Might clicker train my toddler instead. That'd be fun at parent and baby groups, 'Oh yes, DD is doing very well with her potty training, everytime she sits on it I click and treat so now she's building that association between sitting on the potty, the click and then a treat. She's the next Einstein you know.'
I've found if you spend just 2-3 minutes priming the clicker by simply clicking and treating repeatedly, it works much better. You should notice him starting to look for the treat each time he hears the click. Once he's doing that you know the association between clicker and reward has formed, and you can move on from there more quickly.
Poachedeggs, i understand completely where you are coming from, as none of our four loopy greys "do" toys, or retrieve or stuff like that. However, I'm doing clicker training at the moment with one of our greys, as mentioned above, and she is loving it. Can't wait for class, gets really excited, enjoys it massively, then collapses into a deep slumber as soon as she gets home after all the mental effort. Try it, you might be surprised. I've had to radically alter my views on the trainability (or more accurately the non trainability) of pointies. For a finale to our last six week course, I trained her to jump through a hoop.
I have been clicker training our 14 week old spaniel. Now, just me picking up the bloody thing has him sprinting over from whatever he was doing in anticipation of liver!!!
We started off just clicking then adding in the basic commands, just the behavior tgen adding the command (it doesn't take long) this week we have done 'watch me' and getting him to touch my hand with his nose. I don't take it outside as I forget in the muddle of gloves, coat, hat, treats, lead, keys, poo bags etc but really establish stuff inside or in the garden first.
It's great fun but dh refuses to think its a good idea, prefers to say the command 476 times, assuming it will sink in, thinks puppy will only do stuff for treats now but I am phasing out treating continually anyway.
Puppy will move from command to command in different orders and will stay in the down position with a bit of liver on each paw, staring intently, until I tell him he can eat them, now without clicker, bless him!!
Occasionally though he completely ignores me and I really don't know how to handle that!!!
First thing is to get him used to the clicker and to build the association between the clicker and treats. Get a bag of treats (tiny slices of hot dog sausage work well for Norty Minx). Just have him in front of you, and call him. Each time he responds by turning his head to you, click and treat. No more than five minutes to start with and always leave him wanting more, and ending on a high note. This basic exercise will just build up the association between click and treat, and is always what our teacher has us do for a couple of minutes at the start when we go to class. If you get this base exercise right, everything else will flow nicely. Also, it's important for you - you need to practice with the clicker and get your timing right so you click the right thing. To start with, I found it a bit mind bending, having to deal with dog, lead, treats, clicker and get timing right. Just get this right first and then you can build up from there.