Category Archives: Dog Clicker Training

How Does Clicker Dog Training Work?

How Does Clicker Dog Training Work?

Clicker Dog Training – Does it Work?

I have always been a huge skeptic when it comes to clicker training but have recently come to the humbling conclusion that I perhaps been wrong! Imagine that!

Having begun training our malamute puppy who is currently 8-1/2 months old and weighing in at just under 75 pounds, I have decided to rethink my training methods and am actually finding that the clicker is the best solution I could have possibly stumbled upon.

I can’t even take credit for figuring it out on my own – it was in fact our trainer at puppy class who introduced me (again) to the magic of the clicker and I might add not a moment too soon!

HOW DOES CLICKER TRAINING WORK?

Malamutes
are by far one of the most difficult breeds to train in some respects
simply because of their highly refined intelligence. They are of the
mind that they rule the roost so to speak and they can be extremely
stubborn. Their stubborn streak is quite often mistaken, however, for
rebellion or dogs that are ‘out of control’. I have found quite
the opposite in working with them – they actually welcome control but
the catch here is that you, the owner, have to be the one in control –
the alpha. Now how to GET to be the alpha and keep your ‘title’ is all about the training.

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Whereas labs for example want nothing but to please their owners, a
malamute will inevitably seek to go around said owner any and every way
possible until he or she has proof as it were that there is a good
reason to obey. They are just harder to train. It became evident even
after a few weeks of puppy training that Griffin was tiring of the same
old/same old commands and you could almost read his mind when issuing
commands. We were working primarily with lured behaviors – which means
that we were enticing him with food to go into a sit or a down. He would
invariably do it but then if asked to repeat the performance, you would
see anything from shaking hands to singing to flat out looks of
stupidity – as in ‘huh – you talkin’ to me?’

Enter the clicker – since we started using this about 3 or so weeks
ago, I have seen a marked improvement in his receptiveness to training
and for some reason, it takes the food out of the picture – but not
really! The clicker is the ticket though in my humble opinion because
instead of hurrying to reward the dog with a treat (which is sometimes
impossible instantaneously), you have the leisure if you would of
clicking (approving) the behavior at the very instant that it occurred
(and you do not have to do it unless the criteria are met) – and THEN
comes the reward. So there is an element of a wee bit of delayed
gratification involved. I think at least in the malamute’s case – that
little bit of time for ‘reflection’ is really paying off.

The clicker supposedly has been around for 70+ years or so – at least
the concept. However, it was reportedly introduced by a marine
biologist and a dog trainer (Karen Pryor and Gary Wilkes and some
colleagues) back in the 1980s in the United States. The clicker concept
is that it a conditional reinforcer – meaning if you do
not perform, you do not get treats. Trainers of all sizes and types use
the clicker. There is clicker training for horses and cats as well – and
it is the recommended training method for service dogs. There must be
something to this training if it can function across so many boards and
serve so many so well!

The concept of clicker training is basically this – if you do X, you
will get a pay-off and sometimes, you will get a BIG pay-off! However,
if you do not do X, you look like an idiot and you get nothing! It
actually puts the dog in the position of thinking ‘what does she or he want?’
This is good! This is great! The dog is now focused entirely on getting
the pay-off and he or she will usually keep on trying just to make sure
that they get it. There is no ambiguity about it – either they do what
they need to do or no click – hence no pay-off.

THE PHASES OF CLICKER TRAINING AND BEHAVIORS

OFFERED – This is where you are waiting for the dog to
offer to perform – what they will do to see if they can get a pay-off
(treat). Some dogs (malamutes in particular), once they know the ‘game’ as it were, begin offering all kinds of things – it becomes almost comical as in ‘is THIS the one you wanted?’
and they will usually go through their entire repertoire of what they
know until they realize that it is only 1 thing you are after –this
time!

LURED – This is where you hold a treat in your hand and you ‘show’
a dog by slowly lowering it to the ground for instance (holding it
practically on their nose) that you want them to go into a down
position. This is effective, especially when starting out, but later on,
as training progresses, it is possible to completely eliminate or at
least minimize the lure to get what you want. You may have to resort to
it for a short bit of time – for instance placing it on an elevated
table you want them to get up on – but for the most part, once you have
clicked a behavior a few times, it is remembered and there will not be a
need for the lure. Treat yes – lure no.

