Clicker training for dogs
Repetition and Consistency
Clicker training for dogs is a simple and effective
training method using positive reinforcement. The clicker itself is a
metal strip inside a small box that makes an instant, distinctive sound when
pressed. The concept is that the "click" is faster, more distinct and consistent than
"good boy" or "girl".
To start with the dog clicker training method is
used with treats, but as time goes on, the treats are slowly withdrawn and the
click alone becomes, the positive reinforcement. Initially the treat is
given immediately after clicking, once the dog learns the positive effects of
the sound, then the treat becomes less important as the dog sees the click as
the reward for a job well done.
During the initial stages of training and whilst puppy
training, the dog clicker training process requires regular use of a small treat
as this is the strongest reward for all small dog breeds.
The first stage of clicker training for dogs, is to get
your little friend to get used to the idea. You would do this before
actually starting the puppy training process. Older dogs, or more mature
dogs from a shelter also respond to this clicker training for dogs proven method of training.
11 Easy steps to a well behaved pet
- Start with your dog in a quiet space, uninterrupted by
other outside energy such as other dogs, noise or anything that may distract
your little baby.
- Ideally your four legged scholar should be hungry.
Naturally if he is to be given a treat, it makes sense that he will respond
better and more eagerly when he does not have a full tummy and wants to
sleep instead of responding to your requests and a food reward.
- Keep a supply of his favorite treats on hand.
This could be kibble from his daily food allowance, freeze dried snacks or
tiny bits of chicken.
The idea of the treat is not to encourage obesity, a problem with many small dog
breeds. The treat is a to be used to immediately reinforce the click
- Press the clicker and immediately give your dog a
treat. This should be repeated several times, so that he get the idea.
- Once he looks at you the instant you have "clicked"
you have now go his attention and you may move to the next step.
- The important part of dog clicker training is that
the click is given immediately you are happy with his response.
This is more consistent than your spoken word. Often our words are not
the same, they are not as consistent as the sound of the click. We may
add stress to our voice, without even realising it, your beloved little
pooch is smart enough to pick up these inconsistencies.
- Next and very important stage is that the click is
followed by a little snack. The snack will soon be replaced by a few
seconds with his squeaky toy, or a nice rub down from you. The snack
will be used for several weeks whilst you are getting your dog to respond to
the click, but rewards other than food, will be a strong enough
reinforcement as you progress and your bond with your puppy (or older dog)
- Click once. Don't be tempted to click more than
once, as this will be confusing.
- Only click when you are happy with his behavior.
The click means the action is over, so do not anticipate his move, wait
until he has completed the action, then immediately click. The reward
will follow before any new instruction is given.
- Keep your training sessions to just a few minutes,
two or three times a day. This keeps it fun.
- Once your pet has learnt the concept of a click for
any good action, you can keep the clicker on hand and use it during everyday
activities. When your little one does his business outside, click.
When he comes to you when called, click. etc.
Other Training Information for Dog and Puppy Training:
Clicker training for dogs can be used for correcting behavioral problems such as
jumping up at visitors. When he does something wrong, he gets a negative
marker, you say "No!", the minute his four feet are on the ground, "click".
He will soon get the message with or without the reward. The strong "no!"
is not a correction, it is simply to communicate to your dog that what he did is
not ok. This does not mean shouting, or hitting your dog. The click is
associated with good behavior. All your little pooch wants is to have you
pleased with him, he wants to get it right. "Click" means he did, that's
all he needs to continue with good behavior to be in your good books.
The result will be a dog who knows what is required of him
without you raising your voice, making it less stress free all round.
The clicker training for dogs method has been used by dog
trainers, since the 1950's. Puppies love it
and old dogs quickly learn this positive training method. In scientific
terms clicker training is "operant conditioning". Dolphins are trained with this
method, no doubt a very successful training method. Operant condition is
an association of a behavior with a consequence.
Dog clicker tools are available from any pet store or your