Updated: Apr 1, 2020
What’s the purpose of clicker training? It’s a method that uses a unique sound, a click, to reel a dog that, it has done something right. Because, the clicker sound is hard to replicate in daily life it is a distinct sound that can be used to mark any action, or behavior a dog does. The sound is made when you use the clicker.
Once the dog learns it has some control over when the click happens, then the treats come, so the dog will be a willing and active student to learn.
- Click and treat, click and treat, until the dog looks for the treat when it hears the clicking sound. Sometimes you have to click and drop the treat on the floor 3-4 times, and hopefully this will do the job.
- Select a simple behavior to reinforce, something you do not need to prompt, or lure. Some choices are eye contact, head turning, nosing your hand, and sit. Click and treat each correct behavior, moving about as necessary to give the dog another chance to perform the intended behavior. As the dog figures out what the reinforced behavior is, you will need to work quickly so the rate of the reinforcement stays high. 10 clicks per minute is good.
- Finally, when the “light bulb” goes off, pat yourself and your dog on the back, and start teaching your dog something useful and fun.