TARGETING – This is the most advanced stage of clicker
training – when you teach a dog with a clicker to push a button or grab
onto something specifically and repeatedly without fail, to touch
something or do something ‘outside the ordinary’ repeatedly and without
fail. This is how service dogs are trained. When the command is given
for instance for a service dog to go into the kitchen and flip a switch
on the coffeemaker, that is how they are trained. That specific button
pushing or switch flipping is a TARGETED behavior that has been enhanced
over and over by the trainer and then finally done without fail every
time – because it was rewarded consistently over time.

SHAPING – This is a behavior that refers to the gradual
progression of clicker training that leads up to the ultimate
performance of whatever task or trick you want the dog to perform.

HOW SHAPING WORKS

You are in fact shaping the dog’s concept of what you want! If for instance you want a dog to get up on a stool (to simulate having an exam at the vet’s and needing to put feet up on something or moving to be examined or groomed) – you cannot expect the dog to just jump up on the stool and know what to do. You first place the stool or table on the floor and stand ready with the clicker and treats (more on that below).

The dog will probably look at you since you have the clicker – you observe the dog and if the dog comes anywhere NEAR the stool – puts a nose to it, bumps it accidentally – you click/give a treat. Now you have their attention even more – ‘ah – there is something she likes about the stool – she wants me to do something – but what?’ In a matter of minutes, Griffin was putting his nose on the stool – click – put a treat on the stool for him to gobble up. After 5-6 of those behaviors, I quit clicking it though because we can go on like this forever and he will not progress.

Now he began to think outside that particular box – ‘man – she wants something else – what is it?’ He bumps the stool with a paw – I click that/treat! He is thinking now – ‘hmmm – okay – it was a paw – what about the paw?’ So he puts 1 paw cautiously on top of the stool and CLICK – BIG wad of treats! ‘Whoa – something about the paw…. Wow – I got mega treats’. Next, he puts his paw completely on top of the stool and click/treat – only rains down a little wad of treats and praise. At this point, he is totally focused on the stool and thinking about what his paw has to do with the treats. You get the idea?

So we move on with this shaping behavior and eventually I got him (all in the same session) from not even knowing what the stool was about to having BOTH paws on the stool, which he was a little worried about doing in the beginning but with the encouragement of clicking and treats, he totally understood that performance equaled treats. The next day, I was able to add ‘move’ and do some body language (stepping almost to him sideways) and when he moved his back feet even a millimeter, click/treat! Pretty soon he figured out that I wanted his 2 front feet to stay steady on the stool while he moved around the stool with only his back feet. I coined the phrase for him with this part of the training as ‘move’.

Going backwards, using the same principles, if you were teaching the dog to sit – you would start with a treat held above the dog’s nose and tipping backwards so that in order to keep the treat in sight, they HAVE to sit. As soon as the butt hits the floor – say ‘sit’ – click/treat. Lure the behavior for a few times and then quit clicking/treating. Give the command orally and keep clicking/treating every time the behavior is accomplished. Finally, you can progress to just a hand signal for the sit and click and treat.

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GETTING THE DOG READY FOR CLICKER TRAINING

The nice thing about this particular method of training is that there is no getting the dog ready! As long as you have treats and as long as you have a clicker – you’re ready to start. You should accustom the dog to the fact, however, right away that you will be getting a treat if you hear a click. You do not have to make the dog perform to start out. Simply clicking the clicker 1 time and giving a treat 5 or so times in a row should get their attention really quick! They are very astute in figuring out that they hear a noise (the click – once) and they got a treat – what’s up with that? They do not seem to resent that they might have to work harder for it down the road by the way! It is all about the treat!

