Clicker training puppies can start with a puppy that is just a few weeks old. Sometimes people think that they should start training at the age of six months! To me, that’s a ripe old age when it comes to training. The puppy in the video further down this page is very young.
When I get a new puppy, I make the rest of my schedule as light as I possibly can. Since I work at home, I can make it really very light. That way, there is plenty of time to watch the pup like a hawk and scoot it outside when it needs to go potty. Also, I can take naps if I have been up much in the night!
During those first precious and demanding days, we are bonding. The little one is such a social being that it really wants to interact a lot. How often do you have a new puppy? Since several of our dogs have been older rescue dogs, I have only had a few young puppies.
The only puppy I’ve had since discovering clicker training was Sunbeam, a Basenji we got at about 10 or 11 weeks. Smart little thing she was! And a bit on the maniacal side when it came to energy. In looking around for ways to entertain her, I decided to play with the clicker. This was some years ago and I didn’t know much then about clicker training. But I had the basics.
I decided to teach Sunbeam to sit. I would wave my hand over her head in a front to back motion. She followed the motion with her eyes and then with her body. She sat. I clicked.
We did this several times one day, in several parts of the house.
Early the next morning, my hand happened to make the same sort of motion I had used the day before, but I wasn’t awake enough to realize it. Sunbeam sat.
And she never forgot “Sit” from then on. She didn’t always do it when asked, but hey, what Basenji would?
Here’s a video which explains all this really well: