We have reached the end of Clicker Training 101 but I wanted to show you…
Below are some more clicker training tips…
- A click is more powerful than words when you are training a dog. The click means that the behavior was accurate and a treat is following. This is powerful stuff for a dog.
- You can use the clicker beyond daily training. Say someone comes in your door and your dog doesn’t jump and you want to reward that. You click. Say the kids are eating ice cream and your dog often sneaks a taste, but doesn’t this time. You click. Once you have established how the clicker works with your dog, he will understand that the click means “job well done”.
- Just click once. That’s a click in and a click out. If you want to show your dog that you are particularly proud or happy with a job, give him more treats, not more clicks. The clicker is most effective when used consistently but sparingly.
- And because the idea is to reward quickly via a click, if you click too often, you will confuse the dog as he wonders what else he did that was good. Only click once for the good behavior and leave it at that.
- Don’t wait for your dog to perform something perfectly. Click when you see the beginnings of the desired behavior. Perhaps your dog is stubborn about sitting when you tell him to. But he begins to crouch when you tell him to “sit”. You click. Eventually, he’ll respond by performing the full behavior correctly.
- This isn’t a method to boss your dog around. If your dog doesn’t respond to the clicker, keep trying. Maybe move into a different room, or separate the dog form other pets.
- If you are clicker training more than one dog, (or pet, as other pets can be trained this way as well), do it separately, not with the pets sharing a space during training.
- Carry a clicker with you and click when your dog makes good choices, or simply does something cute. For example, you can click when you’re at the dog park and your dog simply wags his tail and sniffs another dog (if he previously barked or got excited), or when he (very cutely) cocks his head or lifts his paw for a “shake”. As with any true positive reinforcement, by clicking you are confirming for your dog that his behavior is desirable and welcome.
- Only click when it’s appropriate. Otherwise, you’ll confuse your dog and give him the signal that he’s getting rewarded but he won’t know why.
- Keep the clicker away from others who might click at inappropriate times. This can be seriously confusing when you begin the training process, in particular, but even later on, it can confuse your dog if he’s hearing the clicker and has no idea why.
Filed Under: Clicker Training