In our previous article, we discover what a clicker is and some basics on how to build progressive training with this tool. Now, let dive in and learn some training technics.
The clicker itself is useless if you never accompany it with your training sessions. The sound is mainly used to allow the dog to recognize certain events that they have performed or done well. For example, when the dog notices that you have picked up the clicker, he might start to jump about with glee because it has already associated the clicker with a fun training session, and your dog might even be looking forward to it.
But while the clicker is a good tool for training, some owners make the same fatal mistake of not introducing the clicker to the dog. Note that this step is critical in ensuring that your dog responds correctly to the clicker.
How to introduce the clicker to the dog
If you think it is as simple as putting the clicker in front of the dog and say, “Hey, this is a clicker,” you are so wrong! You will need more than just a verbal introduction for the pup to be introduced to this tool.
To get started, you will need to have a handful of his favorite treats as well as the clicker with you. Put the dog into an area that is free from distraction too. Once you have fulfilled these, proceed to follow the clicker introductory guide below:
- Hold the clicker in one hand and a treat in the other.
- Press on the clicker to produce the “click” sound. Once this is done, give your dog the treat that you were holding in the other hand.
- Always ensure that you give the dog the treat after the click is being made.
- Repeat step 2 at least 5 times.
Consider this as one cycle. It would help if you then repeated the cycles in various positions. For example, repeat the steps when your dog is in a sit position. After that, repeat the steps when the dog is on all fours. The idea here is to break away from structured positions so that the dog might not accidentally associate any position with the clicker and the treat. After going through the cycles, rinse and repeat the entire training session multiple times a day.
When you start on this, make sure that you do your pet's calorie count so that they do not overeat. If need to, reduce some of the dog’s food to accommodate the slight increase during training. In time to come, the dog will be accustomed to the clicker. Or, you can always opt to conjure up healthy dog treats for them too!
How to use a clicker to teach a command
Once the dog can understand that a click equals a reward for good behavior, you can already start training. For example, when you wish the dog on the come command, get the dog to take a sit position. Once the pet is in place, take a few steps back. At this point, your hand should be holding the clicker as well as a treat.
Proceed to call out your dog’s name and say the word “come.” As he starts to move towards you, click on the clicker immediately. This will signify to the dog that it is the desired behavior! Remember to reward with a treat thereafter.
Note that you should not click if the behavior isn’t correct as you wouldn’t want to confuse the dog, especially during the training phase.