GENERAL TIPS FOR CLICKER TRAINING

Never click the clicker more than 1 time! And never click the clicker without giving a treat!
Do not practice with the clicker while the dog is around – meaning acquainting YOURSELF with the clicker – do it out of hearing of the dog.
ALWAYS give a treat if you have clicked – it will negate your training if you click and withhold a treat – even if in error – you can always redo and retrain what you mistakenly clicked for.
Remember that whatever point in the situation you clicked – that is the behavior that will be reinforced. So if you wanted a sit and you clicked when the dog was ALMOST sitting – he or she will remember THAT and only do the sit that far. It is important to remember that the point of click needs to be exactly the point in the dog’s behavior that you WANT. So down means down – if they spring back up as soon as they dropped into the down, then no click – no treat. If they down and stay down – then the click comes – then the treat.
Whenever you train a dog with the clicker, they should be relatively hungry as they will focus more acutely – malamutes do not seem to have this problem as they are always hungry it seems! If we are doing a long training session, however, we only feed half his dinner meal and then give the rest of his kibble as training treats.
Sometimes you need to make the treats more inviting – something they have to have! We do not have that problem but some other puppies do or dogs in general tire of the same treats. You can have different levels as well – as a rule, we only give 1 piece of kibble for every reward/thing done correctly – but if it is something really special or intricate, he gets a reward of more kibbles – or a special chicken treat if we are trying to really reinforce a behavior.
If at all possible – keep the clicker in your hand and remain relatively uninvolved – don’t chatter all the way through the training so that the dog focuses on getting the click and only the click – that means he or she is doing the right thing. Don’t pet the dog while training with the clicker or play with them. There is plenty of time for that after!
If possible, place the treats in a bowl or on a counter and NOT on your person so that they are focusing on the clicker, not you or the reward. If that doesn’t work, having them in a pouch on your waist or something works – but avoid touching the treats all the time and focus mainly on the behavior and the clicker – you want the dog focusing on the clicker – NOT the food!
Pause an instant before offering the treat. When you give the dog the command to sit – as soon as the butt hits the floor – CLICK! Wait an instant and then offer the treat – give them a chance to think for just that second about what they did right.
If the dog is not getting what you want, you may need to backtrack and ‘shape’ the behavior (see below). That means that you have moved too quickly to the end result and will need to take it in steps rather than achieving the task all in one training. It is actually preferable to shape many tasks rather than attempting them all at the same time because that way, they are forced to think more and brainstorm as to what to do to get that treat!
Always end the session on a high note – a successful and positive completion of a task. If you are having trouble with 1 particular command and cannot get to the click point, then switch to another that you know the dog can do, click/reward, and praise – then end the session. Always better to walk away successful rather than frustrated – for both dog and owner.
Similarly, if the dog is balking at a particular command or task – walk away – come back to it – just DO NOT CLICK any part of the task or command if you did not get what you wanted. They won’t remember or hold it against you that you did not click for it. They will just go on to the next thing and revisit that particular thing later
Don’t point at the dog with the clicker like it is a remote control! This can either frighten the dog or cause aggression depending on the personality of the dog.
Clicker training is NOT voice dependent – you don’t have to get mad – you don’t have to shout – you don’t have to plead with the dog – it is all about the click! ‘You do this – CLICK – you get a treat’ – it could not be simpler. No personalities involved and no emotions.
You do not ever have to manhandle your dog! There is no choking to get them to sit or down – there is no shoving their behind down on the ground.
ANYONE can do it! Even a child can reinforce commands by holding the clicker and then offering a treat after the performance of the task – of course supervision should always be part of the training if involving a child and treats. The nice thing though is that if I train the dog and then Bob trains the dog – we can’t get into any conflicts over what means what – or how we want it done although you should compare notes and decide – sit means butt on the floor for instance, not ‘intent to place butt on the floor’. As long as you are each clicking for the same performance each and every time and rewarding each and every time, it is a great way for all parties concerned to train the dog!
You can use the clicker ANYWHERE! You can be lying on the bed with the dog and watching TV – you want them to offer a paw – in a touch or a shake – they do it – you click – they get a treat. You are walking the dog and you want them on your side or to sit when you stop. You encourage the behavior a few times by offering treats and when they do what you want appropriately, you click EVERY TIME and reward with a treat. Then you keep reinforcing that behavior each time – and all you had to do was carry a few treats and the clicker.
For more complicated tasks, you would use shaping behavior.

SUMMING IT UP

In summary, there are a million different commands that can be incorporated into clicker training and dog tricks as well like bowing or singing/barking, rolling over, etc! The most important thing is to remember the points as listed above and be consistent with 1 click gets a treat. If you need to reevaluate a portion of the command that you are working on it, do that – go back to the lure behavior and just work it a part at a time – or upgrade the treats. I like this technique mostly because it is totally non stressed and is reliable simply because it is based on a positive reward system. The only time the dog gets a treat is when he or she does what you want! I think it is a win/win situation.

