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Clicker Train Your Pup for Better Impulse Control and Obedience

Clicker training is a good thing to teach your pup because it enables you to mark good behaviors in a consistent way. The clicker sound itself is used as a cue that your dog did something right. By using a sound cue you’re able to capture the exact moment he/she makes that good decision. It works amazingly with puppies by clearly communicating when they’re doing the right thing. Being able to mark the EXACT MOMENT your puppy does the right thing with a clicker works wonders, it makes puppy training so much easier. And the best part is getting started with clicker training is inexpensive and easy to do.

👉Did you know that Clicker Training can build confidence?👈

With clicker training your puppy is going to gain confidence because he/she feels he/she can have control over consequences. Puppies look forward to learning new behaviors when they’re done in a positive way and when they know they can expect good rewards. This makes training so much easier in the long run because your puppy will be more attentive and willing to please.

So for example when you put your hand in front of your puppy and he/she doesn’t bite you’re going to click and give a treat. Or when he/she sits down patiently waiting for you to pet him/her rather than jumping all over you you’re going to click and give a treat. Training with a clicker is great support for learning bite inhibition and impulse control as your puppy learns exactly what the boundaries are. A bit more on the clicker strategies below 👇keep reading 😁

Have you herd of Pavlov's dogs? Pavlov was a Russian physiologist studying digestion when he discovered something interesting about his canine subjects. They began to salivate whenever one of his assistants would enter the room. They were learning this response in anticipation of the reward (food) that wasn’t being offered yet. This is now called classical conditioning – a learning process that occurs between an environmental stimulus and a naturally occurring one. It occurs with clicker training when your dog performs actions habitually. Clicker training at the beginning is an example of classical conditioning. If used consistently it can become operational conditioning, where the puppy intentionally repeats an action to gain a reward. The difference might seem minor but it has big implications on the behaviour of your puppy (and later an adult dog). If your puppy is performing actions with a purpose rather than by habit he/she is going to retain much more information.

How to Train With a Clicker

When teaching a puppy a new behaviour the clicker is your way of telling your dog exactly what behaviors are acceptable. Marking behaviour with an exact sound for your puppy gives him/her the only cue he/she needs to know he/she did the right thing. When we use a lot of verbal commands we often end up saying too much (what I like to refer to as “word vomit”, sorry for being blunt) and our puppies and dogs don’t always know what we are looking for. The clicker is a way to clearly communicate with your puppy at the exact moment they do something awesome.

How to Get Started With Clicker Training

If you have never used clicker training with your puppy the first step is introducing him/her to the clicker. With some treats and a clicker in hand get your puppy’s attention. Click once and then give your puppy a treat. Repeat a few times until your puppy understands that the click equals good stuff. Once your puppy is comfortable with the clicker and understands that the click sound equals something good you can move on to training a new behaviour with it.

How To Implement Clicker Training

If you are just getting started with clicker training the best place to start is with something simple like sit. Ask for the behaviour and at the exact moment, the pup’s butt hits the ground click then give him a treat. Repeat this step a few more times, making sure to only click when his/her butt hits the ground and following up with a treat. Get the behavior, click the behavior and then reinforce the behavior. Generally, puppies can catch on pretty quickly with this method, and you might only need a few repetitions with something simple like sit before they are offering it themselves.

👉The key to clicker training is to make sure you click at the exact moment your dog does the desired behaviour and then use a treat for reinforcement.👈

Applying Clicker Training Techniques to Stop your Pup from Biting

👉Place your hand in front of your pup’s mouth, if he/she doesn’t bite give him/her a click, treat, and praise like crazy.

👉When you’re comfortable that your pup isn’t going to bite your hand when you place it in front of his/her face you can up the ante. Start by slowly waving your hand in front of him/her, if he/she doesn’t bite it click, praise and treat.

👇Your goal here is to teach your puppy not to bite everything that comes near his/her face. Don’t set him/her up to fail. Start slowly, his/her first reaction might very well be to bite anything that comes near him/her.

Click and treat for small inhibitions and gradually up the stimuli. If you are consistent you should end up with a puppy that isn’t going to reach out and try to bite anything that moves.

Just remember this activity will take a lot of practice. You’re building up his/her impulse control which isn’t something that can be trained in just a few sessions (like a seating game for a click and a treat). Puppies need to learn boundaries and how to control their impulses just as children do. They need to learn that good things come to those that wait, or in this case good things come to puppies that don’t bite. 😁✌️😜

Clicker Training Troubleshooting

If your puppy doesn’t seem to respond to the clicker at first you need to evaluate if it was introduced properly. Are you keeping him/her motivated by giving him/her a treat after the click? Are you remembering to only click once?

Don’t get too discouraged if your pup doesn’t listen to new cues right away – some behaviors are quite challenging to teach. But as soon as he/she does get it you are going to click and reinforce, which in turn should help with further repetitions.

Clicker Training Mistakes to Avoid

Clicker training is a great way to help your puppy learn new things, but it can also get confusing if used incorrectly. When using a clicker remember to ONLY CLICK ONCE. You want to click the moment your puppy does the desired behaviour and immediately follow it up with a treat. If you click more than once your puppy won’t know exactly what behaviour you are rewarding. And remember to always follow up the click with a treat.

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