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5 Clicker Training Tips Beginners Need To Know

At first, clicker training may seem simple enough for everyone. It can also be very enticing to many dog-owners given its effectiveness. But many things could go wrong and the results of any mistake can be undesirable. So for those who are still just exploring this method, here are five tips that every beginner clicker trainer need to know.

1. Click Means Treat
Always remember that a simple click means absolutely nothing to dogs but just another noise they can ignore. So your first goal is to make your dog literally crave to hear that 'clicking sound'. To do this, spend about one to two days training your dog to understand that a click is always followed by a treat. All you have to do is make a clicking sound with a clicker and immediately give the dog a treat afterwards. This foundation must be solid before introducing command training.
2. The Right Time To Click
This can get exciting for you, but you cannot be trigger-happy. If you just kept clicking with an off timing, your dog will be confused and the training will not be successful. Basically, the right time to click is after the dog obeyed the verbal or signal command and before giving the treat. So the correct sequence would be, command - click - treat. This way, your dog will understand that he needs to earn the click by following or obeying the command, which in turn is followed by a nice treat.
3. Treat Does Not Always Mean Food
You have to understand that dogs too have their individuality and they have different favorites. This means that food is not always the most effective object of reward. Some dogs may seek attention instead. Other possible rewards include toys, walking, and giving the dog freedom to do something that he craves. Also, by training the dog to respond to different kinds of treat, you will have options to choose from in case you ran out or forgot to bring dog food treats.
4. Breaking The 'Obey For Treat' Effect
Treats are not bribes but simply a reward for a job well done. But in some cases, your dog might think of it that way and only look forward to the treat. This is the result of showing the dog the treat as a lure before the command is perfected. So what you need to do is to keep the treat out of the dog's sight while giving the command and waiting for him to obey. Only after the task is perfected that you will show the dog his reward and give it to him.
5. Excessive Treats: Preventing Pet Obesity
When you opt to use dog foods and gourmets as a treat, there is the danger that your dog might become overweight. This is especially true during the early stages of training when rewarding treats is done more frequently. To avoid this, you must control the serving size of each treat. An M&M sized treat should be sufficient enough. Also, you can reduce the serving size of your dog's regular meals proportionate to the amount of treats you have given him throughout the day.

Now that you have these easy-to-follow tips up your sleeves, you are now a step closer to doing a successful clicker training. Just keep at it and do things correctly. This experience will be rewarding both to you and your canine buddy.

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