Pet training helps you bond with your pet, protect their well-being, and look after their mental health. Clicker dog training gives your pooch a constructive outlet for their energy, as well as a brain workout that can decrease undesirable pet behaviors in a gentle, loving way.

Here at Bayside Animal Hospital, we offer plenty of tips and tricks from our staff that can help you and your dog reach your fullest potential together!  As your Texas veterinarian, we’re here to help you with your pet’s health & training, every step of the way.

What Is Pet Clicker Training?

small dog watching owner for command

Using a small device called a clicker, this is a dog training method that uses both treats and a clicking sound as positive reinforcement for a pet’s action. When your dog does something you ask them to do, such as sitting, shaking your hand, or getting off the couch, you reward them with a “clicking sound” from the clicker, followed by a tasty treat. If you’re interested in trying this type of dog training, try these pet clicker training tips to help you succeed.

Timing is the most important component when it comes to any form of pet training, and that sentiment is doubled when using a clicker. When a pet does something you’ve asked them to do, it’s important to use the clicker immediately, followed by giving your pet a tiny treat. Every single time. 

Start by Teaching your Pet Hand Targeting

small yorkie dog touching owner's hand with his nose

Hand targeting is the process of teaching your dog to touch their nose to your hand on command. It allows you to redirect their attention in a quick, calm, and easy way. It can also help them increase their focus during pet training time. It’s also one of the easiest ways to introduce and familiarize your dog with clicking and clicker training.

Watch this video to learn how to teach your dog to hand target using a clicker.

Pair the Clicker With a Treat

Whenever your dog does something you want, press the clicker once and immediately reward them with a small treat. Because the goal of the pet clicker method is to  get them to repeat a desired action multiple times in a short session, it’s best to use small treats like pieces of kibble.

After 10 to 20 repetitions, your dog will come to associate the sound of the clicker with a treat. This is integral to training your pet to respond to the pet clicker method in the future.

small white dog standing up on hind legs, asking for a treat nicely

Don’t Click Too Much

Clicker dog training is most effective when the clicker’s sound is fast, deliberate and precise. Your dog is not going to learn faster the more you click. We suggest only clicking once per desired behavior. If you are teaching your dog how to sit on command, for example, wait to use the clicker until they’ve done so. As soon as their bottom touches the ground, click once, then reward them with a treat and plenty of praise.

Ask a Professional for Advice

As your Texas veterinarian, we can offer you personalized tips for training your pet. Every breed offers its own challenges, and every dog has a unique personality that may respond to certain methods better than others. At Bayside Animal Hospital, we are always happy to help you with any challenges you’re facing with your pet training. Please reach out to us via phone or email anytime with questions.