Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Training Tips Tuesday | Our five top Clicker Training tips.

It always amazes me the power of a dogs mind. They just never stop learning. I don't know about your dog but Lottie is always so eager to learn new things.

Positive reinforcement have grown dramatically over the last 10 years (Thank goodness it has). Lottie and I are completely hooked and Lottie just would not be the same dog without it.

When I first started clicker training I read so many books, about how if I didn't press the clicker at exactly the right point then all the training would be pointless. I suddenly panicked thinking "who exactly is training who here!". I wanted to make Lottie know exactly what I wanted her to do and clearly.

Here are our five top clicker training tips that I hope will help you:

1. Make sure you read up on clicker training before you start. I know this may sound pretty obvious but the last thing you want to do is start and then realise you are actually carrying out the training wrong. With clicker training it is really important to get it right from the start, in particular the timing of the click. (I found it helpful to first use the clicker without Lottie been present. I would drop a tennis ball and click when it hit the fall, it really helped me learn to click fast and more accurately). These are a few books I recommended:
Click for Joy - Karen Pryor Clicker Books. 
Clicker Training for Dogs - Karen Pryor
Clicking with your Dog - Peggy Tillman (This is really good to start off with)
Mary Ray's - Superdog

2. Be persistent and don't try to rush , I know most of the books say things will happen really quickly and it should not take long for your dog to grasp the concept. I really feel this completely depends on the dog. If your dog doesn't take to it straight away, don't give up. Don't wait for the perfect behavior. For example if you want to teach sit, first click when your dog starts to crouch in its back then build it up from their.

3. Find out weather your dog is treat or toy orientated. For us we use treats, this means every time I click the clicker she gets a treat. However this certainly is not the only way and we do have some doggy friends that use toys instead. In their case they would click the clicker and then reward the dog with a game of fetch or tug with their favourite toy.

4. Don't end your training sessions on a bad note. If your dog is not doing the command you are saying, then your dog is not disobeying you it just hasn't learnt the cue completely. If you find you or your dog is starting to become mad end the session immediately. Do a trick that you know your dog can do and end it on a really positive note. Would you want to repeat something that ended badly the last time it happened?

5.Remember you can clicker training to fix behavior not just learn tricks. To achieve this you simply click when the dog does the desired behavior and ignore everything else. For example if your dog is used to jumping up on visitor make them aware to ignore the dog until they are sitting nicely, once this happens you can click for all four paws on the ground. The dog then learns they get nothing for jumping up but a nice tasty treat or toy when their paws are on the ground.

These are just a few of the tips I would of found useful when I first started clicker training. Please feel free to let me know if you have any other handy tips.

Jessica and Lottie.

This post is part of the Training Tips Tuesday blog hop, hosted by DOGthusiast and Tiffany’s Diamond Dogs



  1. Those are great tips for clicker training! The clicker is such a useful tool and communicative device to learn new tricks and help awaken the innate problem-solving abilities and intelligence in dogs!


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