Clicker Training For Behavioral Change Of Dog

Clicker Training For Behavioral Change Of Dog

Clicker training is a stress-free technique that allows for greater learning success. In modern training, this method is considered the most effective, since it opens up new possibilities and allows you to quickly practice both circus tricks and basic commands.

Here’s a breakdown of clicker training, the benefits, and how to get started.

What is Clicker Training?

  • Click = Reward Coming: The clicker’s distinct sound marks the exact moment your dog does the right thing. This is followed immediately by a treat or praise.
  • Faster Learning: Clicker training pinpoints desired behaviors, clarifying for your dog what they’re being rewarded for.
  • Not Just for Obedience: It works for everything from basic commands to fun tricks or sports training.

Why Use a Clicker?

  • Speed: The click’s precision is faster than saying “good dog!” by the time you speak, the moment has passed.
  • Problem-Solver: Dogs become eager learners because the click makes it a game to figure out what gets them treats.
  • Stress-Free and Fun: Clicker training focuses on rewards, building trust and making training enjoyable for both of you.

How to Start

  1. Click = Treat: Start by just clicking and immediately giving a treat. Repeat until your dog understands the connection.
  2. Target One Behavior: Don’t try to teach too much at once. Start with a simple command like “sit”.
  3. Short and Sweet: Sessions of 5-10 minutes are best, especially for puppies. Do several throughout the day.

Key Takeaways

  • Clicker Training is Versatile: It’s effective for any breed, age, or training goal.
  • Success is About Timing: The key is to click the instant the desired behavior happens.
  • It Strengthens the Bond: Clicker training builds confidence and makes learning a positive experience you share with your dog.

Ready to try? Here’s a simple exercise:

  • Hold a treat in a closed fist.
  • When your dog sniffs or nudges your hand, CLICK and open your hand to give the treat.
  • This teaches them paying attention to you is rewarding!

What Is Clicker Training?

The clicker is a small plastic case with a button or metal plate, after which a click is heard. This sound is sharp, clear, and recognized by the dog because it does not occur in everyday life.

Of course, the clicker can be replaced with a pen with a button a lighter with a piezo, or any object that makes a short sound. But then you will need to try so that the dog does not hear him in normal circumstances.

Clicker training is a solution for many owners. Clickers are one of the most versatile dog training tools. This is what makes the clicker such a godsend for new dog owners.

This form of training is not only particularly effective. Plus, it’s a lot more fun than regular exercise. Whether it’s basic training, trick training, bite suppression, or leash training: this method is suitable for any type of training.

Best of all, clicker training is based on a simple principle and can be implemented by anyone. Get your clicker ready because you are about to read a detailed clicker training guide.

Clicker Training For Behavioral Change Of Dog:

The clicker is used to correct behavior and teach precise commands and tricks. The technique is widespread among owners of dog athletes in agility and freestyle.

The technique is not suitable for training hunting, guard, and other service dogs, since it does not encourage initiative, and it is very important for working dogs to be able to make decisions independently and act without human guidance.

The main function of the clicker is to encourage the animal to act correctly. The device can be used for training both large animals and small puppies. Dogs are prepared in a similar way for participation in circus acts, competitions, exhibitions, and also for hunting.

This method of raising animals is currently considered the most effective and safe since the training process does not require the use of punishment, which can traumatize the dog’s psyche.

When the owner understands what it is – a clicker for dogs, you can start training your pets. The principle of operation of the device is based on the fact that in humans the mechanical reaction is better developed than the verbal one and is ahead of it.

The mechanism of operation of the product is simple: you just need to press a button at the moment your pet performs the desired action.

The dog can hear the verbal marker in everyday life, which is why it is devalued. The pet does not have a strong positive reaction associated with correct actions on its part. Therefore, to speed up the learning process, it is recommended to use a clicker.

Clicker training allows unwanted behavior to disappear thanks to the absence of reinforcement by “click” and reward. This is sufficient for most behaviors.

If the unwanted behavior persists, it is important to understand why it is occurring and how it reinforces itself. Sometimes, the behavior will reinforce itself if the outcome of the behavior seems favorable to the dog.

By using the “clicker” we will offer the animal an alternative behavior to that which proves to be annoying. Or even learn with the “clicker” a command like “silence” if the dog barks to mark the opposite behavior of that which is not wanted.

The advantage of the “clicker” is that in this type of situation, marking the good behavior with a “click” is much simpler and more precise than by voice and thus allows the annoying behavior to be quickly corrected.

