Clicker dog training works! Read on to find out more…
If you’ve been disappointed with your dog training results so far then clicker dog training could just be the answer you’ve been looking for. Clicker training is one of the most effective dog training methods. It takes little time to master and can teach just about any behavior, from a simple “sit”, to complex Hollywood-type dog stunts.
How Clicker Dog Training Works
With clicker training for dogs, you are teaching the dog to associate the sound of the clicker – a short, sharp sound that a dog can hear from over 20 yards away, with a particular behavior.
All you’ll need is a bag of your dog’s favorite treats and a clicker, a small plastic or metal device, available from most pet stores for a few dollars.
Here’s how to do it. Ready? Let’s go.
1. Charging up your clicker.
The first step to clicker dog training is to ‘charge’ the clicker. The aim is to get the dog to associate the sound of the clicker with the treat. To get started, click once with the clicker and give the dog a treat. Repeat this until the dog pays attention to the sound of the clicker, for example pricking up his ears and expecting a treat when you click.
2. Capturing a behavior.
Wait for the dog to do a simple behavior, for example sitting, then click and reward. Do this every time the dog repeats the behavior.
3. Adding a word cue
Once the dog is repeating the behavior reliably, add a word cue. In this example, as the dog is about to sit, say “Sit”. Then click and reward.
4. Testing the cue
Now say the cue word and see if the dog obeys the command. If he does, reward him.
Once the dog does the trick in response to the vocal cue, stop rewarding for “un-cued” behavior. This means that when the dog sits without being told to do so, he doesn’t get the reward.
5. Varying the reward
Start to give the reward only every second or third time that the dog does the trick. However, still click and praise every time the dog does it right, so he knows he is doing something that pleases you.
6. Take it outside
Do the training in a number of different locations, indoors and out. This is important because if you only train in one place, your dog will associate that place with the command. You need to teach the dog that the important thing is the cue, and not where the instruction is given.
7. Teach a new trick
Now that you understand this simple method of training with a clicker you can teach your dog just about any behavior. You can even try it on your cat. Clicker dog training works!