March 12, 2016

Clicker Training: What It Is, How To Use It, & Why It's Important

Happy Saturday, y'all! Sorry this post is belated, but we've been having some wireless network problems today. Today I'm going to be covering clicker training, a popular, positive training method I'm sure you dog parents are familiar with. Maybe you've heard of it before, or maybe you use this simple method with your dog to help speed up training and make things more fun for the both of you.

This all sounds good and all, but what IS a clicker?

A clicker is a tiny box with a button that, when pressed, projects a sharp, clear clicking sound. Okay, cool, but what does it do? What does dog training and some tiny $3 handheld device have in common? Well, let me explain.

The clicker is used to mark your dog's good behavior. The clicker is no substitute for treats or verbal praise, but obviously, it's still an important tool. With a pocket full of treats and that good old clicker in your hand, you're ready to train. But what do you do with the clicker anyway?

Well, I'm sure that if you don't use the clicker, you simply just use verbal praise and some yummy treats to motivate your dog to learn new tricks and behaviors. However, when you clicker train your dog, you click the clicker immediately after your dog performs the desired behavior, and then you give the treat and verbal praise.

Though you wouldn't think it would make much of a difference, using the clicker to mark the exact moment your dog performs the desired behavior actually makes things more clear for your dog. That click makes them know that they just did what you wanted them to do and you're going to make a big deal out of it and give them lots of pets and praise. Realistically, what dog wouldn't want that?

Even though the clicker sounds like a strange and useless method, it still makes a huge difference in training. It clears up what your dog is supposed to do and he'll know that when you're holding it, you also have treats handy, and those treats will be given to your pup when he does what you want him to do. Because your dog knows that hearing the click means he gets the treat, some dog parents will click the clicker when they want their dog to come to them. However, do not do that at all costs! It's always "trick and treat", never "treat or treat", no matter how much your dog loves stealing your Halloween candy!

Dogs aren't born knowing that a click means they'll be receiving a treat soon after. You have to teach them what the clicker is and what it means. Let your dog sniff the clicker when first introduced to it. Then click the clicker. Some dogs might be scared of the sound, so you should start clicking it further away. It's important you know what your dog can handle when you introduce the clicker.

Now, approach the dog and click with a treat immediately following. Do this ten to twenty times (so don't use large or fatty treats!) and now your dog will understand what that click means. Every time you pull out the clicker for a training session, practice clicking and immediately treating one or two times to refresh your dog's memory of what the clicker is and why it's the best training tool out there!

Without my handy clicker, I don't think Christmas would know all the commands and tricks he does today, such as spin, wait, leave it, and we're working on some dance moves! (I'm serious!) Unlike some Dachshunds, he's so eager to learn that I bought a clicker myself. Click here to purchase the clicker I use for training my little guy! It will not disappoint, and it's just so inexpensive! Chris is always happy to see me pull out the clicker, and he seems much more focused on me when I have the clicker in hand! Is an inexpensive clicking box the key to a better behaved dog? Sometimes it is!


1 comment:

  1. Thank you for this post. It is important to participate in some form of training with your dog in order to make sure that he is well behaved and obedient. One of the keys to doing so is finding a training method that works and that you can both enjoy. See more http://dogsaholic.com/training/clicker-dog-training.html

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