Training Tip #1: Dancer Starts Clicker Training

Under Patricia’s tutelage, I’m starting Dancer on clicker training.

This form of positive reinforcement training (training that rewards good behavior rather than punishing bad behavior) uses a small plastic noisemaker that makes a clicking sound. The idea is that you reward your dog with a treat when they do what you ask as you click the clicker to mark which behavior is good. Instead of saying “good,” you click. The click reinforces the behavior and is distinctive. It makes the training multi-sensory, both taste and sound.

Here’s how it has worked with Dancer so far. I tell her to sit and wait, move a few feet away, and tell her to come and sit. When she does what’s asked, I give her the treat with one hand as I click the clicker with my other hand. (It can take some practice to make sure you give the treat at the same time as you click, so you may want to practice sans dog.)

How has she done? She sees the clicker and knows treats are to be had, so she hasn’t missed a beat. How have I done? I can click and treat at once now.

We’ll see what Patricia thinks of our progress, move on the next step and keep you posted

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