Your Dog Training Questions: Should I Use A Clicker To Train My Puppy?

Jim,
What do you think of using a clicker for training a puppy?

My Answer:

I think the clicker is a great way to train your new puppy. Reward-based training or positive reinforcement training is best and, if you can condition your puppy to a clicker — that’s even better. There are a number of benefits to “clicker training” your new puppy:

  • The clicker provides a consistent sound to your puppy no matter who uses it. Remember, consistency and repetition is needed in good puppy training.
  • Unlike your voice, the clicker is a sharp, crisp non emotional sound that provides your puppy with a special and unique way to identify behaviors he performs (like sits and downs) that produces a food treat. For example, when your puppy sits, click then treat.

The most important aspect of puppy training is to be consistent in your training. Train simple come, sit and down three times daily for no longer than 2 minutes and do it the same way every single time. It doesn’t really take much time out of your schedule. Setting aside 2 minutes three times daily 2 minutes is a great start. Puppies have a short attention span and will tire and get bored quickly. That’s why we keep it short.

Puppies are very smart and learn quickly, especially when they are taught from an early age. Most seasoned dog trainers would agree that the earlier you begin training your puppy, the stronger the training foundation is that will provide you with that better mannered dog in their adult years. So the most important thing is to start training and keep training. For those of you that don’t feel comfortable using a clicker, simply use your voice by saying, “Yes!” or “Good!” followed by a food treat when your puppy performs a command correctly.

Be as comfortable with the trainer of your dog as you are the teacher of your children. And remember, “Opportunity Barks!”

(C) Jim Burwell 2010

What’s your dog training question?
Use the comments below to ask me.

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