Clicker training is an excellent puppy training option. It can be used successfully to train dogs of all ages but is especially useful for training puppies and young dogs.
Clicker training involves the use of a handheld, plastic device called a “clicker” that produces a clicking sound when pressed. Clicker training is also classified as positive reinforcement training and can be used for teaching many things, including commands, how to walk on a leash, tricks and a lot more.
Puppy clicker training and treats go hand-in-hand
Some people feel there is no benefit to training their puppy with a clicker since it also calls for the use of treats. But, clicker training is far more effective than just using treats and other types of rewards. This because clicker training entails both positive reinforcement and conditioning. Your dog becomes conditioned to respond to the clicking sound. This makes future training a lot less difficult.
Initially, frequent treats are required to get your dog used to the clicker. After a while treat rewards are generally not required as frequently. They need to still be given once in a while to maintain the clicker’s effectiveness.
Clicker train your puppy in a few simple steps
You do not need to be a professional to use clicker training with your puppy. It is really simple. Follow a few easy steps, and you will be using a clicker in no time at all:
- Find a relaxed training area.
- Prepare a Ziploc bag with treats or other food rewards. Whenever possible, begin training just before mealtime to make sure your dog is motivated by the treats.
- Press the device and reward your puppy with a treat as soon as you have their attention. Repeat this process about TEN more times or until your puppy is used to the clicker.
- Give a basic command such as “sit”.
- Press the clicker when your dog sits.
- Reward your puppy with a treat and give praise.
The same steps can be followed for training other commands and behaviors.
A clicker is ideal for both basic and advanced dog training
Clicker training is perfect for beginners because of its simplicity. Once your dog knows the clicker, you can utilize it for more complicated training. For instance, you can use the clicker to prompt your dog through a hula hoop in preparation for other activities required in agility trials. You can also make use of the clicker to teach your dog tricks like twirl, speak, crawl, play dead, and more!