Clicker Training And Practical Uses For The Clicker

Clicker Training And Practical Uses For The Clicker

Clicker training can be used for just about any command you would like to teach your dog – or for that matter a cat or a horse!

See my clicker training hub for more information on the techniques and principles forming clicker training, but basically the entire premise of clicker training is that you are training your dog on a positive reward basis. The clicker is a conditional reinforcer and if you think of it as such, you will have 100% success.

The concept is simple – you ONLY click if the dog does what you wanted it to do. If the desired behavior does not materialize, no click/no treat. If the dog does do the desired behavior, click and treat. It is just that simple.

Courtesy Wikicommons (Wing)

Now that said, let’s try a real behavior and see how the clicker works. This actually happened to me this week and I was very glad that I happened to be working on this particular behavior already. If I had not known what to do, it could have been a huge catastrophe resulting in a trip to the vet or possibly surgery on the dog.

I was in the kitchen making dinner when I heard Griffin (who is an almost 9-month-old malamute puppy) chewing on something in the dining room that made a definite noise – as opposed to squeeze toys. I turned quickly and caught a glint off it – as in glass. He was totally into chewing this thing and was obviously enjoying it! Bob had just moved the refrigerator out for cleaning and somehow I figure a piece of glass had been under there which we must not have seen. But Griffin had somehow seen it!

Not to panic – that was the solution. I quickly grabbed my clicker
and a few treats I have at the ready for impromptu training. I did not
want to advance on him too fast knowing that this would inevitably
provoke the ‘keep away game’. I calmly got his attention. ‘Griffin –
hi big boy’. No sudden moves and no high-pitched voice to lure him into
the chase situation. We work on a technique called priming the clicker
at times. You merely click once and offer a treat – for no reason
except to get their attention. I use this sometimes to get him to focus
and at the moment, focus was definitely called for.

I did the priming click and still he did not drop it! He was
interested but he was still more interested in the piece of glass. He
was not dropping it even though he knows the game. I had his attention
though so figured he would not run away since treats were surely
involved! I approached him slowly and calmly and proceeded to just ‘show
clicker’. From working with him so much, he knows if he sees the
clicker, there are potential treats involved and he needs to do
‘something’ but as yet he hasn’t figured it out – as in ‘hmm – what does
she want this time?’ Even though I had primed the clicker and hoped he
would drop the glass so as to get the treat, he was in effect ‘not
biting’. I slowly put my hand out underneath his mouth where he was
happily chewing on the very large but thankfully blunt piece of glass – I
did not see blood yet so I was hoping this was good!

He looked at my hand and chewed a few more times (much to my horror)
and then tipped his head back – oy vey – I can picture it sliding down
his throat now but I think he was just toying with me! He eyed the
clicker again and then reluctantly let go of the deadly object and let
it drop to my hand. CLICK – major treats – he got the whole bunch I had.
‘Good drop-it, Griff, good drop-it!’ And then I fainted on the floor –
okay not really!!!

Whew – that was a tough one. My point here though is – there will be
times when your dog picks up something that is dangerous, potentially
life-threatening even – and you have to have him or her drop it and drop
it NOW. Chasing the dog will prolong the exercise and probably net you
having them swallow it or bite it anyway. Wrestling it from their mouth
is equally dangerous because in all probability, they will swallow it or
bite into ‘it’ – whatever it is not to mention your hand!

Let’s think about it – it could be a bird – it could be something
poisonous – it could be your ROAST that they have craftily slid off the
counter top (this unfortunately has happened to me)! The important thing
to remember is that you must remain calm – and you must give the
command ONLY and I repeat ONLY when they drop it and perform the task by
letting it go!

The Drop-It Command

After that little near miss, I decided to diligently embrace the command ‘drop it’. This is actually pretty easy to incorporate in a variety of ways as I quickly realized that something not overtly tantalizing was not going to get Griffin’s attention so I could practice it! I have plans to go and buy some large totally impossible to swallow meat bones and practice with those although I have to be very careful in introducing these with our other malamute anywhere in the vicinity. In the meantime, I am practicing in the following ways.

