A basic training technique that teaches helpful control to your dog is showing him how to focus on you. Clicker training will help you to do that easily by simply bolstering the action when your dog investigates you naturally.
The following stages will help you to tune up your dog into a clicker and also use it to teach him focus on you. This is a great training strategy to use with Labradors and other food inspired dogs.
- Prepare for each session with a clicker decent number of little treats. Tiny is better as the dog will get a little taste of the treat which is inducement in itself.
- Press the clicker and right away give the dog a treat and repeat this a couple of times. This is called “tuning in”.
- Eventually the dog will expect a treat each time he hears the sound. You can test this by his reaction to the sound. He should look to you instantly for reward on hearing the sound irrespective of what else he is doing. This will take a few sessions of 10 minutes or so at a time.
- When the dog is satisfactorily tuned in to the sound only click when he's looking directly at you. Proof this by keeping his attention for varying periods and swapping by quantity of clicks used while he is taking a look at you.
- Introduce your focus word; it can be anything except needs to be consistent. “Look, watch”, or “focus” are all options.
- If you're having difficulty getting your dog to look at your face you can slowly move the treat to behind your head. The dog’s eyes should follow it and when he is looking without delay at you then click-treat.
When your dog is taught to focus effectively this can be useful in several eventualities. It is an satisfactory way to manipulate your dog without putting any unwarranted pressure on him.
I'm hoping that this has given you some revelations into how to train a labrador, and you continue on your journey. Good luck!