A clicker is a simple training tool that helps teach your dog new behaviors by marking the exact moment your dog has done the correct behavior.
You can use a clicker to teach your dog tricks or to train behaviors such as staying calm at the door, waiting quietly on a dog bed or dropping toys and other items.
In this post, I'll go over how you can begin using a clicker to start training your dog!
How to use a clicker to train your dog
When you begin clicker training your dog, the goal is to build a connection between the “click” and a treat.
Always give your dog a treat immediately after the click until she understands click = reward. Don’t be slow with delivering the treat!
Start with basics like asking your dog to sit, which she probably already knows. When your dog sits, instantly “click” and give a treat. You want her to think, “What do I need to do to get the ‘click’?”
Once your dog understands that the click equals a reward, you can use the "click" to give your dog consistent, immediate feedback that he is doing the correct behavior.
Benefits of the "click" sound
A clicker is helpful because the "click" sound is more consistent than our voice. Our voices tend to be louder, softer, more firm, etc., depending on our moods.
Our Mighty Paw clicker is available on our website here.
However, if you prefer to use your voice instead of a mechanical clicker, you can. Just choose a consistent sound like “yep!”
Next steps - slowly increase the challenge
As your dog is successful with certain cues and concepts, you will no longer need the clicker for those behaviors.
For example, you won’t need to use the clicker anymore for things like “sit” or “down."
Instead, use the clicker and treats when you are teaching your dog new concepts or when you are doing a training refresher.
As your dog learns, you don't have to give a treat every time, but of course treats help!
For example, when you are teaching somewhat complicated concepts like “roll over” you can use your clicker to mark the instant your dog does the action and still give a treat. This helps your dog understand exactly what you’re asking.
Really, the options are unlimited when it comes to clicker training your dog!
You can order a clicker from our Mighty Paw store here. It comes with two attachment options, either an extra soft lanyard or a retractable clip for your convenience.
If you have any questions about clicker training your dog, feel free to email us at Team@MightyPaw.com