It is called "The Clicker Method." It has been around since the early 1990's and is a 'hands off' approach to training. And it has been used successfully on whales, dolphins, horses, cats, rats, and many other type of creatures.
The basic idea is when M.O.M. sees me do an action she wants me to do on command she presses the clicker and gives me a special treat. It is a very small piece of a treat so it always tastes so good when I earn it!
These are the two clickers my M.O.M. uses during our training sessions. The purple one is used inside our house and my M.O.M. wears it around her neck on a special strap so it is always available when I do something the way she wants. There are also special treats in her pocket...I can usually smell those when I am near her!
The pink clicker is used for outside training as it makes a louder sound so I can hear it over the bird sounds and any cars passing by. M.O.M. does try to make things very easy for me to learn. In the following picture I am doing the very first lesson I learned with these wonderful, kind method.
In the above picture my M.O.M. has called me to her and I came and sat in front of her. I am learning now to stay sitting for longer periods of time. M.O.M. is very good about not making me wait to long until I really understand what she wants. By the end of the first day I already knew what M.O.M. wanted me to do! And when I was learning this process my M.O.M. never even touched me...not even to get me to sit down in front of her! So now when M.O.M. wants me she calls my name and says "come" and when I get to her she says "sit" and I sit real cute and then she rewards me. I don't even realize that I am performing 2 different tricks for her and it's fun. I am enjoying this training method.
And this method of training makes it very easy for M.O.D. to get me to do the very same tricks M.O.M. has taught me as I am also now learning the voice commands that go along with each action I am performing.
My M.O.M. has noticed that I like to use my front feet a lot when I am playing. So when she saw me do the action she wanted she would give me a click and a treat and pretty soon all she has to say to me is "Give me five!" Every once in a while I would forget and try to give her "ten" so that may be the next cue! So I am learning a lot of fun things without any raised voices or leashes or even a collar pulled. Amazing. I do know I am so lucky to have found this wonderful family to adopt.
And today I am 6 months old. Happy 6 months to me!!!!
I will let you know what my next trick is when I have mastered it enough to show off for you.