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Thursday, February 21, 2019

Thankful Thursday - For Positive Training!

I am overwhelmed with happiness that I understand positive dog training pretty well so that I can use it to teach Hachi. He is the first true puppy we've had since I have studied positive training pretty extensively.

In the "bad old days" of punishment based training, people didn't start officially training a puppy until they were six months old.

In reality, a puppy is learning from their first day living with you. By using positive training, we can harness their eagerness to learn and teach them lots of things before they are 6 months old. I have taught Hachi important things like to come when called.

And I've taught him silly things, including how to do a "High five" or wave. I think that the most important thing is that he has learned how to learn. He knows the clicker game, and we can use the clicker to communicate to him that he was doing exactly the right thing when he heard the click. With that form of communication established, the sky is the limit in terms of teaching him.

Today, I want to show you a video of me teaching him something silly - a high five. We were doing a different kind of training when I noticed that he kept pawing at me. I immediately changed directions to using that paw lifting as a way to teach him a high five.

At the start of the video, you'll see me touch his right front paw, hoping to trigger him to lift it. Then, a bit later, you'll hear me click whenever I saw him raise his right paw at all. Because he's already an experienced dog at clicker training, he'd figured out the game in just a few minutes. He would hit my raised hand with his right paw by the end of the session. And, he still remembered it the next day so we've continued to play this game.

Now that I am quite certain that he'll raise his paw when I raise my hand, I am also gradually moving further away from him so that he'll do the same motion when I'm far away - which is a wave when it's done at a distance. I'm adding a verbal cue which is "wave".

Positive training makes all of this training so much fun! Here is the video.

Thanks to Brian for hosting the Thankful Thursday Blog Hop!


  1. that is too cute and you are a super trainer... I had to turn the sound off, here two guys look for the puppy they heared LOL

  2. I use positive training not only for my dogs but for work (the scientific term being reinforment). Funny story as I was watching this my dogs thought there was someone here and were running around looking for him.

  3. Hachi's middle name should be "amazing" because he is. I love how he sometimes looks at the camera, he knows it is there... also it is not all his amazing self, but you are pretty amazing also.... I bought the clicker but have not figured it out yet.

  4. Did you hear us cheering for you, Hachi? Excellent job! Love the picture of you winning the race☺

  5. The Powers Behind Positivity - Sure Works Wonders - And Who Want To Beat A Puppy Into Understanding Training - Thanx For Being You - Well Done Human

    P.S. I Do Believe That Black Dog Has Been Secretly Training The Pup At Night While Everyone Sleeps So Soundly

  6. Hachi loves learning as much as he loves the rewards!!! He sure makes us smile too! Thanks for joining the Thankful Thursday Blog Hop!

  7. Hachi sure is a smart dog but you are also a smart trainer. I'm curious why you are only focusing on having him raise his right paw and not either one.

  8. Hard to believe people use to wait so long to start training and often not even positive training. I started tracking training at 9 weeks and got my title at 8 months old. We learn so much more early than many people even realize. Hatchi is lucky to have you to teach him so much.

  9. Hari OM
    the key word here... 'fun'!!! YAM xx

  10. You're doing so very well, Hachi. We love that your mom shares your training with us. It helps us too.

    Have a woof woof Thankful Thursday. My best to your smart trainer mom. ♥

  11. OMDs....Hachi...first off I love your ears. They are as expressive as your sweet eyes and happy feets. Love the photo of you and the Sibs!! As your mom said 'way to go dude'!!
    Mom this is undoubtedly my favorite line 'he has learned how to learn'. That is like a child learning how to study..once it is learned it is a lifetime gift.
    BOL Hachi you made me smile a L O T!
    Hugs Cecilia

  12. Hachi is brilliant!!! We love how he looks to the camera almost as if he knows he is being videoed:)

  13. He is just way too cute -- and smart!!! :)

  14. Do his siblings ever try and get in on the treat part of Hachi's training???

  15. Loved the training video. And how you are using this as a stepping stone to more.

  16. Hachi, you smartie pants you! Butts, I thinks your Moms is a little slow on the treatie dispensing!!!! BOL!!!
    Ruby ♥

  17. Such a clever boy. He sure is growing big!

  18. Wow, when he gets it, he really gets it! ♥
    Jan, Wag 'n Woof Pets


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