The Pet Tree House - Where Pets Are Family Too : How to Clicker Train Your Dog

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

How to Clicker Train Your Dog

What Is Clicker Training?

Clicker is a method of animal training that uses a sound—a click—to tell an animal when he does something right. The clicker is a tiny plastic box held in the palm of your hand, with a metal tongue that you push quickly to make the sound. Most people who’ve heard of the clicker know that it’s a popular tool for dog trainers, but clickers can be used to train all kinds of animals, wild and domestic—from lions to elephants to household cats, birds and rats!

Giving the Clicker Meaning

It’s easy to introduce the clicker to your pet. Spend 30 minutes or so teaching him that the sound of the click means “Treat!” (For the sake of simplicity, let’s assume that you’re going to clicker train a dog.)

Sit and watch TV or read a book with your dog in the room. Have a container of treats within reach.

Place one treat in your hand and the clicker in the other. (If your dog smells the treat and tries to get it by pawing, sniffing, mouthing or barking at you, just close your hand around the treat and wait until he gives up and leaves you alone.)

Click once and immediately open your hand to give your dog the treat. Put another treat in your closed hand and resume watching TV or reading. Ignore your dog.

Several minutes later, click again and offer another treat.

Continue to repeat the click-and-treat combination at varying intervals, sometimes after one minute, sometimes after five minutes. Make sure you vary the time so that your dog doesn’t know exactly when the next click is coming. Eventually, he’ll start to turn toward you and look expectant when he hears the click—which means he understands that the sound of the clicker means a treat is coming his way.


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