Brian Daubs, DVM, has served as the chief of surgery at the Animal Specialty and Emergency Clinic in Rockledge, Florida, since 2013. When he is not performing surgery on pets and other animals, Dr. Brian Daubs spends his time training dogs.
A committed owner and an intelligent dog can achieve a number of great things beyond the simple “sit” and “stay” commands. By associating the sound of a simple clicker with a treat, the dog will soon become responsive to cues from the trainer. From this point, a number of truly impressive commands can be taught.
Many dogs are capable of retrieving a stick or ball, but not all dogs demonstrate the self-restraint required to leave such an item where it lies. To teach this, which in some cases can become a life-saving command, allow the dog to smell a treat in your hand. Place the treat several feet away. When the dog moves toward the treat, restrain the animal with a leash and issue the desired verbal command, such as, “leave it.” Immediately use the clicker and reward the dog with a treat.
It does not take a dedicated owner very long to house-train a pet, but bathroom training can be taken a step further with the introduction of a bell. Begin by indicating a bell on a door knob with a training stick to get the dog’s attention. When the dog first interacts with the bell on its own, use the clicker and issue a reward. Next, start performing this bell trick before going outside to use the bathroom. Over time, the dog will begin to use the bell on its own to signal a need to go out.