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How to Train A Dog Using a Clicker

How to Train A Dog Using a Clicker

Clicker exercises are a popular way to train dogs and reward good behavior. This way is fun for both you and the dog, and often provides quick results as well as effective.  Clicker exercises are based on the scientific concept that an animal will continue to perform behaviors that earn it a reward. Once the dog understands the meaning of using clickers, you will be able to teach various tricks by giving many rewards. You can use any sound instead of a clicker as long as it's consistent and distinctive, like a pen sound or something like that.

How to Train A Dog Using a Clicker
How to Train A Dog with Clicker

How to Train A Dog With Clicker

Get Ready Train with Clicker

1. Learn how to use clicker. Clicker, which can be purchased at a nearby animal supplies store, is a small plastic tool with a button or metal tongue. You'll press it to generate a click sound.The key to using it is to press at the right moment, which is when the dog performs the behavior you want. This clicking sound should then always be followed by a kind of gift like food, toys, verbal compliments etc.

Keep in mind that the clicker is a sign of an imminent gift, rather than being the gift itself.

The dog will learn two main things with the clicker–that is the moment when he does something right, and that snack will only always come after the sound of a click.

Clicker can be a much more accurate method than verbal commands such as "good" or "thank you" to communicate with dogs while training them. Thus, he will be quicker to master things.

Think of a clicker as a victory alarm on a game-sounding event indicating a moment when the right behavior or action is being performed. 

2. Introduce the dog to the clicker. Before using this tool for training purposes, teach the dog about its meaning. This is called "charging".  When in the same room as the dog as long as the room is quiet, hold the snack in one hand and the clicker in the other. Press clicker once. When the dog turns towards the clicker sound, immediately give me a snack. 

Prepare many snacks, as you will train them many times.

Repeat several times. Vary the length of time between giving the next snack before using the clicker so that the dog does not anticipate when it will get food.

If the dog wants to sniff and try stealing a snack, close your hand and wait until it loses interest before you return to using the clicker. 

3. Observe the dog's response. Some dogs may be sensitive to clicker sounds. If he runs away when he hears it, this means it may be too strong. To soften the sound, wrap the clicker with a towel. You can also use other clicking tools, such as ballpoint pens, that produce slower sounds. 

If the dog stays out of the way, you may have to rely more on verbal commands to train it.

How Train Dogs with Clicker

1. Choose a quiet location. Once the dog learns to expect something based on the clicker sound, you can use the tool to train it to perform various commands like sit down, down, shut up. Train your dog in a quiet, distraction-free location for people or anything else. If you have a fenced back yard, you can also train it outdoors.

Once the dog is more comfortable with clicker exercises, use the clicker in noisy areas or have more distractions like a room with a live TV or a dog park. 

2. Ring the clicker when the dog is doing good behavior. One method of clicker practice is "catching"– you should immediately ring the click after the dog performs good behavior by itself. For example, if he is in the room with you and decides to lie down to make himself more comfortable, sound a click as soon as he does and throw a snack. When he wakes up to eat, wait until he lies back down and repeats the process. 

The "catching" method only works when the dog already knows how to perform good behavior without having to be ruled. Clicker exercises will tell the dog that he has done the right thing. This way, the dog will be encouraged to repeat good behavior.

3. Use the clicker on each small step for new behavior. This is called "shaping" – by using clickers and direct rewards for all small developments, you're shaping the new behavior thoroughly.  For example, if you want to train a dog to lie down on a specific area, sound a click and give a reward as soon as it directs the body to the area. You can then hit the clicker again and snack on every small step: as he begins to walk to a new area, when he arrives in the area, the time he starts lying down, and after he lies completely on the floor.

By using clickers and rewards at every small step, you'll give a positive boost on an ongoing basis as he learns new behaviors. He will assume that this learning process is fun so he wants to continue to perform good behavior. You may have to train each step many times before moving on to the next step.

4. Lure the dog with food. For this method, the snack will be used as a fishing pan for the dog to perform the expected behavior. Food fishing is usually used to teach dogs to lie down. For this behavior, hold the snack right in front of the dog's nose and lower it slowly to the floor. Dogs will follow the food movement. When his elbow hits the floor, immediately ring the clicker and reward him with the snack. 

Once the dog responds consistently to food fishing, get rid of the food but keep putting your hands in front of its nose, as if you were still preparing a snack. As the dog lies down, immediately ring the clicker and give it the snack.

In the end, the dog will learn to lie down simply by following the signal from the hand without the fishing pan.

This method sometimes succeeds faster than the "shaping" or "catching" method. 

5. Add verbal commands. Adding this remains useful, regardless of the clicker exercise method you're using. First say the command, then wait until the dog performs the behavior you want. As soon as he does, ring the clicker and give him a snack gift. 

These verbal commands must be short and direct, such as "sit down" or "down". "Come on, be a good boy " or "Roll on and good boy" are  too long sentence.

Make sure you throw verbal commands before the dog performs its actions so that it learns to listen to you and respond. 

If you are already using the "fishing" method, give a hand signal after saying verbal commands. 

Tips How to Train A Dog Using a Clicker

Keep the clicker training duration short (15 minutes or less).

Consider clicker exercises when dogs are hungry. If he is full, the dog may not be interested in snacks.

When training with a clicker, use a small snack that is mushy and can be quickly spent by dogs. You can buy them at a nearby animal supplies store.

Train your dog with a clicker when your mood is good.The training session will feel more enjoyable for both sides. When your mood is good, it is likely that the dog will respond appropriately to your positive energy.

If you have trouble training dogs with clickers, take clicker training classes or have your dog trained by a professional dog trainer.  Talk to a veterinarian to learn more about these classes.

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