Basic Rules for Using a Clicker:

Be sure to read the rules to understand how to use a dog clicker:

  • Do not start teaching commands using a clicker if the dog has not yet developed a conditioned reflex.
  • Clicking needs to validate the dog’s actions during the desired behavior to avoid forming incorrect connections, and to non-violently communicate to the dog what it is about.
  • A dog training clicker should not be used to get the dog’s attention or recall it.
  • Desired behavior details must be reinforced with a “click.” After this, the dog receives its reward. Thus, the dog’s behavioral suggestions can also bring success to the dog.
  • If you want outstanding results, increase the quantity and improve the quality of treats. This is considered a “jackpot” for the dog.
  • The dog must periodically have the opportunity to receive a jackpot. This will further spur her on. The jackpot is awarded only when the dog has made a significant breakthrough in the exercise.
  • Often, after a click, the dog will run up to get a treat. This is completely normal – the “click” ends the exercise and should be confirmed.
  • Unwanted behavior should not attract your attention. The training is free of penalties. No “click” spells failure for sensitive dogs doing intensive clicker training. Therefore, it is always better to divide the exercise into several small parts so that the dog more often has confirmation in the form of a clicker signal.
  • Dog clicker training is not command-oriented. Its goal is to form and consolidate the desired type of behavior. Only when the dog reliably displays the desired behavior are individual commands or signals introduced. This is a big advantage compared to conventional training since in this case the dog always associates the signal with the optimal achievement.
  • Once a specific behavior is brought under the team’s control in such an exercise, the clicker is no longer needed.

What Not To Do In Clicker Training:

  • Start practicing the command until a conditioned reflex to a click has formed.
  • During training, hitting the dog, pulling it by the leash, and showing dissatisfaction in other ways will cause it to stop trusting the signal.
    Click several times in a row.
  • Use a clicker during an unwanted action.

Step By Step Clicker Training:

The classical development of a conditioned reflex consists of combining two stimuli over time, one of which should cause a reflex reaction. Gradually, in the process of developing a conditioned reflex, the second (previously neutral) stimulus becomes equivalent to the first and also begins to cause a reflex reaction.

This technique may seem strange because after all, why not reward your dog directly without going through the clicking stage? The sound of the clicker has the advantage of being neutral unlike the voice and identical each time, which makes it easily recognizable and focuses the dog’s attention on what is happening. Thanks to this stimulus, it will then be easier for him to make associations in his head.


This first phase is essential since it involves making the dog understand the meaning of the click. At each training session but also in everyday life, we will use the box as much as possible to reinforce each of its good behaviors, then immediately give the treat. Normally, the method requires speaking as little as possible, except to give the order.

When rewarding, we could use a word that is always the same like “yes” or “that’s good” pronounced in a neutral tone.

Firstly, it is recommended to throw a treat on the ground and activate the clicker as soon as the dog picks it up to “force” the click-reward association. Once this association is fixed in the dog’s head, we can begin to introduce simple commands such as “sit”, “down”, “give paw” etc.


There are three techniques for training a dog using clicker training: luring, capturing, and shaping. These different ways of proceeding each have their advantages and the choice will depend on the temperament of your dog and what you want to achieve from him. Of course, it is possible to first test these three options to observe their reactivity.

Teach The Command Using A Clicker:

When the dog has mastered the initial exercises, you can begin to practice commands using a clicker. As an example, let’s look at the “Sit” command.

  • Take a treat and raise it above your dog’s head, encouraging him to sit.
  • The moment your pet’s butt touches the floor, click and give a treat. Repeat the exercise several times.
  • When the dog sits down confidently, enter the voice command “Sit”. Serve it at the same time or shortly before the dog sits.
  • When the pet learns to perform the exercise by voice command (or gesture), the clicker can be removed.

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Methods Of Clicker Training:

The clicker method therefore makes it possible to encourage expected behaviors by acting as a secondary reinforcer, the reward being the primary reinforcer.

The advantage of such a working method is also to be able to reinforce and guide, step by step, the execution of a new order.

For example, if we want to teach the dog to lie down, we activate the clicker as soon as his stomach touches the ground, telling him that he is doing what is expected of him.

Another interesting aspect of the clicker as a working tool is that the dog, thanks to its keen hearing, can hear the click from afar, which allows its attention to be captured from a distance.

In addition, it is a practical method for aggressive or fearful dogs because it does not require touching the animal.

The Luring Method:

“Luring” or lure technique is the most common basic approach to clicker training. As said above, this consists of emitting a click as soon as the order has been executed. For example,

if we want to teach the dog to give the paw, we will activate the box as soon as he lifts it and give him a treat without waiting. It is crucial to always respect this order–click–reward sequence so that the dog gets used to it.

Gradually, he should execute as soon as he hears the order and will reproduce the good behavior more and more quickly, the goal being in his head to trigger the click which results in the reward! The principle of “decoy” is as simple as that.

The Capturing Method:

The use of this second technique is often interesting for hyperactive dogs whose attention is difficult. As its name indicates, it involves “capturing” the behaviors that the dog adopts spontaneously such as sitting, lying down, remaining still, etc.

The principle is to emit the click at the moment when the dog performs the desired action incidentally and then rewards it.

This method requires many repetitions until your companion understands what action it is and makes the association with the sound of the clicker. In addition to “capturing” these behaviors, it allows us to capture the dog’s attention and we can gradually move towards work sessions where we will apply the same principle until the doggie no longer makes mistakes and performs correctly. systematically the desired action to obtain the click.

