Clicker Training

If you visit a dog training club, you may be surprised to hear clicking noises coming
from the classes. These sounds are made by a clicker, a little plastic device with a
thin metal tongue. Pressing the tongue makes it bend, and this makes a sharp
clicking sound.

This clicking sound can be linked to a reward, by repeatedly clicking then rewarding
your dog. If you repeat this often enough, he will become excited when he hears the
noise, because he knows there is a treat coming. At this point, the clicker becomes
a very powerful training tool.

When you are training your dog and you tell him he is a good boy, he may have done several things in the time it takes you to get those words out. He won't know if he is being rewarded for sitting, for sniffing the ground or for wagging his tail. This is where the clicker is so useful. It marks the exact behavior that you are rewarding, so your dog is more likely to repeat it.

Uses for Clicker Training You'll find there are several areas in which clicker training is a very useful tool. It is particularly handy when you are teaching your dog to perform an exercise at a distance from you, so the food reward isn't right next to him. He will still work for the click because he know it is linked to the reward.

Obedience and Agility Classes. Dogs learn quicker when they know exactly what they are being rewarded for.

Trick Training. Some of the behaviors that circus dogs perform, for example, would be almost impossible to train without a clicker and some rewards.

Assistance Dogs. It's not possible to train a dog to pick up socks or to put the laundry in the washing machine with force or coercion. Clicker training can be used to mark the very specific behavior that you want from your dog.

Advantages of Using a Clicker

What makes clicker training so much better than other methods of teaching your dog.

It is cheap. A Clicker and some dog treats will only cost you a couple of dollars, and if you're not sure on how to get started, you can find information available for free on the internet.

It is fun for your dog. If your dog is working for a reward, then he will be enthusiastic and try very hard to get it right. It's a pleasure to watch a dog that loves his training sessions.

It works with all ages. Whether your dog is 10 weeks old or 10 years old, he can still learn new behaviors with the help of a clicker.

It is forgiving. If you get it wrong, the worst you have done is given your dog a treat for nothing. There's no harm done to your relationship at all.

It doesn't take long. Short training sessions can be squeezed into your busy schedule, and even 5 minutes can be enough to reinforce a behavior.

If you have never trained a dog before, clicker training is a great way to start. If you're an experienced trainer, then grab a clicker and give it a go. You may well find it's more effective than the training methods you've been using in the past.

Check Out Dog Training Books on Amazon