Clicker Training

Training: A daily ritual that lets your dog know what is acceptable & appreciated & what is NOT acceptable and not appreciated.

Clicker Training Clicker training has been around for a very long time. For some reason, it is not well understood by many people who think it is bribing an animal into behaving. Quite the opposite in fact! Clicker training is indeed a reward system, but usually food is only used in the beginning stages. Once an animal learns a behaviour, the food reward is replaced by a kind word or a pat, or often isn’t necessary at all. Remember when you were learning to count? All the adults applauded your every effort. Once you mastered counting however, people stopped telling you how clever you were for being able to count…but you didn’t un-learn it inspite of losing the reward.

There are many good websites devoted to clicker training (I’ll give you a basic link at the bottom of the page), and most of them will offer “clicker boxes” for sale. You can use them, or you can choose a key word spoken in a special tone. I use the word, “good” said high pitched. Every time one of my dogs hears me chirp, “good”, they know they have just done something good and will be getting a reward.

My subject below is “Moe Hawk” Moe is 1/2 Chinese Crested & 1/2 Chihuahua. I picked him as a model because I have never bothered to teach him basic obedience, so he was starting at ground zero.

The first step is to let the dog know that the clicker, or your keyword is followed by food. This is the dog’s favorite part as you will “click” then give him a treat, then click and give him a treat about 10 times in a row! A brief word about treats. Soft treats are best. Use treats that he can eat quickly & will not make crumbs for him to hunt for. Also, if your dog is a bit tubby, reduce dinner appropriately to make up for the extra treat calories.

Teaching Moe Hawk to Sit