With summer finally over and children going back to school, it seems a great time to focus back on learning. Clicker training is the perfect way to engage your dog’s brain, teach them new tricks and of course have a lot of fun.
At Tribal we are passionate about providing positive mental enrichment to our dogs, so here is our quick guide to clicker training.
Training can be done without using a clicker tool; however, these can be valuable for providing a clear and consistent signal to your dog. The sound of the click is processed very quickly in your pet’s brain and is difficult to replicate anywhere else.
All you need to start this process, is a clicker and some tasty treats. To prevent potential weight gain, use kibble from their delicious dinner instead.
Step 1- Click and Treat
Start by simply clicking and treating, either by hand feeding or chucking a treat on the floor. At first you are just building a positive connection between the sound of the clicker and the tasty treat. Keep repeating this, until your dog starts anticipating a treat when they hear the click.
Step 2- Building a Trick
Once the connection between clicker and treat has been established, you can start to build to a trick. The easiest command to begin with is sitting, however you could also attempt touching an object, giving a paw, or laying down.
Simply wait for your dog to pop their bottom on the ground, THEN click and treat. So now you are only clicking and treating when the appropriate action is being performed.
Repeat this until your dog instinctively starts to repeat this action for a treat.
Step 3- Using your Voice
Now your clever canine has started performing actions to receive treats, this is when you can introduce a voice command. Use the command ‘sit’ before they perform the action, followed by a click and reward as normal. Over time you can phase out the ‘click’ as your dog will understand based on your voice command alone.
Once you have nailed their first command, you can build upon this and start teaching them more complex actions.
- Keep each clicker session short – around 5-10 minutes.
- Be patient – every dog will learn at a different rate.
- Always reward- if you accidentally click the clicker, make sure to give a treat.
Have fun and enjoy achieving great things with your furry friend.