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

A Quick Explanation of What Clicker Training Really Is

First, it’s important to recognize that clicker training works exclusively by way of positive reinforcement. You don’t make any corrections or physically compel your dog to do anything. Punishment, be it scolding your dog or something more physical, is simply not a section of clicker training for dogs.

Instead of 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 simple, easy to understand core principle of dog psychology: behavior that is positively reinforced (rewarded) is more likely to be repeated, while behavior that’s not reinforced (ignored) is less inclined to be repeated.

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

As your pet learns the commands associated with that behavior, you gradually phase out the clicking. And once your dog has formed a good association between your commands and the required behavior, performing it reliably every time, the treats can even be phased out.

Instead of punishing undesirable behaviors, clicker training for dogs uses the power 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 training sessions are highly motivating. Clicker training can be used to teach your dog just about anything you need, including traditional obedience commands and tricks.

About the Clicker Itself

The clicker can be an inexpensive, plastic hand-held device. It produces an abrupt, audible click when 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 pet that what he could be doing is precisely the behavior you want. It simultaneously pinpoints the required behavior and gives your dog consistent, immediate positive feedback. In short, the clicker is a tool that pairs the sound of the click with finding a treat. With repetition, your pet forms a solid mental association between both of these 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 whenever he hears the click, he’s going to receive a treat.

A Detail by detail Guide to Clicker Training for Dogs

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

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

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

2. Choose the behavior you want your dog to understand. Let’s use sit for example. Either wait for him to sit on their own, or coax him to sit with a treat.

3. The instant he begins to execute 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 by himself because he wants to hear the click and obtain the praise and treat.

5. Instill the behavior with repetition. 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 required behavior.

7. Once it’s clear your pet understands what you need him to do 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. You can teach your dog almost anything without resorting to punishment. It is a positive, stress-free training technique that builds a solid bond between you and your dog rather than causing your dog to fear or be intimidated by you. Your pet will be more confident because he’ll gain a clear understanding of the behavior you want rather than concentrating on avoiding what’s wrong. It’s even effective with young puppies.

Some people aren’t keen on clicker training for dogs because 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 training technique is effective. Your pet will do as you ask because you’ve taught him you are happy when he does.

I know how it might be tough and time consuming to teach your dog. With patience and consistency it will be easy to put an end to all your dog’s “problems” but you need to do it the proper way.