Clicker training is one of the most popular dog training techniques today. However, it is practical and relatively simple to implement when you learn its basics.
To help you get a handle on this training technique, here are the top 10 dog clicker training tips that you should know about.
Find the Right Clicker
One of the most common problems with clicker training is finding the right clicker.
If you're using a clicker, you'll want to make sure it's comfortable to use—you don't want it to be too harsh or loud, and it should fit comfortably in your hand. It should be easy to manipulate and have some weight to feel like an actual click when you press the button.
If you want to get into the science of clickers, many factors go into making one that's right for you. An excellent place to start is by reading reviews on the internet or talking with other dog trainers about what theirs has been like for them.
Consistency and regularity are essential to training your dog with a clicker. You can't just randomly click the dog and expect it to learn anything.
When training your dog, you should always carry the clicker with you so that it's never more than an arm's distance away. If you are doing other things during the day, like cooking or gardening, keep an eye on your dog while it's in its kennel or crate so that if it gets distracted by something, you'll still be able to reward it when it comes back.
Remember that consistency is one of the most crucial tips that will help with training your dog. You need to ensure that you give your dog a consistent response every time they do something correctly so that they will know what needs to be done next time.
It is important to remember that your dog needs more time to be ready for clicker training. For example, never force techniques how to stop your dog from pulling on the leash. Because dogs might need help understanding what you are trying to say and the whole training concept.
You will want to start slow and let them get used to the idea of a clicker and treat reward system before you introduce anything more complicated.
Remember that you can always back off and try again later if things aren't going well.
Use Positive Reinforcement
A positive reinforcement strategy is often used when training dogs using a clicker system, so ensure that you're using positive reinforcement at all times instead of negative reinforcement (which means punishing your dog).
If you punish them for doing something wrong or accidentally reinforcing bad behavior, they'll learn that bad behaviors are rewarded and good ones punished—not applicable.
The most important thing to remember when training your dog is to be patient. It's easy to get frustrated with your dog, especially if your dog is not responding immediately. But don't give up.
Every time you try again, even if it doesn't work the first time, keep trying until they respond. It may take a while, but the more times you do this and show them that you're willing to keep trying, the faster they'll learn.
Click and Treat Immediately
When you begin training your dog, it's essential to know that the easiest way to get them to respond is with a clicker and a treat.
The clicker marks the behavior you want your dog to perform—in this case, sitting or standing still—and then the treat is given when they do what they were asked to do.
If you're having trouble getting your dog to sit or stand still before giving them a treat, try using treats that are bigger and uglier than usual so that they associate the clicker sound with something positive.
Start With Basic Training First
There's nothing like a new puppy, and we've all been there: the excitement of meeting your new best friend, the rush of affection as you walk through the door with him, and then what? You need help figuring out where to start.
That's why it's so important to start with basic training first. If you're still new to dog training or have had a puppy for a while but have yet to get around to it, basic training can help you get started on that long-anticipated journey.
Keep Sessions Short (like 5-10 minutes)
When you're training your dog to respond to a clicker, the best thing is to keep sessions short and sweet. Five minutes of training can be enough to get your dog on the right track, but if you want to continue with longer sessions, later on, it's best to start with shorter ones first.
It will help you establish a good habit early on—so that when it comes time for you and your pet to take things up a notch, you'll already have some experience.
You don't need fancy equipment or space to train your pup. You need a clicker and something for your dog to respond to (either food or toys).
Don't Use Too Much Pressure On Your Dog
It is a common mistake that inexperienced dog owners make. You should always be gentle and patient when trying to train your pet.
The biggest mistake people make is forcing their dogs into doing something when they don't want to do it. If a dog is not interested in something, it's best to give them some time and let them figure out how they want to proceed.
Don't Use the Clicker as a Toy
Use the clicker sparingly as a toy, or your dog may ignore it when you want to use it.
It is a common mistake made by new clicker trainers, but if you want your dog to respond to the sound of the click, you need to consider this step. They will only understand if your dog responds when you use the clicker.
If your dog ignores the clicker when playing with it or going through their daily routine, try using different sounds or a different device (such as a bell) instead.
Every dog has a unique personality, so your training approach will likely be based on what works best with your particular dog.
Regardless, when using a clicker for dog training, you'll need to invest in some special equipment—this is the price you must pay for your precious time with your four-legged buddy.
But don't worry; it's worth it. After all, sharing time with your dog—and training them—is something you'll never regret.