There are several dog training techniques, but clicker training is one of the most gentle, effective and fun. Much like any dog training method, repetition, patience, persistence and consistency are the keys to success with clicker training for dogs.

A Quick Explanation of What Clicker Training IS REALLY

First, it’s important to understand that clicker training works exclusively by means of positive reinforcement. You do not make any corrections or physically compel your dog to do anything. Punishment, be it scolding your pet or something more physical, is merely not a part of clicker training for dogs.

Rather than using harsh corrections, clicker training’s humane, reward-based techniques train dogs through the use of time-tested psychological principles. Specifically, this scientifically-based training technique capitalizes on a straightforward, easy to understand core principle of dog psychology: behavior that’s positively reinforced (rewarded) is more prone to be repeated, while behavior that is not reinforced (ignored) is less likely to be repeated.

Clicker training involves letting your pet hear an audible click at the complete moment he is doing what you would like, then immediately giving your pet a treat to reward that desired behavior. Your dog will soon arrived at love hearing that click and can work to create it happen, because he’ll associate the click with finding a treat. How To House Train A Dog Essentially, the clicker tells your pet which particular behavior you want, and that he’ll receive a treat when he does it. You also use verbal commands and/or hand signals while you’re having your pet perform the behavior you’re teaching him.

As your dog learns the commands associated with that behavior, you gradually phase out the clicking. As soon as your dog has formed a solid association between your commands and the required behavior, performing it reliably every time, the treats can also be phased out.

Instead of punishing undesirable behaviors, clicker training for dogs uses the energy of positive association. You click to mark (identify) the specific behavior you want and then immediately follow it with an incentive. Because unwanted actions are ignored (and go unpunished) while desired behaviors are rewarded, clicker workout sessions are highly motivating. Clicker training may be used to teach your dog almost anything you need, including traditional obedience commands and tricks.

About the Clicker Itself

The clicker is an inexpensive, plastic hand-held device. It produces a sudden, audible click once you press its small metal button or strip. Dogs have sharp hearing, and many can hear the click from around 30 yards away. As the click is distinctive and always sounds identical, it’s impossible for your dog to misinterpret.

The click tells your dog that what he is doing is exactly the behavior you need. It simultaneously pinpoints the required behavior and gives your pet consistent, immediate positive feedback. In a nutshell, the clicker is a tool that pairs the sound of the click with receiving a treat. With repetition, your dog forms a strong mental association between these two otherwise unrelated things. Because you only click whenever your dog does what you need (for which you will immediately reward him), he quickly learns that when he hears the click, he’s about to receive a treat.

A Step-by-step Guide to Clicker Training for Dogs

Clicker training for dogs is effective with all ages and breeds, including young pups. Workout sessions should be short (5 minutes or so) to keep them fun and engaging, but have several each day.

Follow the seven steps below to employ a clicker to successfully train your pet:

1. Teach your dog that the sound of the clicker means he’s going to get a treat and praise. You can do – while your pet is standing calmly, click and then immediately give him a treat and praise. He’ll obtain the idea after you do this several times.

2. Choose the behavior you need your dog to learn. Let’s use sit as an example. Either wait for him to sit on his own, or coax him to sit with a treat.

3. The instant he begins to perform the desired behavior (his rump starts going down, in this example), mark the behavior with a click.

4. Reinforce and reward the behavior (sitting) by praising your pet and giving him a delicacy. Keep carefully the treats small but tasty so he’s wanting to receive them. He’ll soon start sitting on his own because he wants to hear the click and get the praise and treat.

5. Instill the behavior with practice. Gradually increase the challenges your pet faces during his workout sessions. For example, slowly raise the duration, distance and distractions.

6. Add a verbal command and/or hand signal to cue your pet to perform the desired behavior.

7. Once it’s clear your dog understands what you need him to accomplish and does it reliably, gradually phase out the clicker and treats. Your dog will now sit on your verbal command or hand signal.

Remember, clicker training isn’t command-based. If your pet doesn’t react to your verbal command or hand signal, he’s not disobeying you – he just hasn’t learned the cue (yet). Show patience and keep practicing.

The Pros and Cons of Clicker Training for Dogs

Clicker training has multiple advantages. It is possible to teach your dog almost anything without resorting to punishment. It’s a positive, stress-free training technique that builds a strong bond between you as well as your dog rather than causing your dog to fear or be intimidated by you. Your pet will be more confident because he’ll gain an obvious understanding of the behavior you need rather than focusing on avoiding what’s wrong. It’s even effective with pups.

Some people aren’t keen on clicker training for dogs since they want their dogs to obey them out of respect, not because they want a treat or they are “brainwashed.” However, there’s no question that this training technique is effective. Your pet can do as you ask because you’ve taught him that you’re happy when he does.

I know how it really is tough and time consuming to teach a dog. With patience and consistency it is possible to put an end to all or any your dog’s “problems” but you need to do it the correct way.