If you have a puppy, then you have felt the love, fun, and excitement that puppies bring to their owners. You have also probably felt the frustration of a chewed couch pillow or a “surprise” in the corner of your living room.
Puppies need training and the best way to do so is not by hitting, locking them outside, or yelling. Puppies are sensitive and smart and need special care and patience to learn the right and wrong things to do. Clicker training will help keep your puppy on the right track and will allow him to love you without fear of punishment.
What is Clicker Training?
Clicker training was born from the theory that dogs react better to positive reinforcement than negative reinforcement. Just like humans, dogs like to be congratulated for doing good deeds while fearing punishments from accidents made out of ignorance.
Your clicker is the perfect device to help train your puppy. It is a small piece of plastic and metal that makes a sharp “click” noise when pressed. You can find these in any pet store or online store and are often attachable to your keychain.
How to Use the Clicker
You will need two things while you train: your clicker and lots of small snacks—the tinier the better. The basic idea is that whenever your puppy follows a command, you click the clicker once and give him a treat. You should set aside specific training time (about 15 intervals) to train your puppy.
To teach your puppy to sit:
- Firmly state the command, “Sit,” clearly and concisely. If your puppy does not sit, gently but firmly press his bottom to the ground. Click once, and give him a treat.
- Have your puppy stand up. Again, firmly say the word, “Sit.” If again he does not sit, press his bottom to the ground, click the clicker, and give him a treat.
To teach your puppy to lie down:
- Firmly say, “Lie down.” If he does not lie down, gently push his body down, click the clicker, and give him a treat.
- Have him stand up and repeat the above step.
Clicker training is effective and understandable to your puppy, but takes lots of dedication. When done properly, you can teach your dog to listen to your commands, which may someday save his life—and make yours a little easier.