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!