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The Best Clicker Training for Puppies-iclick-Easy Dog Clicker Exercises

Updated on April 4, 2011

Dog Clicker Training

Clicker training for dogs, the easiest way to improve dog obedience.

You may want to teach an old dog new tricks or start a full clicker training program with your puppy.

Clicker training is suitable for dogs and puppies of all ages and all levels of current obedience.

In this article I will discuss dog clickers, how to use a dog clicker, when to use dog clicker training products, offer you clicker training tips, what exercises are suitable for clicker training, clicker training for puppies, how to buy a dog clicker and what other dog clicker training resources are available.

I will provide links to dog clicker training videos, books, websites and try to provide you with enough information on problem solving to avoid your puppy clicker training disasters.

This article is a complete dog and puppy clicker training resource with everything you need to start a clicker training program with your dog.

Amazon UK for Dog Clickers
Amazon UK for Dog Clickers

What is dog clicker training

Clicker training is a complete stand alone dog training program used for training dogs and puppies or can be incorporated in to your current training sessions.

The clicker makes a unique sound when pressed, this sound is then used to reinforce positive behaviour from your dog.

This method of dog training has been developed over many years and has been honed to be one of the quickest ways to train a dog or a puppy, it involves a basic understanding of dog psychology and teaches you how to incorporate this into your dog training sessions.

Each time your dog gives you the behaviour commanded IE: SIT, he hears the sound of the clicker and receives a treat or praise, very quickly his brain will associate the click sound with a pending reward.

He will become conditioned to give you the desired behaviour on command to get his reward.

Clicker Training DVDs

How does clicker training work

Clicker training works by identifying the exact behaviour you want from your dog, communicating this to your dog by way of the clicker sound at the exact moment he performs the the desired behaviour.

If you have read my other dog training articles you may remember "dogs do not speak your language", they respond too and understand sounds much easier. For this reason a clicker sound is an ideal way of training your dog as it is playing to your dogs strengths.

During your non clicker training sessions, you will speak to your dog, give him a treat or stroke when he does what you have asked. But how does he know exactly what he did to get the reward? He doesn't; he may have actually ran around a while before he came back, he may have not sat next to you rather sat 3 feet away but still got a treat. There is always a risk of your dog believing that the undesired part of the training ( running around on the way back ) got him the reward so he will repeat it.

Clicker training eradicates this problem as the owner clicks precisely on the specific behaviour; this sends the message to your dog, do that and get a reward thus avoiding confusion.

Clicker Training with High Energy Dogs

Buy a dog training clicker

The first thing you will need for clicker training is a good clicker, sounds obvious but there are some very poor quality clickers out there. By poor quality I am not talking about the build but the sound, in order to be successful at clicker training your dog needs to be able to actually hear the clicker.

I have listed here a selection of decent quality clickers, these dog clickers can be bought here online via Amazon.


Buy a Dog Clicker

Karen Pryor, Getting Started: Clicker Training for Dogs Kit
Karen Pryor, Getting Started: Clicker Training for Dogs Kit

Clicker Training Kit by Karen Pryor

Easy Training Fast Training Make your training effective and fun!



Dog clicker training exercises

During these basic clicker training sessions we will be using hand signals rather than command words which you can add in when the dog is efficient at obeying your command:

Train a dog to sit

Use dog treats for these exercises

  • stand in front of dog
  • hold treat out so dog can see it
  • lift your hand upwards and backwards over dogs head
  • Dog will go into sit position
  • the minute his bum hits the floor "CLICK"
  • give treat and praise
  • repeat over and over
  • dog will become conditioned to the movement of your hand over is head means "sit" and "click" means treat
  • now offer a treat on every other click, then third click until the dog obeys the command but is not relying on a treat. He needs to perform the command just in case he gets a treat not for a treat 

Train the down command

  • get dog into "sit" position using hand signal
  • hold treat in front of nose
  • pull your hand down to the floor in front of your dog until your hand reaches the floor
  • When dog goes into down position "click" and let him have the treat
  • repeat over and over
  • now offer a treat on every other click, then third click until the dog obeys the command but is not relying on a treat. He needs to perform the command just in case he gets a treat not for a treat 


Train a dog to come/recall

For this exercise we need two people and dog treats, if you have not already trained with voice command I suggest you read my article on puppy recall here

  • two people stand 10 feet apart, on has treats one doesn't
  • the one with the treats bend down and hold dog gently
  • the one without the treats calls puppy using command, I use "come"
  • when puppy gets to second person, hold him gently; he gets a stroke but no treat
  • first person "the master" then uses the recall command "come", as puppy reaches you "click" give a treat and make a fuss. What you have just done is taught him you are more important and interesting than anyone else.
  • repeat over and over building your special bond with your dog
  • now offer a treat on every other click, then third click until the dog obeys the command but is not relying on a treat. He needs to perform the command just in case he gets a treat not for a treat 


Train a dog to leave

This exercise will eradicate your puppy mouthing things he shouldn't, you will need an item for him to leave and some treats

  • hold out the "leave item, when your dog tries to get it, close your hand but do not pull it away, upon closing your hand say "leave", repeat until he stops tring to get the item
  • when he stops trying to get the item "click" and give him a treat from the other hand
  • repeat over and over
  • now do the same exercise with the "leave item" but do not close your hand, if your dog has learned the command he will not even sniff the open hand, if he doesn't "click" and offer treat from other hand
  • repeat
  • now offer a treat on every other click, then third click until the dog obeys the command but is not relying on a treat. He needs to perform the command just in case he gets a treat not for a treat 

These are some basic exercises that your puppy or older dog should pick up very easily. Do not overdo the clicker training as you can move onto more difficult exercises later.

Basic Dog Clicker Training

Please let me know if this article was useful.

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