Dog Training: Clicker Method – Mastering Commands


Dog training is an important process during which the pet acquires the necessary habits. To achieve positive results, you need to choose an effective parenting method. Clicker training is one of them.

Clicker training is one of the most common and effective methods. The owner develops the desired actions in the pet through positive reinforcement. Scientific ResearchPositive Reinforcement in Dog Training. showed that this method is much more effective than other techniques.

Clicker Training Method

What is a clicker

The clicker is a small plastic case with a button or a metal plate, after pressing which you can hear a click. This sound is sharp, clear, clearly recognized by the dog, because it does not occur in everyday life.

Of course, the clicker can be replaced with a fountain pen with a button or a piezo lighter, any object that makes a short sound. But then you will need to try so that in a normal setting the dog does not hear him.

Clicker Training Method

Method essence

Positive reinforcement involves teaching the animal not by punishing the wrong behavior, but by encouraging the right one.

A clicker is a device that emits a sound when a button is pressed. You can buy it at any pet store. It is inexpensive and extremely easy to use. But there is also a very cheap alternative to the clicker – the clicking pen.

The clicker emits a specific sound signal. With its help, the dog realizes that he has done the right action and will soon receive a reward. A click is not a reward, but a signal about it. Be sure to encourage your pet by petting or giving something tasty.

How to train a dog

We develop an associative connection

First of all, you must develop in your dog an associative connection between the sound of the clicker and the reward. Sound a signal every time you are about to give your pet food. After a while, the sound will inform the animal that the meal is close.

During the day, click on the clicker before showing the food to your dog. After that, treat your pet. When you notice that the dog is waiting for a reward after clicking, you can move on to the second stage.

Don’t forget about the reward

Monitor your dog’s behavior. The moment she performs the action you want, click and reward her. Do this all the time. When the dog begins to constantly lie down at your feet, clearly hoping for a reward, start teaching him the commands.

Mastering simple commands

Start with the simplest ones, like “Lie down.” The pet lies down, you immediately say the command and use the clicker. After a while, you only need a word for the dog to take action.

Then you can go to visual commands. Want to teach your dog to give a paw? Give her your hand. The animal will understand that you want something from him and will try different options. When the dog decides to give a paw, use the clicker.

Clicker Training Method

Making it harder to train

After teaching your pet simple commands, you can move on to developing more complex behaviors. For example, you can teach your dog to stop barking at others. Don’t forbid her to bark. Wait for her aggression to subside, and immediately use the clicker. By repeating this procedure regularly, you will develop the desired bond in your dog.

Why clicker is good

Increases dog confidence

Since this is a method of positive reinforcement, not negative reinforcement, the dog will not be afraid to make a mistake. This gives the pet confidence in its actions.

Increases the dog’s initiative

One of the advantages of this method is the development of creativity in animals. Knowing that something needs to be done to receive the reward, the dog will be more willing to try to guess the wishes of the owner.

Allows you to achieve results most quickly

Research Clicker Bridging Stimulus Efficacy. have shown that clicker learning techniques are faster than other methods. Scientists conducted an experiment in which two groups of dogs were taught commands using different methods. Dogs trained with the clicker learned new behaviors 20 minutes faster than those trained with words alone. To achieve the result when using the clicker method, it took 38 primary reinforcements less.

Creates a desire to obey in the dog

Since the owner does not resort to violence in training, but uses positive reinforcement, the dog trusts him. Training is associated with positive emotions, not fear.

It’s fun

The dog is happy because he is receiving a treat. The owner is also happy, because the pet is getting smarter before his eyes.

Clicker Training Method

Positive dog training with a clicker

Dog training based on positive reinforcement is the most popular training method today. In other words, training your dog with physical strength or dominance is disappearing, and the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior has called dominance training ineffective and possibly dangerous. So what exactly is positive dog training and why is it beneficial to use it with a clicker?

What does positive dog training mean?

First of all, positive dog training is based on the idea that if you reward and praise the behavior that you want to see, your puppy is more likely to repeat it. The reward for the dog’s tricks is usually a small piece of food. However, you can also reward with your attention or a fun activity. In other words, be creative!

You will likely have a long lasting relationship with your furry friend. Rather, you want to build this friendship on trust and understanding, not fear or domination. Most dog bites and aggression stems from anxiety, insecurity and fear. Therefore, instead of intimidating and punishing the dog, you should work on these situations by desensitizing the dog’s behavior, teaching him to avoid and become immune to external influences. Whenever your dog is in a scary situation, try to redirect his attention to other activities. Therefore, you understand that you need to help your dog.

Therefore, positive dog training does not mean that you cannot use the word NO. Of course not. In this case, you should use your firm, loud voice as negative signals “No”, “Stop”, sharp whistle. To let your dog know that he is misbehaving. For this reason, we suggest that you select a negative signal that you do not use in your everyday speech. For example, the word “NO” is not the best cue because you use it in everyday conversation. Choose something short, like Pshsh, Fu, or Hey, so that it only targets your dog. Another negative reinforcement could be your attention or withdrawal of the toy for a short time. We think you know your dog best.

The Puppy Training Shortcut: Clicker Training Explained – Zak George’s Dog Training Revolution