What is Clicker Training for Dogs?
Clickers are tiny hand-held devices that create a sound just like when you click the mouse of your computer as you press it. You might say that it is just a teeny tiny device but it becomes powerful when you pair it with some edible treats for your dogs. Train your dog to obey a certain command by just a press of your clicker followed by a treat after he obeys your order.
Clickers are more useful to use than your voice because of two reasons.
One is that your mood can change the way you talk, making your voice inconsistent and therefore can cause confusion to your dog.
Second is that your dog might think he already done a good job and move on to the next step if you praised them. Clickers are a great tool to give a clear, quick and consistent command to your dog.
Clickers can be a great help in telling your dog that they did a good job after they sat or lied, or if you called him to pee or to poo in the correct location. As long as he does something right and proper, you just click your clicker and give him the treat he deserves.
What do you need to start your clicker training?
All you have to do is to have a good clicker and some edible treats your dog loves.
A good clicker is widely available at online stores and also on all leading pet shops for just a couple of dollars. However, you have to make sure first that your dog is not sensitive to small sounds like the click as some dogs can be scared of the sound of the click.
However, your edible treats are the heart of your click and treat training for dogs, that is why you should have plenty of it in your cupboard. Treats that are a few inches long that is made of cheese or chicken are the perfect ones for your dogs. If you are training your dog on somewhere crowded like a park, then a delicious treat like ham or meat can be exciting to them.
Get started on your click and treat training for dogs
Now that you have that nifty clicker on hand, how can you start training your dog using it? Here are some ways on how to start click and treat training for dogs.
First, you have to what they say as “charging the clicker”. First, have some of that small yet delicious treats on your hand. Then, without using it near the ears of your dog, briefly press the clicker button, followed by giving a treat to your dog.
You may want to start with ten to fifteen treats and to two to three sessions of click and treat training for dogs each day. Then, when your dog isn’t aware as if he is just lying on the floor, try to do a click from your clicker, even if you were several feet apart. If your dog looks at you like a living treat and starts running to you, then you can say that your clicker is already charged and ready to use for training. Otherwise, do more click and treat charging sessions.
4 Easy Steps for Click and Treat Training
Now that you have already “charged” your clicker, then it is time to teach basic commands to your puppy like the classic sit, down, leave, and many others. The steps to teach these commands to your dog through the click and treat training for dogs isn’t varying, so let’s do the simplest and the first command usually thought to dogs: the sit command.
- Start the training by getting the proper timing. Make sure that your dog is currently sitting down and capture his act using click and treat while he is sitting down.
- Don’t forget to click and treat him again the second he sits down on his own. Make sure to click and treat him at least three to four times he sits down on his own.
- Once your dog gets used to that cycle, and if he already understands the relationship between his sitting and clicking and giving treats, then it is the perfect time to start teaching him some verbal cues.
- Try to catch his attention and say “sit” without shouting, but rather a friendly way of speaking. And when he starts to sit, do the click and treat and praise him for his excellence.
These are only the four steps you need to remember when doing a click and treat training. If you want to teach him another command, you just have to do this click and treat training for dog cycle again but now using the new command and behavior you want to teach. Though dogs have a very short span or period of attention, you only have to be patient with them and keep your training sessions short, and you will inevitably end up adequately trained.
What you need to know more about click and treat training for dogs
Usually, dog trainers that make use of clickers always carry their clicker and treats with them. Clickers are only useful if you want to teach something new to your dogs. If a certain behavior has already stuck on the minds of your dog and can obey with your commands quickly, then you can now ditch the use of the clicker. You can now get rid of those treats. However, you should not entirely phase it out but instead, give them on a decreased regularity.
You should also avoid using your clicker on non-clicker training situations such as using it as a toy, as it can cause confusion towards your little buddy.
Don’t forget to give your dog the treats he deserves after you click. Not doing so can decrease the effectivity of the click and training you have been doing hard for several days or months.
So, that is all that you need to start your click and treat training for your dog. Good luck and have fun!