Clicker Training

Learn the principals of operant conditioning. Plus learn to recognize the behaviours your dog is offering and how to 'shape' these behaviours to obtain a final result.

Wonderful for teaching your dog self control, loose leash walking, attention and every parlour trick you can think of. Clicker Training runs for 3-weeks and includes clicker, handouts and is open to all ages and breeds. By appointment. Cost for the 3-week class is $80.

Click means 'YES'. It's that simple.



Clicker Training For You And Your Dog – Part One “Priming”

The principles of clicker training have been around for over 30 years, being initially developed for the training of marine mammals using whistles. These concepts did not find their way into mainstream dog training until very recently. In the last couple of decades clicker training has becoming increasingly popular as people are seeking out positive methods to train dogs. Positive training is humane, motivational and fun. Punishment and dominance based training methods are thankfully becoming a thing of the past.

Jane Neve, owner of Canine Conduct Training Solutions says, “Clicker training is an excellent way to enhance the quality of the human-animal bond. Communication is improved when we base our training on respect, trust and cooperation.  Clicker training can be used for anything from basic commands to agility to teaching guide dogs and is now being used in the teaching of gymnasts, autistics, dancers though a program called “TAGteach”.  The TAGteach program adds credibility to the usefulness of the Clicker as a communication tool.”

The clicker is a small toy-like device held in the hand that makes a ‘click’ sound when the button is pushed. The ‘click’ means “Yes” or “Good” and it marks the exact moment of a desired response. It increases the likelihood of correct timing in delivery of  a reward and removes any distracting emotions.  In clicker training, the ‘click’ is done simultaneously to the wanted behaviour so our communication becomes much faster and more effective. Clicker training is only done in the teaching phase of training. Once a verbal or hand command is learned for a behaviour, the clicker is removed.

Since the ‘click’ itself is not a reward for the dog, we need to follow it with something the dog likes. Food is the most common reward used, but if your dog is not food motivated you can throw a ball, give physical affection or play with a toy. When learning the "how to's" the term ‘click and treat’ or C&T is used. Every time the clicker sounds, a reward must be given.  Use very small treats or break treats up into bits. Dehydrated liver works well and is healthy.  There is a brand of treats called Zukes Minis – I break these into 2 or three pieces.  Remember to decrease the calories given in treats from your dog’s meals!

Let’s get started with FuzzyFace. Firstly, we need to prime the clicker. FuzzyFace needs to know that the clicker means good things are coming. Have a small pile of treats in your hand, your pocket or in a bag on your belt. Show FuzzyFace that you have treats. ‘Click’ the clicker and give a treat – C&T. Do it again a dozen times without asking for a behaviour.  You will know FuzzyFace is “primed” by clicking the clicker when he is not watching you and if he comes running then you are ready for the next step.

Intrigued?  Come see us…..

Part Two
There are three phases to Clicker training: get the behaviour, mark the behaviour and reinforce....

Register online for the Clicker Training class!