The Shaping Method:

“Shaping”, which can be translated as the idea of “modeling” or “shaping”, is a progressive method that consists of gradually reinforcing the dog’s good behaviors with the use of the clicker.

So it’s about clicking and rewarding even if it doesn’t achieve exactly what you want. This method is interesting for obtaining something that the dog would not do naturally, such as curtsying, or playing dead.

We will produce the click each time the dog begins to execute, step by step: for example, to play dead, click as soon as he remains motionless on the ground, even if it’s only for a few seconds.

By doing this, we will always encourage the targeted behavior a little more to gradually move towards the final goal of the exercise.

Benefits Of A Clicker For Dog Training:

Clicker training for dogs has several advantages when used during training. However, there can be only one drawback – it may be ineffective in some cases related to the pet’s poor hearing.

Translation into Dog Language:

Often problems with training arise not because of the pet’s reluctance to learn or its bad mood, but simply because of the owner’s lack of understanding. Because of this, the animal owner may become angry, which amounts to punishing the dog. The dog begins to become stressed, which is why he avoids activities in every possible way.

A Dog Clicker Helps Get Rid of the Problem:

The click must be made at the moment when the animal has performed the correct action that was expected of it. Such a translator into dog language will help avoid the confusion that can be read in the dog’s eyes. The click should also be accompanied by a reward.

Increased Learning Ability:

If you use a dog clicker, their learning speed increases. For the animal, the click of the device is different from other sounds that the pet is accustomed to hearing. The dog does not understand what is required of it, since animals do not perceive smooth conversation with slurred intonation.

Improved Memorability:

A person remembers better what he has achieved, and not what was presented to him on a silver platter and carefully chewed. The situation is the same with pets.

Without obvious influence from the owner on the dog, the animal develops initiative and independent thinking. The skills acquired as a result of work are better absorbed.

How to Teach Command Using Clicker?

The clicker is an additional tool in training using the method of positive reinforcement, free of penalties. The click can be compared to the gong on a mental quiz, which means that the player has given the correct answer.

It is more convenient to start with simple commands, perhaps already worked out. For example, “Sit.” The dog is given a command, clicked when it sits, and then given a treat.

Learning more complex tricks, such as “Place!”, takes place in several stages, called “molding”. There will be several clicks: when the dog turns in the direction of this place, starts moving towards it, arrives, and lies down. At each stage, after clicking, an incentive is given.

There is no scolding or punishment for failure to comply. The absence of a signal (which should be followed by a treat) already means failure. The click becomes unnecessary as soon as the command given by voice or gesture is carried out correctly.

Treating The Dog With a Treat Using Clicker:

Clicker training is easy and relaxed. However, the device must be used correctly. To do this, you should know certain rules that should not be violated:

  • You can only click once before giving the reward to the animal. In just a few clicks, it’s worth giving a few pieces of treats.
  • The duration of the workout should not exceed 15 minutes.
  • You should not press the treasured button if you have run out of treats since its absence is a deception for your pet. He will become disappointed and subsequently stop obeying.
  • You should encourage the animal with your voice only after the device clicks.
  • You should not call your pet on the street using a clicker. The dog will believe that he is receiving a reward for being far away from the owner, so he will strive to increase the distance.
  • Before training, you should not feed your pet so that the reward is desirable.


Using a clicker to train dogs is now a popular practice. This is a simple device with a unique sound that will help you quickly learn basic commands and improve the animal’s behavior without affecting the psyche and emotional state of the animal. Proper training will allow you to learn basic commands in a few days.


How long does clicker training take?

Click only once for each correct answer. Click at the exact time the dog performs the desired behavior. Training should be short, no more than 10 – 15 minutes, and repeat it daily.

At what age should you start clicker training?

The first option is to wait until the puppy is six months old to begin training, while the second option is to immediately begin positive reinforcement, rewards for excellent behavior, and clicker training.

When should I stop using the clicker?

Once your dog can confidently perform the behavior on command and under different conditions, you can remove the clicker from training. At this point, your dog has firmly learned the behavior, and the clicker is no longer needed as it was only a training tool.

How can you give up clicker training?

During the period of learning a new ability, the clicker is most effective as a method of overt communication with the dog. When your dog reliably performs the required action on command, you can ditch the clicker and reward him with a treat or any other reward you desire.

How to use a clicker to train my 8-week-old puppy?

Tips for training your dog to pay attention: Be aware of the timing of your actions. You actually “tag” the behavior with the clicker. Therefore, click as soon as the dog looks at you. After the click, you remove your hand to offer the dog a reward. The sequence of events remains extremely important.

Are clickers harmful to dogs?

One of the many benefits of clicker training is that it is harmless. If a dog owner fails to train his dog With the help of a clicker, the dog will be no more trained than at the beginning of training.

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Aapt Dubey
Aapt Dubey

Aapt Dubey, a devoted canine enthusiast and experienced dog Owner, brings boundless passion to our team. With a heart full of love for our four-legged friends, Aapt is dedicated to sharing insights on dog care, behavior, and training to make every pup's life happier and healthier at

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