Step-by-Step: How to Clicker Train Your Dog

Step-by-Step: How to Clicker Train Your Dog

Clicker training is a positive reinforcement method that can help you teach your dog new behaviours and tricks. It involves using a clicker to mark the desired behaviour and then rewarding your dog with a treat.  At Delivery Hound, we know that dogs who have a strong food incentive respond quickly to this method of training.

Here's a step-by-step guide to help you get started with clicker training your furry friend.

What Is Clicker Training?

Clicker training is a popular method of dog training that uses a clicker as a marker to reinforce desired behaviours. To start, choose a behaviour you want to teach your dog and have a clicker and some treats on hand. When your dog performs the desired behaviour, click the clicker and immediately give your dog a treat. Repeat this process until your dog associates the click with the reward. Over time, your dog will learn to perform the desired behavior in order to hear the click and receive the reward. Remember to keep training sessions short and positive to keep your dog engaged and motivated.

Buy a clicker and dog treats.

The first step in clicker training your dog is to get a clicker and some treats. The clicker we recommend using can be purchase online here, it has 4 adjustable clicker volume settings and clips onto your belt, dog's lead or keys so that you always have it with you. You can use any type of treat that your dog likes, but it should be small and easy to eat quickly. You can even pop Man's Best food into your dog's treat pouch! Once you have your clicker and treats, you're ready to start training!

Charge the clicker.

Before you start training your dog, you need to charge the clicker. This means that you need to associate the sound of the clicker with a reward. To do this, simply click the clicker and immediately give your dog a treat. Repeat this several times until your dog starts to associate the sound of the clicker with getting a treat. Once your dog understands this association, you can start using the clicker to train new behaviours. This step is crucial to successfully clicker training a dog!

Start with simple behaviours.

 When beginning clicker training with your dog, it’s important to start with simple behaviours that your dog already knows. This will help your dog understand the concept of clicker training and build their confidence. For example, you can start by clicking and treating when your dog sits or lies down on command. Once your dog understands the concept of clicker training, you can move on to more complex behaviours.

Click and treat at the right time.

Timing is everything when it comes to clicker training. The click should happen the moment your dog performs the desired behaviour, followed immediately by a treat. This creates a clear association between the behaviour and the reward. If you click too early or too late, your dog may become confused and not understand what they are being rewarded for. Practice your timing by clicking and treating your dog for simple behaviours until you feel confident in your ability to click at the right moment. 

Add verbal commands and fade out the clicker.

Once your dog has mastered a behaviour with the clicker, you can start adding a verbal cue. For example, if you have been clicker training your dog to sit, you can start saying "sit" right before they perform the behaviour. Eventually, your dog will associate the verbal cue with the behaviour and you can phase out the clicker. Start by clicking and treating as usual, but gradually decrease the number of clicks until you are only using the verbal cue.

Remember to still reward your dog with treats for performing the behaviour correctly.


Move on to Advanced Dog Training With the Clicker

Once your hound has mastered the basics, you can progress onto new commands and some dogs can even learn tricks through clicker training! Gradually shape the behaviour by clicking and rewarding smaller steps toward the final behaviour. With patience and consistency, your dog will learn new behaviours quickly and easily with clicker training.


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