Clicker Instructions by Angelica Steinker
The ‘click’ signals to your dog that “YES!” that is the behavior you want. Think of the ‘click’ as a marker signal that lets your dog know the behavior you want. If you cue your dog to sit, you will want to ‘click’ the moment you see your dog’s hind end hit the ground. Then you follow the ‘click’ with a reinforcement - a reward your dog likes. Clicker training is the closest thing to talking with your dog and it is a fun training method for both dog and trainer. ‘Click’ your dog when he does what you ask.
‘Click’ your dog for doing what you want. Anything you like your dog doing is a great thing to ‘click’ and reinforce.
‘Click’ and Reinforce. After clicking, you can give your dog a treat. Moist treats are ideal or you can play a game or you can praise your dog. Anything that your dog enjoys can be used as a reinforcer. Vary your reinforcements to keep things fun and interesting.
Do NOT ‘click’ next to your dog’s ear. The click can be very loud and may cause your dog to dislike the clicker. If your dog is noise-sensitive and reacts to the clicker, simply tape several layers of first aid tape across the dimple on the metal part of the clicker. This will dampen the ‘click’. Then, as your dog becomes less reactive, you can pull off one layer of tape at a time.
Make sure the reinforcers you use are something the dog really likes. Do not use boring treats. Use treats that make your dog’s eyes pop out of its head! Play different games, experiment and find what your dog really likes.
Keep training sessions short and fun. Quit the session while your dog still wants more. Leave it hanging and your dog will work harder in the next session.
If your dog does something really great, ‘click’ and ‘jackpot’, then end the session. A ‘jackpot’ is when you give your dog a bunch of treats (6-10) at one time. Give your dog the jackpot all at once. Do not hand it one tiny treat at the time. The idea here is for your dog to feel like he won the lottery!
May the power of the ‘click’ always be with you! Happy training!