Introduction: How to Clicker Train Your Dog
Runner Up in the
Dog Challenge 2016
This Instructable will teach you what clicker training is, and I included how to do a few basic tricks too. Clicker training your dog is a good idea for several reasons:
It enables you to tell her exactly what you like that she did.
It's easier than not using a clicker, because you can communicate to your dog what you want her to do.
You don't have to give the treat right away, but you can still promise a reward for good behavior.
It uses positive reinforcement, which helps maintain a stronger bond with your dog.
I hope this Instructable helps you to train your dog, and don't forget to have fun!
Step 1: The Way It Works...
The way clicker training works is if your dog does something you like, you click and give her a treat. This teaches her that you liked what she did, and she will try and reproduce that behavior to get another treat. That's pretty much it. This method was developed by dolphin trainer Karen Pryor and has helped people train their dogs since then.
Step 2: What You Need
For this Instructable, you will need:
A clicker or clicker app (I use the app iClicker)
Step 3: Charge the Clicker
The clicker won't mean anything to your dog unless it is charged. She'll just sit there wondering what the heck you are doing. So to charge it, simply click, then give her a treat immediately after. Repeat that until she starts to look up at you expectantly when you click. This may take a few days.
Step 4: SIT!
To train your dog to sit, hold a treat in your hand. Stand in front of your dog. Bring the treat up in front of her nose, then bring it over her head towards her tail. Her head should follow the treat, bringing her into a sit. As soon as she sits, click. Once she is sitting, give her the treat. Repeat until your dog understands the move, then add the verbal command "sit" right before the click.
Step 5: Come to Meeeee
Come is an essential command for your dog to learn, mainly because really, what's the point of having a perfectly trained dog that doesn't come when you call? Also for safety reasons, like if you're taking your dog outside and need to get her out of the street.
So to train your dog to come, you'll need her to be a little way away from you. Once she's about 10 feet away, call her name to get her attention. when she turns to look at you, click. She'll come to you to get her reward. As soon as she comes to you, give her a treat. Walk away a short distance, then repeat. Once she comes reliably every time you call, start introducing the command "come". Call her name, tell her to come, then click when she starts coming towards you. Treat as soon as she reaches you.
Step 6: Lay Down
To teach your dog to lay down, she'll need to know the sit command. From a sitting position, lure your dog into a down by holding the treat in front of her nose, then bringing it forwards and downwards. She should follow the treat with her head and lay down. Click and reward as soon as she lays down. Practice, then add the command "down" or "lay down".
Step 7: That's It!
There is a TON more tricks you can teach your dog through clicker training, but I just included the basics here.
I hope you enjoyed this Instructable and that it helped you to train your dog. Please feel free to leave any questions, comments or concerns in the comment section. If you liked it, I would really appreciate your votes (I'm in the dog contest), but don't feel like you have to.
Thanks for reading :)
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