Clicker training with a dog

Clicker training is beneficial both for training a dog and for learning tricks or in dog sports. We will show you how best to use the clicker and what you should pay attention to during training.

What is a clicker?

A clicker is a small plastic box with a metal plate inside. If this is pressed, it makes a metallic clicking sound. Clickers come in various colours and shapes. Many people have a spiral bracelet so they don’t have to take it out of their pocket every time. There are also types of clickers that have an integrated ‘target stick’. This extension allows you to precisely point a dog in a specific direction in which they should move.

Advantages of a clicker

A clicker is used to tell the dog that they did something right at a certain moment. This can be successful recall or a command such as ‘down’ or a dog trick. In principle, confirmation can also be done with praise or a treat. But both have certain disadvantages: treats constantly have to be fished out of a bag, which is both cumbersome and takes time. If the reward is a few seconds late, the dog may have already shown a different behaviour in the meantime and incorrectly linked the treat to that behaviour. In principle, this could happen each time the dog is a distance away and cannot be rewarded immediately.

Misunderstandings can also occur on a verbal level. Some owners shower their dog with words, meaning they get confused. But it is mainly our changeable mood that is problematic: if we are in a bad mood, a ‘well done’ sounds different to when we are in a cheerful mood. In addition, dogs pay very close attention to our posture, which can be very different from one day to another. A clear advantage of a clicker is that it can always be used with pinpoint accuracy - even at long distances - and it always sounds ‘neutral’.

How do I start clicker training?

A dog can’t do anything with a clicker at first and is simply surprised at the sound. However, this can be changed quickly: if they get a treat after every click, their interest should be aroused. It is important that it is not a treat that they occasionally leave. It must be something that the dog would never say no to. Many dog owners report very good experiences that they have had with our PLATINUM Click Bits. The high fresh meat content ensures that these treats are very well received by four-legged friends. To start with, you can let your dog sit in front of you, and then click. Let the clicking sound be followed by a treat. Repeat this a few times, preferably throughout the day. Most dogs quickly understand that each click is associated with something positive - a treat. To test whether your four-legged friend has understood the principle, you only have to click once while they are turned away. If they joyfully approach to pick up the reward without being called, they should be conditioned to the clicker. However, it is important that the clicker is not an alternative to secure recall.

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Using the clicker successfully

There are essentially two approaches to clicker training. You can work at random or using a plan. If you are working at random, this means that you watch your dog and press the clicker whenever they do something positive. As an example, an ideal moment for this would be when the dog turns around briefly to look at you while off the lead. Reward such situations from when they are a puppy. All the less problems you should have later on with your furry friend no longer responding to you. Similarly, you can click when the dog ‘leaves it’, when the doorbell sounds, does not bark loudly or does not jump up at visitors. Do not look for undesirable behaviour that you punish, but for desired behaviour that you positively reinforce. This increases the likelihood of the dog wanting to show this behaviour again to receive their beloved treats.

As well as rewarding random behaviour, there is of course also the option to do targeted exercises with the dog. The entire basic training of ‘sit’, ‘down’, ‘stay’, through to ‘come’ and ‘heel’ can be supported with a clicker. All desired behaviour is rewarded with a click and a treat. Over time, a command and possibly a hand signal will also be associated with a certain behaviour. If possible, practice without any distractions at the start and then slowly increase the demands. If something does not work out, do not scold, and instead simply skip over it. If in doubt, take a step back or stop. Progress in the right direction, on the other hand, is always positively reinforced, even if something might not be 100 percent just yet.

Clicker training for high demands

In everyday life, we rarely meet dog owners with clicker. Things are different at the dog park. It is used relatively often in obedience and dog dancing, for example. This is because quite complicated processes are demanded of the dog here. Exercises therefore have to be split up into many small, individual steps. A click sounds for each correct step.

Do not expect too much of your dog—especially at the start of training. Some don’t want to do it anymore after a few minutes. This is completely normal. Be happy if you have successfully completed one or two exercises. And if something does not work out with the best will, then you will finish with an exercise that is perfectly fine. This means that the training will not end with frustration, but a positive experience.

The benefits of PLATINUM dog food

  • PLATINUM uses a unique preparation method called FSG, which offers numerous advantages compared to conventional dog food.
  • Dog food prepared with FSG is gently cooked only in its own meat juice and is therefore nutrient-rich like BARF, excellent for building muscles and also extra tasty for your dog.
  • With at least 70% fresh meat in the dry dog food and 83% fresh meat or fresh fish in the wet dog food, PLATINUM places great value on a composition of the food that is adapted to the needs of dogs.
  • The declaration and composition of dog food prepared with FSG is tested regularly and independently  by ELAB Analytik GmbH (formerly TÜV SÜD ELAB) - for canine health protection.
  • PLATINUM is generally very well accepted by dogs of all breeds and ages. Even four-legged friends with sensitive digestion or intolerances usually tolerate PLATINUM dog food well.
  • All products are free of soya, GMOs and gluten. In addition, no flavour enhancers, attractants, odourants or colourings are used.
  • Over 2,000 positive customer reviews at Trusted Shops speak for themselves!