How to Use the Clicker for Dog Training

Clicker training is a popular method to train your dog and reward his etiquette. It can be fun for you and your dog and often produces quick and reliable results. Clicker training is based upon the scientific concept that an animal will remain to do a habits that is rewarded. When your dog comprehends what the clicker is all about, you will certainly have the ability to teach him all sort of tricks with lots of benefits along the method.

Preparing to Clicker Train Your Dog


1. Learn how to make use of a clicker. A clicker, which is readily available at your regional animal shop, is a little, portable plastic device with a button or little metal tongue that you weigh down on to make a clicking sound. The secret to utilizing a clicker is to use it at the specific minute that your dog carries out the anticipated behavior. The noise of a click need to constantly be followed by some type of benefit (eg, food, toys, spoken praise).

  • Remember that the clicker is the signal that a benefit is coming, rather than being the reward itself.
  • With the clicker, your dog will certainly find out two main things– the specific minute that he is doing the ideal thing, and that a reward constantly comes after the click.
  • The clicker can be a far more precise approach than spoken cues (“great” or “thanks”) to communicate with your dog throughout a training session. This can help accelerate the rate of training.
  • You might think of the clicker like the winning buzzer on a game show– the sound signals the exact minute that the appropriate habits or action is being carried out.




2. Introduce your dog to the clicker. Before you can utilize the clicker for training purposes, you will have to teach your dog what the clicker suggests to him. This is known as “charging” the clicker. While you remain in the room with your dog (any peaceful living room will do), hold a treat in one hand and the clicker in the other. Press down on the clicker once. When your dog counts on you at the sound of the click, immediately provide him the treat.

  • You will require a minimum of a handful of treats, given that you will certainly be exercising this over and over.
  • Repeat this several times. Differ the amount of time that you hold the reward in your hand before making use of the clicker so that your dog does not begin to expect when the treat will come.
  • If your dog wants to sniff and attempt to get at the treat, keep your hand closed and wait until he loses interest in the reward before making use of the clicker.

3. Observe your dog’s response to the clicker. Some dogs may be sensitive to the sound of the clicker. If your dog escapes when he hears the clicker, the sound is most likely a little too severe for him. To soften the sound, you might cover a towel around the clicker. You might also make use of a various clicking gadget, such as a ballpoint pen, that would have a quieter clicking noise.

  • If he remains to flee from the clicking sound, you will probably have to rely more on spoken cues to train him.

Training Your Dog With a Clicker

1. Select a quiet place. As soon as your dog has learned what to expect with the sound of the clicker, you can utilize it to train him to do different commands (e.g., sit, down, stay). It would be best to train him in quiet area without other individuals or distractions around. If you have a fenced yard, you might also clicker train him outside.

  • As your dog ends up being more comfortable with clicker training, you can use the clicker in areas that are louder or have more diversions (e.g., living room with a TV on, dog park).




2. Click when your dog remains in the act of etiquette. One technique of clicker training your dog is called “catching”– you will click as soon as you catch your dog doing a good behavior that he’s already good at doing on his own. For example, if he remains in the room with you and decides to rest to get more comfortable, click as quickly as he lies down and right away throw him a treat. When he stands up to consume the reward, wait until he rests again and repeat the process.

  • The “capturing” technique will only work when your dog currently knows ways to do the etiquette without being commanded to do so.
  • The clicker training will enhance to him that he is doing the ideal thing, which will encourage him to repeat the good behavior.

3. Use the clicker at each little step of a new habits. This is called “shaping”– using the clicker and immediate benefit at each little step, you are shaping the new behavior as a whole. For example, if you want to train your dog to go lie down in a specific area, click and reward him as quickly as he turns his body in the instructions of that location. You can then click and reward him at each little step: starting to stroll to the brand-new spot, reaching the new spot, starting to rest, and fully resting on the floor.

  • Using the clicker and benefit at each little step, you will be offering him with continual positive reinforcement as he is discovering the brand-new habits. He will certainly believe that this learning is enjoyable and will likely perform the brand-new habits with passion.
  • You may need to exercise each step of the new habits over and over again prior to relocating to the next small step.

4. Use a food lure. For this approach, the reward is used to draw your dog into doing the anticipated habits. A food lure is commonly made use of when training a dog to rest. For this habits, you would hold the treat right in front of your dog’s nose and slowly move the treat to the floor. Your dog will follow the reward down. When his elbows struck the floor, immediately click and reward him with the treat.

  • When you see that your dog regularly responds with the food lure, get rid of the food lure however remain to hold your hand in front of his nose as if you have a reward. When he lies down, immediately make use of the clicker and give him a reward.
  • Eventually, your dog will discover how to rest by following only your hand signals without the lure of a reward.
  • The “lure” method can sometimes be quicker than the “shaping” or “capturing” approaches.

5. Add a verbal cue. Adding a verbal hint is helpful no matter which approach of clicker training you have actually been making use of to train your dog. You will certainly say the hint initially then await your dog to do the desired behavior. As quickly as he does the behavior, click and reward him with a treat.

  • Your verbal hint should be brief and direct, such as “sit” or “down.” Sentences, such as “Be a great boy and remain” or “Roll over for mommy” would be too long.
  • See to it that you give the spoken hint before your dog does the behavior so that he knows to listen for your command and after that react to it.
  • If you have used the “lure” technique, offer the hand signal after stating the verbal hint.


  • Keep the clicker training sessions short (15 minutes or less).
  • Think about clicker training your dog when he is starving. If he is complete, he may not be as thinking about working for food.
  • Clicker train your dog when you are in an excellent state of mind. The training sessions must be pleasurable for the both of you. If you are in a good state of mind, opportunities are that your dog will respond positively to your favorable energy.
  • When you clicker train, utilize small and soft treats that your dog can eat rapidly and quickly. Dog treats are offered at your local pet store.
  • If you are having trouble clicker training your dog by yourself, you can sign up for clicker training classes or have him trained by a professional dog trainer. Talk with your vet for more information about dog training classes.


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