Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Training Basics - Getting to know the clicker

Before you begin: 

  • Make sure your dog is hungry!
  • You will need a clicker and lots of treats (about 50). Pea-sized treats for a German Shepherd - if your dog is smaller, so are the treats.
  • Make sure there are no distractions for the dog - ask other dogs, kids, and people to leave the room.
  • "C/T" means "Click, then Treat"


Familiarize your dog to the sound of the clicker. You're looking for your dog to recognize the sound of the click to mean there is food coming.

1. Sit down on the sofa in the living room. Place 10 treats in your fist, then place your fist behind your back.

2. At random, click and toss a treat on the floor. It doesn't matter what your dog is doing - all you are teaching your dog is that right before the tasty food falls to the floor, this click sound happens.

3. Always remember: it's a 1:1 deal - one click is always followed by one treat, even if you accidentally click.

4. Repeat this exercise until all 10 treats in your fist are gone. Then praise your dog and play a little game with one of their toys - something fun for a few minutes.

5. Begin a session again, all the way back to step one in this lesson. Continue this until all 50 of your treats are gone then call it a day!

How'd you do? How'd your dog do? 
Important notes: Make sure you and your dog are still having fun!! If at any point you or your dog feel frustrated, end the session and try again later. :)

Happy training makes happy dogs!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the basic intro...we've talked about clicker training and REALLY need to start. We hoped to work on more training with Gus and we're running out of time before we depart. I may be tweeting you for advice when we start!