What is a dog training clicker how to use it

April 4, 2023
Dog Training

Dog training clicker: what is it for and how to use it

Training is an important part of education, aimed at consolidating obedience and the correct model of behavior. Its main problems are the complexity and duration of classes, which scare away beginner dog breeders. Both can be handled by a clicker for dogs, which can be used both for practicing ordinary commands and for circus tricks.

What is a dog training clicker

Before you figure out how to use a dog clicker, it's important to understand how it works. The device itself consists of a compact body with a button or metal plate. When pressed, it makes a special click, or a click that stands out from other sounds.

What is a dog training clicker

Operating principle

The clicker training method is based on fixing the following logical chain in the animal's head: giving a command (by voice or gesture) – its correct execution – click – reward. Thus, the pet, without encouraging words, understands what they want from him and takes the initiative on his own, without waiting for additional coercion.

The clicker was created on the basis of a dolphin training whistle. Both devices simulate the winning bell in mind quizzes used to announce the correct answer.

In USA, this device is still new, but thanks to the interest shown by dog breeders, it can be purchased at any major pet store. In the US, things are different. Here the device has become more widespread, so it is actively used for practicing basic commands, teaching agility and preparing for dog competitions.


The most common models are push-button and plate. The main advantage of the first is ease of use. If desired, you can press the button not only with your hand, but also with your foot. The latter are only amenable to fingers. Their advantage is a louder sound. For this reason, push-button models are good in a quiet home environment, and plate models are good on a busy street.

A more advanced option is a device with a retractable pointer, or target. It is used by professional dog handlers who practice complex tricks with animals, where it is important to set the direction: jumping, turnover around the trainer, walking between the legs.

 a variety of clickers for dog training

The possibility of independent manufacture

If you do not have the opportunity to purchase an original device, then there is no need to make him a replacement with his own hands. As an alternative, any object that makes a characteristic click is suitable: a ballpoint pen, a lighter without gas, a small wireless computer mouse, a clatter tongue.

The main minus of these alternatives is the lack of uniqueness. If the pet will hear them in the usual environment, then the desired reflex may not be developed.

Clicker's effectiveness for dog training

With proper use, the effectiveness of the clicker is undeniable. Its unique and always the same sound gives a great advantage over possible alternatives, including voice commands, a feature of the pronunciation of which directly depends on the current mood.

Sensitive to intonations, the dog does not always and far from immediately understanding what they want from it. That is why the use of a click, followed by positive reinforcement, allows you to achieve faster and more successful results.

The Effectiveness of a Clicker for Dog Training

Pros and cons of the device

Dog training with a clicker has many advantages. These include:

The uniqueness and equal click that facilitate its perception;

Ease of assimilation of the material and the rapid speed of training (the animal shows greater initiative, trying to predict the desires of the owner for reward);

High range of sound distribution, which allows you to work out commands at a distance;

Safety (the principle of action is built exclusively on positive reinforcement and eliminates the presence of stress if the command is incorrectly executed);

Compactness and ease of use in any environment (a small device is freely placed in the palm of your hand and pocket).

The device is effective not only in the formation of the necessary behavior from scratch, but also when adjusting bad manners. Very often they are not explained by demonstrative disobedience, but with a banal misunderstanding.

Despite all the efficiency, the instrument also has disadvantages. He is useless in work with hard-auditing and deaf animals. It is also not recommended to use it with severe fear and agitation, or excessive motor anxiety due to anticipation of the award. Both situations require study with a zooopsychologist.

Pros and cons of a dog training clicker

How to use dog clker when training

Training is built in three stages: acquaintance with the device, developing a conditioned reflex for click and consolidating the result with direct development of commands. From the beginning to the very end, it is very important to adhere to a number of rules in order to exclude the most common mistakes.


At this stage, you will have to stock up on a large number of goodies. The main thing is not to overdo it with their size. Otherwise, the pet will quickly fill the stomach and lose interest in learning.

Find a quiet and calm place for training, devoid of distracting factors. Then introduce your dog with a new sound for her, alternating him with reward. Make sure that there is no more than a second between the click and the issuance of goodies. Repeat the exercise 15-20 times and arrange a break.

