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Clicker Training

Clicker Training

Why does clicker training work?

Clicker training uses a distinct and consistent signal to mark a desired behavior in real time and then follows that signal with a motivating reward. Because animals understand precisely which action earned the click and their reward, they learn new behaviors quickly, easily, and enthusiastically.

Will clicker training work with my dog?

Yes. Clicker training works with all breeds, all ages, all types of dogs, purebred and rescue, champions and house companions.

Can I clicker train the dog I rescued from a humane organization?

Yes! Clicker training is a fast, humane, and enriching way of integrating your pet into a new home and fixing or avoiding behavioral problems.

Is a lot of experience required to clicker train successfully?

Absolutely not. (Sometimes it even gets in the way.) Clicker training is easy to learn with the right instructions – either from one of our products or from an experienced clicker trainer. A part of clicker training that may take some practice is timing the clicks to capture the exact behavior you are seeking. But don’t worry; clicker training is so forgiving and so much fun for everyone that you don’t have to worry about mistakes. They won’t interfere with training in the long run.

Do I have to continue clicking and treating forever?

No. Clicker training is used to teach/learn new behaviors. Once the behavior is learned, the clicker isn’t needed any more for that behavior – although praise and treats will always be appreciated. Whenever you want to train a new behavior, or fine-tune an old one, use the clicker.

My dog isn’t food motivated, what do I do?

Food is the most popular reward, but anything your dog loves can be used as a reward. Throwing a tennis ball or a quick game of tug are both highly motivating rewards. If you would like to use food treats, be sure that your tidbits are especially yummy (bits of hotdogs, for example) and that your dog’s meals do not immediately precede a training session.

Won’t my dog get fat if I feed him every time I train him?

No. Tiny amounts of food are used as treats. Small is important because you want your dog to be able to eat it and be “ready to play clicker” some more. Clicker training is also good exercise and highly stimulating. Dogs work when they clicker train! You may also wish to substitute a clicker session for one of your dog’s regular mealtimes. 

If you would like to work with a Wisconsin Humane Society behaviorist one-on-one regarding this behavior topic, please call 414-431-6173 or email  to schedule a consultation.