Clicker training for dogs is widely used by both professional dog trainers and dog owners because it is an effective and fun technique of training dogs through the use of positive reinforcement.
Teaching a dog to sit, stay, and perform other simple instructions as well as more advanced feats is all possible with the help of clicker training.
Using a clicker, you may “mark” your dog’s positive actions when they meet certain criteria. This is helpful because unlike spoken orders, clicks are always the same, making it clear to the dog exactly what is expected of him.
When your dog understands the fundamentals of clicker training, you may go to more advanced techniques and refine your dog’s behavior.
Your dog will learn more quickly and effectively with clicker training than with vocal commands alone since it is more intuitive for the dog.
Remember that the most effective approach to train a dog is to keep sessions brief; you should restrict training sessions to no more than 15 minutes each, although you can conduct many sessions in a day.
Dogs have short attention spans, so if you teach him for more than 15 minutes at a time, he may lose interest and stop paying attention to you.
Here is the most efficient method of using a clicker to train your dog:
1. Get a Clicker and a Few Treats
Getting a clicker and some delectable goodies is the first step in beginning clicker training. A clicker may be purchased from any local pet store or on the internet. You should also pick up some tasty goodies to use as incentives for your dog.
Dry food can be used as a reward if your dog already like kibble. Dry food may not be enough to encourage your dog, but there is a vast selection of tasty treats available at pet stores. In the same vein as dried liver and fresh chicken, hot dogs that have been sliced into little bits and dried in the microwave are a fantastic substitute.
2. Start Clicker Training Right Away
Put your dog on a leash and tie him up safely; if you’re doing work inside, you may fasten the leash to the doorknob. Leash must be securely fastened so that the dog cannot escape.
Because you don’t want Fido to lunge at you when he realizes you have goodies, you’ll want to keep him in place as you hand them out.
Get his attention by standing out of his reach and calling out his name or displaying a reward. The clicker and treat should be held in separate hands; when the dog is ready, the owner should click the clicker and then quickly reward the pet with the treat. Do this multiple times so your dog associates the clicker with good things to happen.
Treat the dog every time you hit the clicker, even if it’s by accident. Repeat this process several times so that the dog associates the click with good things happening.
If you constantly have the treat in your hand and click right after, the dog may only obey you when he sees a treat, so try to vary the duration between the click and the treat.
3. Train Your Dog to Respond to the Click
The sit command is a great place to start when training a dog that doesn’t yet know basic commands.
Stand with a treat in your hand in front of the dog and wait for him to come to you. Dogs may be trained to sit by holding out a reward in front of them, out of reach.
It’s going to take some time before the dog will sit for you. Click the clicker and give the dog a goodie as soon as he sits.
The dog may be unsure of what he did to earn the reward at first, but with consistent reinforcement, he will learn to comply with your requests.
Once the dog is seated, give the command “sit,” click, and treat. As a last option, if the dog is too perceptive and refuses to rise from his chair, you might try leaving the room to force him to rise. After your dog masters the sit trick, you may start pairing it with a spoken command.
Place yourself in the same position as when you were holding a treat in front of the dog, but this time, don’t use any treats. Raise your hand and tell them “sit” in a loud, commanding voice.
A click and a treat should be given to the dog as soon as he sits. Repeat this process until the dog reliably sits when you say “sit.” Using a confident tone of voice when offering the directive will have a similarly beneficial effect.
Train your dog to get up from a sit position on command by saying “ok” or “release” (with the latter, you won’t need to click and treat).
4. Repetition is the key to teaching new skills
Your dog may be taught other commands like “stay,” “stand,” and “lay down” by following the steps shown above. The effectiveness of a trainer’s order can be amplified by including a hand signal.
If you want to teach your dog to stand, for instance, you should put your hand out in front of you with the palm facing up (who should be sitting). In other words, as soon as he gets to his feet, you should click and treat him.
It may take some time, but by doing this over and over with the “stand” command, the dog will be able to stand when you tell him to. Put the dog through a “sit,” “stand,” and “sit” routine with some variation to keep things interesting for him.
Put your dog in a sit posture, have him wait while you silently count to five, and then click and treat to teach him to remain. If the dog stands up before you have counted five times in your thoughts, make a disappointed noise like “tsst!” and tell him to sit down again.
Once he masters staying there for five seconds, you may ask more of him. Instruct him to stand solely in response to the words “stand” or “Release.”
You should click and treat him before giving the release instruction and lavishing him with praise. Alternate between sitting and standing for certain periods of time.
Teaching your dog to lie down is the next fundamental command. To achieve this, you should have a treat in your hand and reach down in front of the dog, concealing the reward in your palm while you do so. In the end, your dog will give up trying to get the reward and settle down in expectancy.
Once he accomplishes that, I’ll give him a reward. It will take several repetitions of the “lay down” instruction before he will obey it automatically. Train your dog to respond to the lie down command by making a downward motion with your hand.
5. Constantly Improve: Modifying Your Workouts for Maximum Effect
Your dog should now recognize the clicker and associate it with a positive outcome. Now is the time to be extra picky about when you click; only click if the dog does the behavior exactly as you want it done. To prevent an overly exuberant dog from leaping up to welcome you, clicker training may be used.
When the dog approaches you with all four paws on the ground, that’s your cue to click. To reinforce the behavior you want to see from your dog, click and treat when you see it.
Always use a reward in conjunction with the clicker, and progressively reduce its use as your dog learns to respond to your hand gestures and spoken orders.
You’ll be able to keep your dog’s undivided attention anytime you use the clicker, which will make training more enjoyable for both of you.
Clicker training with your dog is a great way to teach them obedience and tricks, as well as reinforcing positive behaviors. With patience, consistency, and lots of yummy treats, you can have your pup trained in no time!
Not only will it be fun for both of you, but it’ll also give your pup the chance to learn something new while getting exercise. Clicker training is safe and effective – so why not give it a try today?