So, you got a new puppy. Now what? Our team at North Torrington Veterinary Hospital knows the first step to creating a positive, lifelong relationship with your dog is to train them to be a well-behaved companion. For many new pet owners, training a puppy can seem like a daunting task, but all you really need is a clicker and some treats to get your pup on the path to good behavior.
What is a clicker?
A clicker is a metal strip inside a small plastic box that makes a clicking sound when pressed. A form of positive reinforcement training, using a clicker is more effective than using treats alone and is much faster than saying “good dog” every time your dog does a desired behavior.
How do you use a clicker?
First, you need to teach your dog to respond to the clicker. To do this:
- Take your dog, your clicker, and some of your dog’s favorite treats to a quiet spot.
- Press the clicker and immediately give your pup a treat.
- Repeat this up to 10 times.
- Test your success by waiting until your dog isn’t paying attention to you, and then click. If they respond to the click by looking at you in anticipation of a treat, you’ll know you can begin to teach basic commands.
To teach a basic command, like sit or come, be sure to press the clicker at the exact moment your dog does the desired action, and then immediately follow the click with a treat and praise.
It is important—especially initially—to give your dog a treat immediately after clicking, otherwise, the clicker won’t be as effective. Your pup will quickly associate the good behavior they have done with the sound of the click and a reward, and they will be more likely to repeat the behavior in the future.
Questions about training or behavior? Call our office.