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Puppy Clicker Training: Learn It, Apply It, and Enjoy It


puppy clicker training
4 min read

The puppy clicker training is a great way to teach your puppies to learn, think, and please you. The puppy clicker training is easy, too. Puppies and people will repeat behaviors that will reward them and naturally avoid behaviors that offer no benefit. You don’t have to be a master dog trainers to use this technique and puppies learn very quickly how to behave.

Puppy Clicker Training

Puppy Clicker Training

An added benefit is the puppy figures how that HE controls the outcome. That’s empowering for the baby and encourages him to think of ways to get you to do what he wants by guessing the good behavior you’ll reward. It also teaches your dog to enjoy and eagerly look forward to dog training lessons because they become a game and way for you to communicate with each other.

My dog Fluffy learned using clicker training very quickly. By ten weeks of age, fluffy performed “puppy push-ups” (sit-down-sit-down) on the local TV station. Your puppy can learn just as easily as mine, and in fact, puppies are sponges eager for new things to learn. Give them a constructive way to spend all that energy.

Introduction to Clicker Training

Clicker training lets your puppy stumble upon the behavior you would wish him to do. He will perform many “wrong” behaviors before your puppy accidentally sits — and gets a reward. Your puppy figures out that he’ll get the reward he wants if he can guess and perform the behavior you want. The more wrong behaviors he tries, the better he learns what won’t work. You don’t need to use commands or physical direction with clicker training, it’s all puppy motivated, so the puppy never gets punished — but he’s only rewarded for the right choice.

Puppy Clicker Training

Here’s how it works. Instead of waiting for your little puppy to do something wrong, catch him doing something right. Mark that behavior with a distinctive signal so your puppy understands THAT action (the sit, for example) is what you will like. You can use some special words like YES!, or some signals like a click from a clicker. The clicker simply explains to your puppy that he was right. Then reward him with some praise, treats, or a toy. Choose whatever floats your puppy’s boat, and reserve the most prized reward for these training sessions.

Explaining the “Click”

To speed up the process, trainers recommend you to “load” the clicker so that the puppy quickly identifies the sound with a forthcoming reward. Here’s how to do that.

Puppy Clicker Training

Fill a shallow dish with some smelly treats. Liver bits, cheese, slices of a yummy hot dog or other strong scented morsels work best. Note that this isn’t about filling your dog’s tummy and spoiling his proper nutrition, so the tidbits shouldn’t be bigger than the tip of your little finger. You want your puppy to appreciate the smell and taste, also to want more.

Get comfortable on your floor with the dish within reach but so the puppy can’t access. Get a treat ready in one of your hands with the clicker in the other.

CLICK the clicker, and when the pup’s ears twitch or he otherwise comes to investigate, immediately give the treat. your puppy won’t know why or care at first it’s just will be all about getting that next taste.

Repeat this sequence over and over. Always click first, then treat. Click-treat, Click-treat, Click-treat. Be sure your pup has a chance to swallow before proceeding to the next click-treat.

Very quickly, your puppy should look at your treat hand as soon as the click sounds. Eureka! That means his pup brain has connected the dots and he starts to understand that CLICK signals a treat coming for him.

The Understanding point

Once your puppy understands what the click-treat sequence is about, you can then use the signal to point out the behavior you like and reward with the treat. You simply wait for the puppy to plant his tail in a sit, for example, and immediately click-treat.

Puppy Clicker Training

The pup may look confused. He’ll come to you, perhaps paw your leg, run around, trying to figure out what made the “click” sound. When he again sits, click/treat . . . and watch the wheels turn. After only two-to-four repeats, many dogs figure out they control if they get a treat by their behavior.

Puppies understand the cause-and-effect (their action will make you click-treat) very quickly. Before long, your doggie will volunteer all sorts of behaviors in an attempt to make you click and give a treat. He figures out that he can turn you into a treat-dispenser once he figures out what you want.

Puppies trained using clicker training spend time doing just that, they try to please you all the time. Don’t you perform better when you anticipate being paid for a good effort?

We also recommend you to also read about some Dog Training Techniques Will Help You.

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