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What is clicker training?

by: bestdogt
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If you are planning on training your dog you might want to consider using clicker training. This training method has recently become very popular with many dog trainers all over the world. Clicker training simply uses a clicker when your dog successfully does a command. An actual clicker is just a little plastic box with a metal button that makes a distinctive click noise when you press the button. This training method is really easy and works with positive reinforcement.

Clicker training works by associating the sound of the click with a tasty treat or praise, whatever your dog loves. Some dogs will do anything for a treat, and some will do the same just for a pet on the head. Figure out what your dogs motivation is. Now all you really have to do is press the clicker when your dog successfully obeys a command. Before using the clicker with actual commands, your dog needs to first associate the clicking sound with a treat. He needs to know that when he hears that click, it means that he has a treat coming. So before using any commands(sit, stay, down, ect.), just make a click and immediately give him a treat. Just click and treat. Keep repeating that until he associates the sound of the click with a treat. You can then move on to commands with using the clicker the same way.

Here is an example to help you better understand the clicker training method. Let's say that you want to teach your dog to sit on command using the clicker training method.

Say the command 'sit' as you put a tasty treat over your dog's nose and then slowly move it back. Your dog will see & smell the treat and then follow the movement of the treat with his nose. Doing this will cause him to naturally sit, and rest his little bottom on the floor. The moment your dog sits, you need to click, give him the treat, and praise him. After a while, he will associate the word "sit" with him actually sitting, and you won't need to lure a treat over his nose. Be sure to click immediately after your dog does a command. Only click the clicker once and follow it with a treat.

Never use the clicker when you are not training! Your dog should never hear the sound of the clicker if he is not getting a treat.

Any type of training needs time and patience. Training sessions should always be positive and not too long. Never yell at your dog if he is not doing something right when training.

Even though the clicker training method works great for many dogs, it may not work for others. All dogs are different. If clicker training isn't working for your dog, there are many other dog training techniques that you could try. Also remember a lot of the times its not the dog that is failing with his training, it's you!

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