The sound of the dog's sound for the dog

The task of the next stage is the development of a persistent conditional reflex. Increase the expectations of expectations to 5 or more seconds. Click on the device every time the pet is busy. If he is successfully distracted from his important dog deeds and devotes the treats, recognizing the sound of a click among many others, even on the street, go to the next stage.

How to use a dog clicker for training

Do not forget that the click is not a reward, but confirmation of the correctness of the action performed, followed by encouragement.

Fixing the result

Start with the simplest – consolidating the result on the commands already known to your pet, for example, from the call. Say the nickname from the long room and click the device when the pet confidently heads for your direction. Give him a treat immediately when he is Heel. In addition to food, stroking, scratching or a joint game is suitable as encouragement. The main thing is that the chosen action brings pleasure to the dog.

Having achieved a persistent associative connection, try more complex commands: “sit”, “Down”, “stand”, “Come / Come here” and “Heel”. Following them you can go to the tricks and to adjust behavior.

If the animal is prone to barking, picking up from the ground or pulling a leash – make a click every time it shuts up, ignores scattered baits or calmly goes Heel. Getting a reward for the correct actions, the pet quickly learns to behave appropriately and instinctively tries to avoid previous mistakes.

How to use a dog training clicker

Rules for the owner

The effectiveness of training depends on compliance with certain rules. The most important of them include:

What is a dog training clicker how to use it the tricks

What is a dog training clicker how to use it

Systematic. Do with a pet regularly, but not too long-10-20 minutes a day will be quite enough.

Smoothly increasing complexity. Do not run ahead even if your dog is a genius. Simplicity increases the chances of success and the desired encouragement, which is a very good motivation.

Mandatory presence of a voice command or gesture. Use them at the very beginning and click on the device exactly at the time of the correct action.

Issuance of incentives for each click. When performing a complex trick of several actions of the delicacy, you will need at each stage.

Lack of punishment. With this method of training, punishment is the lack of click and subsequent encouragement. If the dog did something wrong-just do not react to it.

The attractiveness of treats and the presence of appetite. Make sure that the pet likes the goodies you have chosen and that he did not overturn.

If the dog successfully performs the command several times in a row, then the clique can be removed. In this case, a voice or gesture will be enough. Promotion in the form of goodies also becomes unnecessary. It is given periodically so that the pet does not know exactly when he would receive a yummy, and still continued to try.

Common errors

It is possible to achieve success when using a clker even to beginners. The main thing is to carefully avoid the following mistakes:

The transition to the development of commands before the formation of a sustainable conditional reflex to click.

Application of punishments. Avoid screams and other methods of psychological and physical impact that can undermine the trust of the animal.

Too frequent clicking with a device. Do not give the clker to children and be sure to encourage the pet with a delicious one if you press the button by chance. Otherwise, such a deception will lead to ignoring sound.

Sound signal for an undesirable action.

Clicker Training Basics: How to Introduce the Clicker for Dogs

If you do everything right, but do not see the desired results – seek help from a dog handler. Sometimes an error is an untimely click. To adopt to click at a certain point in time is not as easy as it seems. Experience is also important here, so do not be afraid of failures and do not give up ahead of time.

Mistakes when using a clicker when training a dog

Choosing and price review

When choosing a model, start from the goal you pursued and the place of classes. For home training, quiet devices with a button are suitable, and for street – more loud with a special plate. Their price is not very different and varies between 300-900. Mosts are most expensive models with a shaft bracelet, allowing you to fix the device on the wrist.

Before buying, be sure to check the convenience of pressing and do not take too tight the mechanism.

The record holder in terms of cost is a model with a target. Prices for it start from $12 and depend on the manufacturer.

Choosing a clicker for dog training

Clicker training for dogs is an extremely effective and fun training method suitable for all ages and for a wide variety of purposes. Thanks to him, the animals become calmer and more balanced. They understand their masters better, carry out the commands given by them much more diligently and sincerely rejoice in their successes.


Samuel Carter author About Author