I use the command ‘leave it’ to mean a myriad of things – do not by any circumstance lick that puddle of gosh knows what on the street – keep on walking. Do not touch that piece of food I accidentally dropped.  I use ‘bring it’ to mean I have thrown something over there and I want you to go get it and bring it back to me (the old fetch). I use ‘drop it’ for absolutely do not chew it, do not pass go, do not do anything but drop it into my hand or at my feet NOW.

Trying to get a malamute to consistently ‘engage’ in one command is challenging so I find that I have to go away from the command, come back at it, change it up a bit over and over just to keep him focused. Sometimes when I am sitting reading or watching TV, Griffin wants my attention (don’t puppies always want attention?) It becomes a great opportunity to train him without him even thinking about it as training, thus eliminating the stubborn malamute factor! Since malamutes are notoriously hard to train on repetitive training tasks, it makes sense to sneak up on him and train him whilst he is unaware!  He thinks we are playing when in fact, he is working!

At any rate – I take a favorite toy.  I throw it a few feet away and give the command ‘bring it’ if he goes after it. If he is playing the game, it works – if he chooses not to go get it – no click, no treat – no loss! However, for the most part, he likes this game because he gets to gambol about the living room so he runs to get the toy. He trots back with it and for a while, likes to play games with it as in ‘I have it – you don’t – try and get it away from me’ – which I have no participation in. I just go on reading, writing, watching TV. When he finally realizes that there is no reward for this part of the exercise, and he must do something ELSE to get the treat that he knows is sitting in the dish on the end table, he starts to think.

When he finally grasps the concept of opening his mouth – but not a SECOND before – and actually DROPS the toy, I immediately say ‘good drop it’ in my most enthusiastic voice – click and praise – treats! We repeat this until his mental midget of a brain tires on the subject or he decides he wants to be creative and do sits and downs and paw shakes instead of drop-its. Thus is the life of a malamute trainer – who is training whom you might say.

I have been moving on to refine what I want and I’m getting closer to that being a reality. If I clicked once for dropping it onto the ground, I don’t have to click it again – I can now click it that it must drop into my HAND. That is really the idea of clicking. You mold or shape the behavior until you get the final result that you wanted. It might do well for them to drop something onto the ground, however, if they drop it onto the ground, it then can be picked up again by the same dog that just obediently dropped it – or better yet – the other dog – so I am working towards always dropping it into my hand as there I know it is safe.

Summing It Up

A clicker is but a tool in training a dog and there are no surefire ways that work for everyone or every breed. I am finding, however, that once the shaping stage of behavior is over, it is important at least for my breed (malamute/psycho dogs) to move on to obedience and the clicker seems to be a very powerful reinforcer of behaviors. I prefer in all things to work on a positive rather than a negative system. I always end on a high note – if Griffin or Denaya for that matter will not do what I want, I switch to a command at the end that I know they will do. I issue it, click, reward and we both walk away happy – I may be frustrated but I don’t end any training (at any level – casual or formal) on a failed command. Not good business as far as I’m concerned.

As an aside on failed commands – sometimes I rethink what I was asking and if the command was too complex or the dog just doesn’t seem to be interested in that particular thing I’ve been working on, I try and change it up the next time and rethink it. Of course with a malamute, there are simply just times when the command isn’t going to work at that particular moment no matter what. Changing to something else doesn’t mean I’ve failed – it just means for that moment it wasn’t working.

There are many, many commands you can use the clicker for and incorporating the commands and the device into everyday activities is a great hobby! It can be used for something as simple as practicing a ‘roll over’ – useful for the vet when the dog is as big as a small pony. I practice this one on the bed while I’m reading – if he does it, click and treat. If he chooses not to do it – oh well! There’s always tomorrow!

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The Best Clicker Training for Puppies-iclick-Easy Dog Clicker Exercises

The Best Clicker Training for Puppies-iclick-Easy Dog Clicker Exercises

Dog Clicker Training

Clicker training for dogs, the easiest way to improve dog obedience.

You may want to teach an old dog new tricks or start a full clicker training program with your puppy.

Clicker training is suitable for dogs and puppies of all ages and all levels of current obedience.

In this article I will discuss dog clickers, how to use a dog clicker, when to use dog clicker training products, offer you clicker training tips, what exercises are suitable for clicker training, clicker training for puppies, how to buy a dog clicker and what other dog clicker training resources are available.

