When it comes to training your dog, using a clicker can make this process easier. Clicker training offers an effective and convenient way to teach your dog to follow commands. Find out more about clicker training, including how to do it and why it works so well.
How Clicker Training Works
Dogs learn to associate the sound of the clicker with getting a reward when they do a certain behavior. When you pair this with a verbal command, dogs figure out what they need to do when they hear the command. Clicker training focuses on using a positive way to reinforce desired behavior, which makes dogs eager to learn.
Benefits of Clicker Training
Clicker training provides some important benefits compared to other dog training methods. These advantages include the following:
- It’s more consistent: The clicker always makes the same sound when you use it. When you use vocal commands, your voice might change in terms of pitch, tone or volume, and your dog might not respond the same each time. Being consistent is an important part of helping your dog learn commands.
- It’s easier overall: With clicker training, you start by clicking and rewarding your dog right away when she does a certain behavior instead of waiting for her to figure out what to do for a verbal command or hand signal. The clicking sound and reward motivate her to perform that behavior, making it easier to add in a verbal command or hand signal later on.
- It’s humane: Clicker training doesn’t rely on any negative training methods, such as punishing dogs for not doing the right behavior or for doing the wrong behavior. Instead, this form of training depends on staying positive and motivating dogs through rewards.
Choosing a Clicker
When you need to choose a clicker for training, there are a few factors to keep in mind. You’ll want to look for a clicker that’s easy for you to carry around, so you can click and reward your dog on the spot when she does a certain behavior. The clicker you choose should also be easy to use, since you’ll need to be able to click immediately. Your clicker should also be loud enough for your dog to hear, but it shouldn’t be loud enough to scare her if she’s sensitive to noise. A few high-quality clickers to look into include EcoCity Upgrade Version Dog Training Clicker, StarMark Clicker Dog Training System and PetSafe Click-R-Trainer.
How to Train with a Clicker
There are different approaches used in clicker training, including shaping, luring, capturing, modeling and molding. You might need to experiment with different approaches to see what works best for you. In general, you start by building an association with the clicker sound and a reward. You do this by using the clicker right after your dog does a certain behavior, then giving her a reward immediately.
Once your dog learns that the sound of the clicker means a reward is coming, she’ll start doing the desired behavior. You can add in a vocal command or hand signal later on. With clicker training, your dog will learn to do the desired behavior after hearing the command or seeing the signal. Over time, you can do away with treat rewards and use praise instead.
If you’re having trouble training your dog or need a little help, DoGone Fun offers professional dog training services. Our training services include group classes and individual training sessions. Contact us to learn more about our dog training services in Chicago.