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How to Clicker Train YourDog



clicker trainingFinding new and simple ways to get your dog to listen to anything you say can be frustrating, but while a lot of methods seem to be pretty hit-and-miss, one has become steadily more effective: Clicker training. That’s right, the simple method of rewarding your pooch with a click or rather conditioning them to respond to the click has appeared and become an incredibly useful way of getting your dog to pay attention. But just how does it work and how can you use it with your dog? Here’s how to clicker train your dog.

First, you’ll naturally need to get a clicker or some kind. There are official clickers sold online and such, but if you’re really strapped for it, you can easily find something else that’ll work, like a click-top pen or a Snapple cap or something similar. Basically anything that makes a definite sharp “click” or something similar should do the trick. Once you have that, we come move on to how to make use of it.

So then, the point of the clicker is to speed along the process of the rewards, but it can’t be done independent of treats. When teaching your dog with the clicker, rather than replacing treats, the clicker is meant to replace the phrase “good dog” or some variation. It’s basically a much faster response overall to click and then hand a treat, and it’s this quicker response time that helps your dog pick something up a lot quicker. Eventually, the click will become synonymous with the treat/reward to the point that your dog will sometimes feel content with the click alone for a good action. However, removing the treat from the click too often will disassociate the two and your dog will stop responding positively to the click. Dogs are just like that sometimes.

The most basic way to train your dog is to take him to a quiet area, make a click, then immediately hand over a treat. Do this repeatedly until your dog seems to be getting the hang of it. You can test out how much they’re beginning to associate the clicker to the treats by their response after clicking. Do it when they aren’t paying attention, and if it immediately gets them to look over and then begin searching for the treat, this means they understand and you can move on to the next step.

From here, you want to incorporate commands into the training regimen by telling them to do something simple like “sit” or “fetch” and then clicking when they do said command. You have to be fast here and make sure you’re clicking with expert timing exactly when they perform the trick or command. When they do it right, be fast with the click, then give them a treat and additional praise as you see fit. If all goes well, they again begin to connect the click with the reward or rather as the reward, but more than anything it gets them to remember the commands much easier. The click is like a quick moment in time and the sound solidifies things for your dog, making their brain lock away this strange occurrence much more than just the usual pats and ear scratches for a job well done.

Clicker training is a great and simple way to get your dog to start picking up new tricks and commands quickly and effectively. Why not go out and give it a try yourself? A clicker doesn’t cost much or you can find something that works equally as good, so go forth and train your pup with confidence!


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