What is clicker Training?
Clicker Training/ A Reward Marker is a sound that marks the exact moment in time that your dog is doing a correct behavior. A reward marker can be a clicker or verbal “Yes” or “Good”. Your dog will learn that when they hear this sound or word they will be reinforced by a treat. Behaviors that are reinforced will increase in frequency.
Example, as soon as your dog stops barking, click and treat (CT). Your dog will soon learn being quiet gets goodies!
Why clicker training?
- The sound of the click is different from any other noise your dog encounters.
- It is quick and concise. Much faster than your voice. Dogs are very timely animals. It is important that you catch them the moment they are doing something right.
- It is positive.
- It gives your dog a choice.
- It forms a strong bond between dog and owner.
- It is an easy way to shape a behavior.
- It creates a thinking dog. You will find your dog will offer you behaviors in hopes to hear the clicker!
Why not clicker training?
- When first starting to train a behavior you must always have a clicker.
- It takes time to learn how to handle a clicker, leash, and treats at the same time.
- The clicker is NOT used to gain your dogs attention or get them to come to you when they hear it. The clicker tells the dog ‘yes’ that is the behavior I want you to do.
- Click as soon as you see a desired behavior.
- You must always follow a treat after a click, even if you made a mistake. Our dog must know that hearing the click means a treat.
- Give your treat as soon as possible after you click.
How to get started
We need to train our dogs to understand what the sound of the click means. When they hear a click they know a treat is coming and that they have done something good. To do this we pair your clicker with a food.
- Click and Treat (CT) 10 times in a row. Do not expect your dog to do a behavior at this time.
- My dog is afraid of the clicker.
- Place the clicker in your pocket
- Place a few strips of masking tape over the clicker
- Use a snap top lid
- Use a squeaker instead of a clicker
- My dog is not food motivated.
- Feed your dog their breakfast and dinner- FROM YOU and not their bowl. Your dog obviously eats, have all their food come from you.
- Use a variety of treats
- Use a favorite toy
- Use your love
- My dog is not interested in training
- Patience is the key
- Training sessions should be very short 5 – 10 minutes
- Training sessions should always be fun