How to Clicker Train Your Dog in 6 Steps

1) Buy some clickers to begin your clicker training. Rather than buying just one clicker I recommend that you buy many. You should always have a clicker handy so that you can immediately click and reward any good behavior. Clickers are inexpensive so it will not be difficult to buy one for the back door, car, living room, kitchen, and computer room.
2) Click equals treat in clicker training. The first thing your dog needs to know to start clicker training is that a click equals a treat. To begin clicker training spend 5 to 10 minutes clicking and treating. Every click should equal a treat so be sure to give your dog a moment to finish the treat before clicking and treating again. After just a few a few minutes of clicker training your dog will be ready to move onto the next few steps.

3) Teach a new behavior to your dog using clicker training. Now that your dog has equated the clicker training with rewards all you need to do is sit back and ignore the dog. At this point most dogs will whine and beg for another treat, but you will continue to ignore the dog. Eventually the dog will become bored and will sit. The moment the dog sits you should click and treat. The dog will be confused as to why you clicked and treated, but thrilled none the less. Again go back to ignoring the dog and click and treat once the dog calms down and sits. You will need to repeat this step until your dog has stopped whining and begging and has begun to sit without hesitation. Do not move onto step 4 without be 100% confident in step 3.

4) Show, click, and treat to move your clicker training to the next level. Your dog should now be at a point where he or she recognizes the clicker and sits at the sight of the clicker. Once your dog knows the clicker by sight you should spend a few days showing the clicker, clicking when the dog sits, and treating. Before long your dog will be anxiously watching for you to pick up the clicker. Now that you have the full attention of your dog you are ready to move on to step 5 of clicker training.

5) Vocalize the behavior. Here is where the clicker training gets a bit more difficult. Up to this point your dog has only had to sit to receive a click and treat, now you will begin to click and treat only when the dog listens to a verbal command. The dog will not receive a click and reward by sitting on his or her own. The click and reward will only be given when the dog follows your verbal command.

6) Eliminate the click and reward. Once your dog understands and performs the verbal command you can begin to eliminate the click and the reward from your clicker training. You will want to phase out the clicker first. After you have eliminated the clicker you can begin to eliminate the treat. Food treats should instead be replaced by verbal praise and petting.

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