Kind, fair and effective dog training
How to use the clicker
Push and release the clicker once to get a two-toned click, reward your dog with a tasty tit-bit Keep the treats small and remember to cut down on the dog’s daily ration. Do not move your hand containing the treat until after you’ve clicked.
When you’ve repeated stage 1 several times click and do nothing, wait for your dog to do something before giving the treat. Now show him another treat and wait, in a few seconds he will repeat the behaviour, now click and treat. Most dogs will sit at first, as this is an easy behaviour, which no doubt has been rewarded in the past.
- If you want to express special enthusiasm increase the amount of treats NOT the amount of clicks, only ever click once (in and out).
- Keep training sessions short, three five minute training sessions will be more effective than one fifteen minute one.
- Fix bad behaviour by clicking good, for example click a dog for keeping paws on the floor when he greets you or visitors, ignore him if he jumps up.
- Break the behaviour down into simple steps, click and treat voluntary or accidental movements towards the goal. You may coax or lure the dog into position but you must not push, pull or force. Don’t use a verbal cue yet that will come later.
- Shape the behaviour by raising your criteria as soon as your dog gives you a good response. If he looks confused drop the criteria a step to allow him to be successful doing something he already knows.
- When the dog has learned to do something for clicks he will start showing you the behaviour spontaneously, he’s trying to get you to click. Now is the time to start offering a verbal cue. Now only click the behaviour if it happens either during or after the cue. Ignore any attempts at the behaviour when the cue isn’t given.
- Don’t order the dog around, if he ignores a cue it’s simply that he doesn’t fully understand what’s wanted of him, drop the criteria then try again.
- Keep your clicker with you and click any cute behaviour, this will increase the likelihood of the dog repeating them again so that you can put them on cue. You clicking several different behaviours as they happen won’t confuse your dog.
- If you have more than one dog, separate them during training sessions and allow them to take turns.
- If you are not making progress with a behaviour, it may be that you are clicking too late, ask someone else to watch you and maybe even click for you a few times.
- Don’t ever get cross with the dog, if you are feeling frustrated put the clicker away and have a cup of tea.
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