You may have seen those little $2 plastic boxes with a piece of metal in it at the counter of your pet store. Believe it or not, this cheap object is actually one of the most effective training tools you can get. Clicker training is the best way to increase the rate in which your dog learns.
Clicker training allows you to precisely mark the behavior that you want from your dog. At the click your dog knows that they will be rewarded. This is useful because it does not require you to give the treat immediately. You can allow a little bit of time between action and reward, and your dog will still remember what they did.
To start using clicker training you must first start by establishing what the clicker means. This is probably one of the easiest things to do. Simply, get your clicker, click it, give your dog a treat. Do this over and over again. That’s all.
The idea is to associate the click with a treat. You know your dog has been conditioned properly when they will look to you whenever they hear a click.
Be careful when starting this though. The click is rather loud, and can scare you dog. So when you start, click it with it behind your back.
Clicker training is extremely useful when teaching tricks or obedience. When you are working on a trick with your dog, whenever they do something that you like, click and reward.
For example, if you are teaching your dog to shake. When they lift their paw, click and reward. As they lift it higher, click and reward. It is that simple.
If you need help with your training or want to accelerate your dogs learning, clicker training is a helpful method to get you there. It is okay to be liberal with clicks and rewards. It’s about building on little successes and the clicker lets you mark out every little one there is. Take what you’ve learned about clicker training and now try teaching your dog to tricks.