How to Clicker Train Your Dog

Clicker training is a positive, science-based training method that helps dogs learn new behaviors. If you’re new to clicker training, this post will walk you through the basics: how it works, how to get started, what tools and supplies you need, and tons of helpful tips along the way. By the end of this post, you’ll have everything you need to start clicker training your dog today!

Create a clicker training plan.

Clicker training is a positive reinforcement method that can be used to teach any dog to do just about anything. The best way to get started is by creating a plan for your training sessions, which will help you make sure that your dog learns the behavior you want them to learn as quickly and effectively as possible.

You’ll need:

  • A clicker: This is what you will use to mark the precise moment when your dog does something right. Once they hear the click, they’ll know that it’s time for their reward (which we’ll talk about next). A lot of people think that using a clicker means using treats on every single occasion—but this isn’t true! You can also use a verbal marker instead of a clicker if necessary; however, many trainers prefer using one or the other because it keeps things simple.
  • Treats/toys: These are going to be used as rewards when your dog does something good (like sitting down). It’s important that these items aren’t too big so they don’t distract from the task at hand; small pieces of soft food work well for most dogs!

Do your homework beforehand.

Before you even begin the process of teaching your dog new tricks, you will want to do some research. The internet is a great resource for this sort of thing. There are many different methods that people use when training dogs, so it’s important that you find out which methods work best for your dog and family. You should also find out what kind of results other people have gotten with these techniques in order to get an idea of what to expect from them yourself.

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Focus on small goals and big rewards.

Use small goals to help your dog learn new tricks. For example, if you’re teaching your dog to perform a trick that involves jumping on a bed, you might start by setting up the bed in the middle of the room and asking your dog to lie down on it. Then, move one corner of the mattress closer to him until he’s comfortable jumping on it from three feet away. Once he’s mastered those steps, move another portion of the bed closer until he can jump onto it from six feet away. By breaking down each goal into small pieces, it becomes easier for our furry friends to understand what we want them to do and makes training much more fun!

As soon as your dog performs the desired behavior—whether it’s sitting or lying down—reward him with praise or treats immediately after so that he has positive associations about his actions (such as sitting). This will encourage him not only learn what behaviors are correct but also repeat them again in future interactions with you or other people around him who may have similar interests (like playing fetch).

Set your dog up to succeed.

It’s important to understand that clicker training is a process, and it will take some time for your dog to get the hang of it. Don’t expect your dog to be able to perform all commands perfectly right away, or even in one session. Be patient with yourself and with your pup! If you find yourself getting frustrated when the clicker doesn’t work as expected (or if your dog hasn’t learned what you’re trying to teach), take a break and come back later when you’re calmer.

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Be patient but consistent.

Once you start, don’t stop. Clicker training is not a one-time event. It is an ongoing process that requires consistency and patience on your part, as well as the dog’s part. In order for this to be effective, both of you will need to keep up the training on a regular basis so that it doesn’t become an annoyance or chore for either of you.

Be patient with yourself! Don’t expect too much from yourself or your dog at first; it takes time for both of you to grasp new concepts, especially if this is all new territory for either one of you (or even both). Be patient with how long it takes for him/her to learn each thing too—don’t rush things too quickly just because there are other things in store later down the road. Remember: dogs learn differently than humans do! Just like children learning how  to speak their first language around age 2-3 years old isn’t necessarily indicative of what they’ll sound like when they’re teenagers…the same goes for dogs learning basic commands through clicker training!

Be prepared for setbacks and stay positive.

There will be days when your dog will not seem to be learning, or you may simply want to give up. Don’t! If you find yourself in one of these situations, take a step back and look at the big picture. Is your dog’s attention span waning? Are they getting bored? It’s important to keep them interested in the lesson by varying how rewards are given out and changing where you train. Dogs can get frustrated if they lose interest in what they’re doing; this will cause them to give up on learning altogether. You should also avoid giving too many treats when training so that they don’t become dependent on food as their primary motivator for doing anything else (like sitting). If all else fails and your dog still won’t learn what you’re trying to teach him/her, give yourself some time off from training together as a reward for both of your hard work!

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Understand there are multiple ways to approach training, but the most important thing is to keep it fun for you and your dog!

Clicker training is one of many techniques you can use to train your dog. As long as you are working toward the same end goal, which is making sure that your dog understands and follows your commands, there’s nothing wrong with choosing a different method than clicker training.

Your approach should be informed by what makes sense for you and your pup—not by what seems like the most popular or fashionable method out there. If you find yourself getting bogged down in details about how much time to spend on each command, then maybe it’s time to shift gears and focus more on the big picture: making sure that everyone has fun during their training sessions!

Clicker training can be fun, easy, and rewarding for both you and your dog!

When starting out with clicker training, it’s best to practice in short sessions (about 5-15 minutes per session) so that the puppy doesn’t get overwhelmed. It’s also important that you give praise when he follows the command correctly so he knows what he did was good! Make sure there aren’t any distractions around—the more distractions there are, the harder it will be for him/her to focus on learning how to perform his/her commands correctly.