Clicker training as positive reinforcement of your dog’s behavior is one of the quickest ways to train your dog. It encourages focus, gives one consistent sound for positive behavior, encourages your dog to try new things, and build up their confidence.
Clicker training is great for dogs because they’re quickly able to learn that the sound means good things are coming, which in turn builds their confidence and makes him easier to train. Read on to find out how to get started with clicker training!
The Basics of Clicker Training
Introduce your dog to the clicker and its unique sound before you begin the actual training. Click the clicker, then give him a treat. You want him to begin to associate the sound of the click with good things happening.
Once he’s become used to the sound, move on to the training. Start with something simple that your dog likely already knows, like “sit”. Give your dog the sit command, then when he does it, click the clicker and give your dog a treat.
Be sure to click and give the treat immediately upon your dog’s completion of the command. Don’t wait. He’ll begin to associate the sound of the clicker with good things and will eventually start to perform the behavior on his own.
Once your dog has mastered basic commands like “sit” with the clicker, it’s time to move on to more complicated training exercises, like stay and come. The important thing to remember is that your dog needs to hear the click as soon as he does something right, and then get his delicious treat right after that. There can’t be a delay.
Clicker Training Issues
If your dog doesn’t pick up on the clicker right away, take a look at how you were using it. Remember to only click once each time, and only click when your dog has done something correctly. Make sure the click happens immediately upon your dog’s completion of a task, and that you’re giving the treat right after that.
If he’s having trouble with a certain command, be sure to click immediately if you see your dog perform it correctly in order to reinforce the behavior. It may take some time and some patience, but your dog will get there.
Mistakes to Avoid
As great a training tool as the clicker is, it can be easy to misuse the clicker and confuse your dog. Be sure you’re only clicking once. Clicking more than that will cause your dog to be unsure about what he’s being rewarded for. And be sure it’s happening immediately upon your dog’s successful completion of a command. Then give a treat right away. Don’t wait.
Clicker training is a great way to teach your dog the commands he needs to stay safe and happy. And it can be used for anything, not just commands. If your dog lies in his bed instead of on the couch, click and give a treat. If he sits without barking at a squirrel in the backyard, click and give a treat.
Your dog depends on you for guidance and instruction, and using clicker training is a great way to get him there.
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