Clicker Training Basics

Jul 12 2022 basics clicker training

Clicker Training Basics
What is a clicker?

A clicker is a small device that makes a clicking sound when it is being depressed. You can think of it as a replacement for verbal cues that you make when praising the dog when it does something correctly. But using the clicker is not simply just clicking it whenever you feel like doing so. Indeed, there are several fundamentals that you should follow so that the entire session can be fruitful.

Let us look into some of the clicker training basics that will get you started in using it proper!

All about timing

The correct way to press on the clicker is when the dog is in the process of accomplishing the task, and not at the end of it. For example, if you are commanding the dog to go over to you, you should press on the clicker when the dog is moving to you and not after it moved to you. Also, instead of being trigger happy, you should only press the clicker once per desirable action that the dog does.

Treats as a reward system

As per all training procedure, you will need to provide your dog with their favourite treats so that you can reward the dog’s behaviour after a positive training session. Try to make some healthy treats for the dog so that they will not gain weight from all those rewards.

Click when desired behaviour is being shown

This will be an important step to note. You should only click on the clicker when the desired behaviour is being shown as you wouldn’t want the dog to misinterpret your intentions. For example, if you wish to train your dog not to jump onto strangers, but if it is ok for the dog to jump onto the sofa, then you should click only when the dog is jumping onto the sofa and not to click when the dog is jumping onto people.

Bite size training

As not all dogs can have a good attention span, we will recommend you to keep each training session short, and the training can be conducted multiple times in a day. Bite sized trainings will always keep it short and fresh for the dog, as compared to long hours of repetitive sessions.

Positive reinforcement only

If you ever get frustrated over the training session, you should refrain from scolding your dog as it will be detrimental for the entire training process. Sometimes, taking a step back to recharge can help to reduce such frustrations.

Pushing boundaries

If your dog starts to respond positively to the clicker, you can opt to challenge the dog to perform the behaviour for longer periods. For example, during the training session, if the dog manages to sit in place for 10 seconds at a time, try to increase the next session to 15 seconds and reward the dog when it achieves this!

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