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Were you fascinated by poppers as a child? The clicker is a very similar device. The principle of its operation is the same: If you press the button, you can hear a simple click. In this article, you will find the most important information about the topic “Clicker training dogs”.
What is a clicker?
In short, the clicker is a small, drop-shaped object with a button in the middle. Some clickers also have a built-in extendable stick that allows you to point to things.
You can tie the device to your hand with tape. And when you press the button, it makes a simple sound. The clicker makes training the dog fun.
How does dog training work with the clicker?
Clicker training has been used for years to train dogs, horses, and even cats. Scientific studies show that clicker training helps animals learn tricks and get rid of unwanted behaviors more easily.
The principle: Each click corresponds to a reward. In order for your dog to truly see the click as a positive signal, you must first familiarize him with the sound and teach him that the sound should be understood as an alternative to the snack.
Tips for your first clicker training
Before you start clicker training your furry friend, you have a few things to consider. But don’t worry, once you get used to it, you and your dog will love clicker training sessions!
What do I need for clicker training?
All you need is a few things to start training your dog: a clicker, a few snacks or dry food, and an attentive dog.
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How do I use the clicker correctly in my training?
During the first clicker training, it is important to teach the animal the principle of the device. The first step is to activate the clicker and immediately give the dog a snack. Time is essential in this case! Only after you understand this you will be able to teach the dog the principle of this type of training.
Repeat the training with the clicker about five times per lesson. Give him a snack after each click, so that the dog can see the click as a reward. If you give him a snack too late, the click loses its encouraging function. As soon as your dog sees the click as a reward, you can really start this type of training session.
Tips for a successful clicker training
Start training with an exercise that the dog is already mastering, for example, the “sit” command. Give your dog the command and click as soon as he has executed it correctly.
The most important rules in short:
- Make sure your dog sees the click as a reward.
- Training should take place in a relaxed environment with as few stimuli as possible.
- Be careful at the period of time: Delay in reward leads to the fact that the dog will not associate his behavior with the click.
- The reward must be given immediately after clicking.
- Short training sessions are usually more productive.
- Give your dog a break as soon as he loses focus.
- Start with simple exercises to avoid overworking the dog.
- The dog receives a reward after every click!
What can I get with the help of clicker training?
If you find the right moment, you can repeat all sorts of tricks with the dog. In addition, you can use this method to help the dog unlearn wrong behaviors, for example, excessive barking. It encourages right behavior and ignores what is wrong.
Another tip: Never force the dog if he does not want to continue. Stop training as soon as he has lost his focus.
Once the dog has learned what the clicker means, you can take it with you everywhere.
What tricks can I practice with the help of the clicker?
You may be wondering what tricks you can teach your dog with the help of the clicker! The answer is any exercise you can think of. The degree of difficulty varies, of course. As a beginner, you should first approach easier tricks, so as not to overload the dog or yourself.
Tricks for beginners
- Turn around in a circle
If you want to teach your dog to turn around in a circle, he must follow your hand. You can get this done if you have a snack in your hand. In general, the dog will follow your hand, even when you make a circle in the air with it.
It is important to press the clicker and reward the dog only once he has made a full turn. If the dog makes the correct turn after a few repetitions, try to add a voice command, for example, “turn around”. Reduce the movement of the hand after a few training sessions until the dog responds only to the voice command.
- To beg
For this command, the dog must sit first. Then take a snack in one hand and hold both hands tight in the form of fists in the direction of the dog. Choose a distance so that he can touch your hands with his paws from where he is without any problems.
If you want him to learn this command, you should encourage him from the beginning of the exercise to touch your hands with both paws while he is sitting down. If you do this, immediately click on the clicker and reward him. Step by step you can remove your hands from this trick until your dog reacts only to your voice.
You will have a great time teaching your dog new commands with the help of the clicker!
- To sit on an object
This trick teaches the dog to sit with both front paws on a flat object. Before you start training with your dog, look for a stable, suitable object.
The first step is to make sure that the pet is interested in the object. To do this, put the object in front of him, click and reward him as soon as he shows interest in the object. If he doesn’t even look at the object, push it back and forth a little.
Once the animal associates the object with the reward, you can drop the click and the reward. Now the dog has to make a new move to receive the reward. Generally, he will try it.
As soon as the dog starts to step on the object with the paw, press the clicker. It takes a little patience to get the right moment. If he has understood after a few repetitions that he should put the paw on the object, you should give up the clicker again.
In the next step, the dog should put both paws on the object. Try this: If the dog puts both paws on the object, press the clicker and reward him. Once he learns to perform the correct trick, you can add the voice command.
The most important rules of clicker training
The clicker is suitable for any dog and dog owner! But there are a few rules you should follow if you want to succeed while using it:
- Teach him tricks only once the dog has understood the method.
- The moment is vital: If you press the clicker too early or too late, the dog will be confused.
- Do not make any sound during clicker training, because the dog should focus on the click sound.
- Do not overburden the dog and only give him the commands he knows at the time.
If you pay attention to these small mistakes, you can get the animal to learn a lot of new tricks. But the most important thing is to have fun. If the dog doesn’t feel like it, that’s it. Put the clicker aside and try again when he is more motivated.