I will provide links to dog clicker training videos, books, websites and try to provide you with enough information on problem solving to avoid your puppy clicker training disasters.

This article is a complete dog and puppy clicker training resource with everything you need to start a clicker training program with your dog.

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Clicker Training Books

Getting Started: Clicker Training for Dogs
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Reaching the Animal Mind: Clicker Training and What It Teaches Us About All Animals
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Clicker Training for Obedience: Shaping Top Performance-Positively
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What is dog clicker training

Clicker training is a complete stand alone dog training program used for training dogs and puppies or can be incorporated in to your current training sessions.

The clicker makes a unique sound when pressed, this sound is then used to reinforce positive behaviour from your dog.

This method of dog training has been developed over many years and has been honed to be one of the quickest ways to train a dog or a puppy, it involves a basic understanding of dog psychology and teaches you how to incorporate this into your dog training sessions.

Each time your dog gives you the behaviour commanded IE: SIT, he hears the sound of the clicker and receives a treat or praise, very quickly his brain will associate the click sound with a pending reward.

He will become conditioned to give you the desired behaviour on command to get his reward.

Clicker Training DVDs

Clicker Puppy-dvd, Kids and puppies learning together
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Train Your Dog – The Positive Gentle Method
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How does clicker training work

Clicker training works by identifying the exact behaviour you want from your dog, communicating this to your dog by way of the clicker sound at the exact moment he performs the the desired behaviour.

If you have read my other dog training articles you may remember “dogs do not speak your language”, they respond too and understand sounds much easier. For this reason a clicker sound is an ideal way of training your dog as it is playing to your dogs strengths.

During your non clicker training sessions, you will speak to your dog, give him a treat or stroke when he does what you have asked. But how does he know exactly what he did to get the reward? He doesn’t; he may have actually ran around a while before he came back, he may have not sat next to you rather sat 3 feet away but still got a treat. There is always a risk of your dog believing that the undesired part of the training ( running around on the way back ) got him the reward so he will repeat it.

Clicker training eradicates this problem as the owner clicks precisely on the specific behaviour; this sends the message to your dog, do that and get a reward thus avoiding confusion.

Clicker Training with High Energy Dogs

Buy your dog clicker here

StarMark Clicker Dog Training System
Amazon Price: $1.60
List Price: $6.17
Karen Pryor i-Click Dog Training Clicker, 3 Clickers
Amazon Price: $0.14
List Price: $8.99
Big Button Pet Dog Cat Training Clickers, click with wrist bands – 4 Pack, by Pet Supply City
Amazon Price: $9.99
List Price: $15.99
SODIAL(TM) Dog Training Clicker Obedience Trainer Cat Pet Click Agility
Amazon Price: $1.25
List Price: $19.99
Karen Pryor, Getting Started: Clicker Training for Dogs Kit
Amazon Price: $16.47
List Price: $19.95
Karen Pryor, 10 Trick Card Set with I-click for Dogs
Amazon Price: $10.95

Buy a dog training clicker

The first thing you will need for clicker training is a good clicker, sounds obvious but there are some very poor quality clickers out there. By poor quality I am not talking about the build but the sound, in order to be successful at clicker training your dog needs to be able to actually hear the clicker.

I have listed here a selection of decent quality clickers, these dog clickers can be bought here online via Amazon.

 

