A dog can be your best friend. He can be your companion. And he can be taught to do many things, from helping you around the house and serving your needs. He can even be trained to count. Training concepts to your dog can be as simple as shaping or conditioning him to recognize what he is doing and connect that to the rewards he gets.
If you’ve ever wondered if you have a dog who can learn a concept such a counting, you might be surprised to learn just how simple it is to teach him. Turn your pup into a math wizard by teaching him to count with you or recognize counting as a trick. You can train your dog to tell you a number through barks or even recognize a number and communicate that to you.
Conceptual training should be positive reward based learning moments. Training your furry best friend to count will be repetitive shape training. As you teach Fido the concept of counting, you will be rewarding him with high-value treats and giving him time to connect your words, his communications, and the rewards together. Before you decide to train your pup to count, be sure to train him basic obedience commands and the command to speak or bark first. Target training also helps your dog learn to count, so spend some time training your dog how to target specific items before teaching him how to count.
Teching your dog to count occurs by training him to recognize numbers and verbalize those numbers to you, or your pup can recognize a number of items you show him and communicate that number to you verbally or by touching a target.
As you begin training your dog to count, be prepared with items for him to count. These should be the same items for each session to keep training consistent. You’ll need high-value treats to reward your pup for counting. Keep your training sessions short and pay attention to how much of your dog’s attention you have. Your training sessions should also be free of distractions. If you want your pup to communicate a number to you by targeting, you’ll also need number targets. These can be electronic buttons your pup can recognize audibly as well as visually or they can be as simple as a piece of paper with the number written clearly.
My challenge is to teach Toto how to count at least up to 10.
Hello Kle, Could you please include more details about the exact trick you are wanting to use this skill for? Typically each number needs to be taught, so 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 , 9, 10 isn't that different to pup as Sit, Down, Speak, Stand, Heel, Come, Stay, Quiet, Beg...Pup learning ten different things, one at a time. The best way to do this will depend on the exact end result you are wanting to teach, generally the type of trick you want pup to execute. Many dogs don't learn each number but rather learn certain numbers, then when you get to that number, pup knows that that's the cue for a specific action - so 5 means grab it to pup. 10 means bark, ect... Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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