What is Dog Clicker Training and How Can it Help Your Dog?

Clicker Training 101: How to Train Your Dog to Auditory CuesClicker training can be viewed as a positive reinforcement tool for dog training with the added benefit of a clicker. The techniques are based on the science of animal learning, which says that rewarded behaviors are more likely to be repeated in the future. Opposed to punishing your dog for doing wrong, which causes us to take their good behavior for granted, the click praises your dog for doing right. Turning the tables on the most traditional way of dog training, I think it is genius.

When your dog does something right, an exciting, rewarding reaction from you will encourage repetitive behavior. In addition, the clicker is used to shape specific actions. For instance, the moment my dog sees another person, his excitement radar exceeds any level of excitement I have ever seen in life. Dog lovers will ask me, “Can I pet him? Does he bite?” My response is usually, “No, he doesn’t bite; he jumps and licks.” I want him to stay calm when he sees people, and I don’t want to use a dog muzzle just yet. Although he is people-friendly, not everyone wants a dog jumping on and licking them. This is where the clicker training comes in.

As I stated earlier, he gets no click or an enthusiastic response when he acts up. He only gets that when he’s good—so, times when he isn’t jumpy and excited or not getting into things I worked so hard to dog proof around my house. He receives the clicker, which draws his attention towards me, and he sees me praising him for his behavior. It might take some time, but each time this happens, he will pick up on the pattern and eventually put two and two together.

Methods and Precautions with Clicker Training

The majority of dog owners only end up training just basic commands, in which case the clicker concepts will suit you just fine. Clicker training is for use any time you are in a training session with your dog or to You can use it at home and even on a walk. When my dog walks ahead of me, I stop. When he walks beside me, he gets the click. You can also have it on hand if you take your dog to a dog training school with a professional trainer. On the contrary, if you are not currently training and are just relaxing at the house or playing with your dog, a clicker is not needed.

Clicker training is a fun and effective way to communicate with your pets. With this method of training, you watch for the behavior you like, mark with the click the moment your dog does good, and pay it off with a treat or praised response.

If your dog does not respond well to sound, try a softer clicker; a retractable ballpoint pen will work just fine. It is an alternative means if you can’t get the clicker right away. When utilizing the clicker training method, avoid adding a cue until the dog is doing the behavior you desire.

There’s No Better Choice

People ask about clicker training every day. The clicker works best when you pair it with something that the dog loves. I match clicking with fetch. He loves to play fetch, but you can use a treat, your dog’s favorite toy, and so on. In the end, the clicker helps your dog quickly identify the behavior that makes you happy and what you’re trying to achieve.

When I was a beginner with no previous dog training experience, I had a preference for using the clicker. You can certainly train your dog without a clicker, but based on my experience, if I had the choice to train with a clicker or skip it entirely, I would use a clicker every time. Your dog grows more confident with this method of training. He feels he has control over consequences. When teaching a dog a new behavior, the clicker is your way of telling your dog precisely what practices are acceptable.

Clicking gives the dog the only cue; he needs to know he did the right thing. It’s a personal belief, but I think our dogs love it when they make us happy. I see how excited mine gets when I am happy he did a praisable behavior. He will remember and repeat this behavior looking for the same response. Our dogs are happy when we are happy, as their parents. The clicker is a way to communicate with your dog at the exact moment he did something remarkable. It would be best if you tried it. Your dog will love the fact that instead of being punished for the wrongs that you notice and appreciate he’s trying to do the right things to make you happy.