parts of dog training timing and consistency. The clicker is used to mark positive behaviors, or behaviors that you want to train. The first step to properly use the clicker is to "charge" it. What is "charging." This is what you do to make the clicker an effective tool for training. The first step in "charging" the clicker is to click and follow it with a treat. You are going to do the entire first session of this. The first half of the second session you want to continue with the click and treat. Half way through the session begin to ask the dog a basic command that the dog knows well. As soon as the dog does the command click and treat. Do this for the rest of the session. The third session go ahead and start with click and treat, then add in the basic command click and treat. Half way through the session add in the final step of "charging" the clicker, which is teaching the dog a simple new behavior. For this stage I like to teach the dog to back off a treat that is in your hand. To teach this you hold a treat tightly in your hand, the dog will probably go after, do not allow the dog to get the treat. As soon as the dog backs away from the treat click and treat the dog. Now the clicker is "charged." To recap this weeks blog a clicker is a training tool that is used to enhance timing and consistency. The clicker must be "charged" properly in three sessions to be used effectively.