How to Clicker Train Your Dog

So what’s the point of clicker training? Don’t you get dependent on a device to get your pet to do anything?

Great questions!

Here is how to clicker train your dog.

The point of clicker training is to get your dog’s attention in a consistent fashion, which can make training go faster. You don’t become dependent on the device, because over time, your dog will recognize your commands, regardless of whether you’re using the clicker or not. Eventually, you can stop using the clicker altogether.

1. Choose your signal.

The first step is to choose the signal you will use to inform your pet that a command has been given and there’s a potential for treats to be earned.

You can buy an inexpensive clicker, or you can simply choose a different sound, like snapping your fingers, tapping your foot, or clicking your tongue.

See what works best at getting your dog’s attention.

The most important part of any training method is that you’re consistent, so see what works and stick to it in order to clicker train your dog successfully.

2. Choose a reward.

To start, it helps immensely to hold your dog’s attention if you use a mixture of treats and praise. Choose the most delicious treat in the world to your dog.

Then over time, as your dog begins to respond reliably to commands, you can phase out the treats and rely on praise alone.

3. Choose consistent commands.

There’s the word “consistent” again. To get any training to stick, you need to be steadfast in your methods. When it comes to commands, keep them to one or two words, such as “Sit,” “Stay,” “Heel,” and “Come.”

Make a list of commands to practice with your dog so you remember which commands you chose. Don’t make your dog think too hard about what you’re saying; it’s enough to learn how to obey!

4. Watch your dog’s attention level.

Stick to regular meal times. You want to keep make sure your dog isn’t starving when it’s time to train, or their energy will be drained and they won’t be able to focus as well.

As training progresses and your dog earns treats, they will feel fuller and they won’t be as motivated to work for your rewards.

When going about clicker train your dog keep sessions focused and short so your dog doesn’t get stuffed, bored, and burned out on training.

Do you have any stories or tips to share about training your dog? Let us know in the comments, and consider signing up for PetPlus,a benefit program for pet owners that provides member-only access to medications at wholesale prices, plus discounts on food, supplies, vet visits, boarding, and more.

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