Clicker Training 101 – Lesson 10 – Handling Problems – 2

Lesson 10 - Handling Problems - 2

Here are some more potential Clicker Training Problems…

It doesn’t work

Oh, our friend. That just means you haven’t tried long enough or hard enough. All dogs are trainable and trust us when we say “all”. Some are more stubborn, some have their own ideas about how they want to do things, and some are less bright than others. Whatever the case, it’s important to remember that your dog can be trained, and will be trained if you do the right things.

If you are worried that your dog isn’t paying attention, isn’t “getting” it and won’t eventually be trained at all, ask yourself some questions:

  • Are you training in short bursts of time? (Dogs can lose focus easily. Keep your training sessions short.)
  • Are you giving your dog commands with a firm, but steady voice? (If you don’t give your dog a sense that you are acting with authority, he won’t take you seriously and it will be hard to train him.)
  • Are you being patient? (If you just started clicker training a week ago and your puppy still won’t “sit”, it’s possible that you just haven’t given it enough time. Your dog will eventually come around, but it just might take longer than you think it will or than you’d like.)

My dog gets distracted

Dogs are a lot like children. It can be hard for them to keep their focus, or they can be distracted by the cat, the hamster, the postal carrier, and the kids.

When you do your training, try to work in a quiet environment that provides few distractions. In this way, your dog can focus on what you are saying, what you are doing and what he should be doing. This is ideal for the both of you.

Also ask yourself the question about training time. If you are training your dog for a period of time that’s just too long, he will lose focus. As well, if you work only in tiny bursts of time, he might not be focused because he sees the “training” as an interruption to his play.

I lost my clicker

Buy another one, pronto! We recommend that you purchase more than one. When you head to the dog park, you will be able to pull the clicker you keep in your glove box out and use it to reinforce good behavior at the park. When you go on a day trip, you’ll have it then, too. Buy several at once, so if you lose one, you can have another to use in short order.

To keep the training consistent, you must have a clicker in hand when you give a command, so it’s important that you prevent the loss of a clicker as much as possible.

They are inexpensive, so we say buy a few. You won’t regret it.

My dog works for the treats only

If your dog seems over focused on the treats in your hand and not on the clicker or your commands, you might think that he’s working only for the treats, and not for the click.

In that case, then, you might worry about phasing out treats because what’s the point if he’s only working for the treats and not the feedback of the clicker?

Continue with the plan. Your dog might be focused on the treats, but trust us, he’s hearing the clicks and is also reacting to them. As you phase out the treats, he will rely more and more on hearing the click as a way of telling him that’s on the right track, that he’s doing the right things.

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