Buy a Dog Clicker

Karen Pryor, Getting Started: Clicker Training for Dogs Kit
Clicker Training Kit by Karen Pryor
Easy Training Fast Training Make your training effective and fun!
Affordable
Amazon Price: $16.47
List Price: $19.95
Karen Pryor i-Click Dog Training Clicker, 3 Clickers
A quiet click.
For classes or for sound sensitive animals it’s the must have tool. Dogs that have been trained with a classic box clicker completely understand the lighter sound of the new i-Click.
i-Click has been designed to let you click no matter how you happen to grab hold of it
Strap it to a wheelchair and click with your palm or chin.
Amazon Price: $0.14
List Price: $8.99
Karen Pryor, Getting Started: Clicker Training Kit for Dogs PLUS
Ultimate Dog Clicker training kit by Karen Pryor
Amazon Price: $38.34
List Price: $39.95
BLACK Big Button clicker with wrist band for Clicker training – click and train dog, cat, horse, pets, by Pet Supply City
Timing is Everything. With the new-i-Click you won’t miss a clickable moment because you fumbled trying to use your clicker. The i-Click has been designed to let you click no matter how you happen to grab hold of it. Upside down click, sideways click, right side up click. You can click with your thumb, with your palm, even your foot. And no more worries about clicking with your gloves on, if you suffer from arthritis or if you have long nails or large hands.
Everyone Can Click. The new i-Click is disabled friendly. Drop the clicker on the floor (it always lands in a clickable position) and you can click with your foot. Strap it to a wheel chair and click with your palm or chin.
Amazon Price: $5.99
List Price: $9.99
GSI Super Quality I-Click Clicker Multi-Position Dog Training System – Newest Generation – Great Behavioral Tool For the Sound Sensitive Pet
Newest Scientific method of training your pet safely and easily
With the I-Click You Won’t Miss a Moment, Designed to Click in All Postions
Click with Thumb, Palm, Hand and Even with Foot, Or with Gloves On.
Balanced Clicking Function: Click At the Exact Time with The Slightest Pressure
Disabled Friendly: Perfect For the Wheelchair-Bound Trainer
Amazon Price: $500.00
List Price: $19.99

Dog clicker training exercises

During these basic clicker training sessions we will be using hand signals rather than command words which you can add in when the dog is efficient at obeying your command:

Train a dog to sit

Use dog treats for these exercises

stand in front of dog
hold treat out so dog can see it
lift your hand upwards and backwards over dogs head
Dog will go into sit position
the minute his bum hits the floor “CLICK”
give treat and praise
repeat over and over
dog will become conditioned to the movement of your hand over is head means “sit” and “click” means treat
now offer a treat on every other click, then third click until the dog obeys the command but is not relying on a treat. He needs to perform the command just in case he gets a treat not for a treat 

Train the down command

get dog into “sit” position using hand signal
hold treat in front of nose
pull your hand down to the floor in front of your dog until your hand reaches the floor
When dog goes into down position “click” and let him have the treat
repeat over and over
now offer a treat on every other click, then third click until the dog obeys the command but is not relying on a treat. He needs to perform the command just in case he gets a treat not for a treat 

 

Train a dog to come/recall

For this exercise we need two people and dog treats, if you have not already trained with voice command I suggest you read my article on puppy recall here

two people stand 10 feet apart, on has treats one doesn’t
the one with the treats bend down and hold dog gently
the one without the treats calls puppy using command, I use “come”
when puppy gets to second person, hold him gently; he gets a stroke but no treat
first person “the master” then uses the recall command “come”, as puppy reaches you “click” give a treat and make a fuss. What you have just done is taught him you are more important and interesting than anyone else.
repeat over and over building your special bond with your dog
now offer a treat on every other click, then third click until the dog obeys the command but is not relying on a treat. He needs to perform the command just in case he gets a treat not for a treat 

 

Train a dog to leave

This exercise will eradicate your puppy mouthing things he shouldn’t, you will need an item for him to leave and some treats

hold out the “leave item, when your dog tries to get it, close your hand but do not pull it away, upon closing your hand say “leave”, repeat until he stops tring to get the item
when he stops trying to get the item “click” and give him a treat from the other hand
repeat over and over
now do the same exercise with the “leave item” but do not close your hand, if your dog has learned the command he will not even sniff the open hand, if he doesn’t “click” and offer treat from other hand
repeat
now offer a treat on every other click, then third click until the dog obeys the command but is not relying on a treat. He needs to perform the command just in case he gets a treat not for a treat 

These are some basic exercises that your puppy or older dog should pick up very easily. Do not overdo the clicker training as you can move onto more difficult exercises later.

Basic Dog Clicker Training

Buy clicker products

StarMark Clicker Dog Training System
Amazon Price: $1.60
List Price: $6.17
Karen Pryor i-Click Dog Training Clicker, 3 Clickers
Amazon Price: $0.14
List Price: $8.99
Getting Started: Clicker Training for Dogs
Amazon Price: $7.80
List Price: $16.95

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Useful links to Dog Clicker resources

Karen Pryor Clickertraining
Dog Clicker Training
Mary Woodward’s Clicker Training Lessons
Free clicker training lessons for your dog, inlcuding photos and videos