Clicker training is a great way to help dogs learn new things faster. The idea of using a clicker during training is to communicate clearly to your pet the exact moment he does the right thing. This makes training easier and more enjoyable for you and your dog. Clickers are also very much affordable. You can buy them from any pet store at $5 or less.
Here are some benefits of clicker training you may not know about if it’s your first time owning a dog:
When done in the right way, clicker training is very useful in marking good behaviors accurately. With a simple click, you’re able to communicate to your dog clearly on what behaviors are good and desirable. Your pet doesn’t have to keep guessing what is right and what is wrong during training, and this encourages him to keep learning new skills and behaviors.
If your pet is easily distracted, you may want to start using a clicker during training. It’s very effective in building attention and focus in dogs.
Using a clicker during training also helps to build confidence in dogs that are fearful or shy. We often say too much when using verbal commands, and this ends up confusing our dogs. This is where clickers come in handy. When your dog hears the sound of a clicker at the exact moment he does something awesome, it makes him feel good about himself, which boosts his self-confidence.
Consistent clicker training combined with positive reinforcement (praises, treats etc.) will definitely make your dog look forward to the next training session.
While using a clicker during training makes learning new things easier for dogs, it can also make them confused when used wrongly. Usually, the general rule is to click only once immediately your dog performs the desired action. And then follow that click with a reward (a delicious treat etc.).
Therefore, you should avoid clicking multiple times as this will only confuse your pet. He will not know the exact behavior you are rewarding.
If this is your first time doing clicker training, the first thing you should do is to introduce your pet to the clicker. Hold the clicker in one hand, and treats in the other. To get his attention, click once, and then reward him with the treat. The goal here is to make him understand that every clicking sound equals good stuff. Repeat the above process a couple of times until you’re sure he’s comfortable with the clicker.
After that, you can start training him on a new behavior. The best starting point for clicker training is asking your dog to sit. Immediately his butt gets to the ground, click once and follow up with a treat. Repeat this several times before moving to other behaviors. Make sure you’re clicking at the exact moment he does something good.
All in all, if you’ve never used clicker training on your dog before, you may want to give it a try. It’s a simple, inexpensive and effective way to show your pet exactly which behaviors are acceptable and which ones are not.