When it comes to animal training, there are lots of different methods. Clicker training can be a helpful and effective method for teaching commands and tricks.
Wondering how to use a clicker to train a dog? It can be fun and easy. Clicker training is a form of positive reinforcement that rewards your dog for their actions. If you’re thinking about training your dog with a clicker, here are some helpful tips.
Train Your Pet With Sound: Using A Clicker For Dog Training
In a nutshell, the success of clicker training hinges on your dog’s association with the sound of the clicker and getting a reward. When your dog hears the clicker, they come to expect a reward. Because of this, they might be more willing to follow your commands.
As with all forms of dog training, there are pros and cons to clicker training. Some dogs might not take to it right away, or they might not be motivated by food or treats as much as other pups. That said, this kind of training has been tried and tested and found to work well. In fact, it’s so successful that marine mammal trainers and other animal trainers often use it.1
Starting Clicker Training
You’re going to want to start with a couple of clicker training basics. By associating the sound of the clicker with a reward, such as small treats of food, your dog will be more willing to learn and be obedient.
Keep a treat pouch full of tasty treats for your dog. When you click your clicker, give your dog the food right after. Repeat this until your dog beings to associate the noise with a reward.2
Putting The Clicker To The Test
Once your dog associates the clicker with a reward, you can start trying out tricks that your dog already knows. For example, practice the ‘sit’ command. Press on the clicker as soon as your dog’s behind touches the ground. Follow the click up with a treat, pet, or praise. By doing this, you reinforce good behavior and obedience.
Clicker training can be a simple, effective way to teach your dog or puppy good behavior versus bad behavior.3
Clicker Training Dogs For Beginners: It’s All About Positive Reinforcement
Clicker training a dog means you don’t need to use dog trainers. That said, it may not always go smoothly at first. Don’t get discouraged. Look at the training as a learning experience for both you and your animal counterpart.
Whether you’re trying to train your German shepherd or your Chihuahua, if you feel like you need more help, consider watching a clicker training video. All breeds of dogs can use the mental stimulation. Stick with it: you’ll soon find that your furry friend is listening to your commands when you tell them to “sit” and hit the clicker.
Positive reinforcement truly is everything when it comes to clicker training. Your pet will be more willing to respond with obedience when food or affectionate pets are involved. Make sure your pup is rewarded as soon as the clicker button makes its noise.4
Integrating The Clicker Button With Other Verbal And Nonverbal Cues
Clicker training can do much more than just teach your dog basic commands. Though these are typically the focus of clicker training, the
clicker button can be used with both verbal and nonverbal cues.
- Use your clicker as an attention-grabber: Click the button and see if your dog reacts to it. If you have been training them consistently, they’ll likely look in your direction or even come towards you. Then, you can click and make sure you have their undivided attention before getting to training.
- Use your clicker as a step-by-step tutorial for a behavior/trick: Click the button to get your pup to successfully complete every small step of a behavior you’re after (such as “sit, stay, and rollover”). As you click, speak each command.5
The clicker can work with both verbal and nonverbal cues, making it an efficient tool for any type of training. Depending on your training style and relationship with your dog, you can experiment with different cues.
Clicker Training Puppies vs Older Dogs: Can An Old Dog Learn New Tricks?
It’s typically easier to clicker train a puppy compared to an older dog simply because the older dog may not be as mentally or physically stimulated. Let’s take a closer look at puppy training and training for older dogs.
Clicker Training Puppies
Since puppies are coming into the world with no knowledge or training, they are often the most receptive to clicker training. This is a good time to teach them how to walk on a leash, where and when to use the bathroom, and easy commands like “sit” or “lay down.”
Keep your puppy motivated with plenty of treats, physical affection, and praise. Don’t forget that the clicker should always be followed by some type of reward to keep your puppy interested.6
Clicker Training Older Dogs
Since older dogs may not be as mentally or physically stimulated as their puppy counterparts, they may have a harder time adjusting to clicker training. This can be especially true if they grew up with a different training method. Still, it is possible to use the clicker to teach older dogs.
And don’t forget to praise your older dog. Clicker training is all about being rewarded, so you don’t want to forget the treats or affection. Just because they’re older doesn’t mean they can’t learn new tricks.7
Is Clicker Training The Right Method For Me And My Dog?
If you’re still on the fence about training your dog (or other animals) with clicker training, consider the potential benefits. By using clicker training, you’re conditioning your dog to associate the clicker with positive behavior. This kind of training may even help your pup learn new tricks, like putting a toy away in their toy box.
If you need help clicker training your pup, try watching instructional youtube videos or asking a dog trainer for help.
The bottom line is this: clicker training can be beneficial for both you and your dog. Isn’t it worth trying?