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  • Writer's pictureFiona Alder

THE POWER OF CLICKER TRAINING

Getting a puppy is an incredibly exciting time, filled with joy, cuddles, and of course, a few challenges along the way. As a dedicated puppy trainer, I understand the rollercoaster of emotions that come with this journey, from the overwhelming sense of responsibility to the sheer delight of watching your new companion learn and grow.


One of the most effective tools in your puppy training arsenal is clicker training. You may have heard of it before, but perhaps you're not quite sure how it works or why it's so beneficial. Allow me to shed some light on this powerful technique and explain why I incorporate it into my training packages.




What is Clicker Training?

Clicker training is a form of positive reinforcement that uses a small handheld device called a clicker to mark desired behaviours in real-time. The clicker emits a distinct sound—usually a sharp "click"—that signals to your puppy that they've done something right. This precise feedback helps them understand exactly which actions earn praise and rewards.


Why Clicker Training?

Here are the main reasons why I love using a clicker when training:

  1. Clear Communication: Imagine trying to learn a new language without any feedback or guidance. It would be frustrating and confusing, right? The clicker acts as a universal "thumbs up" for your puppy, providing instant clarity about what you expect from them.

  2. Accelerated Learning: Dogs are incredibly intelligent creatures, but they thrive on clear, consistent feedback. Clicker training allows you to pinpoint and reinforce desirable behaviours with pinpoint accuracy, leading to faster and more reliable learning outcomes.

  3. Positive Association: The clicker becomes a powerful predictor of good things to come - treats, praise, playtime - creating a positive association with training sessions. This makes learning fun and enjoyable for your puppy, strengthening your bond in the process.

  4. Versatility: Clicker training is incredibly versatile and can be used to teach a wide range of behaviours, from basic commands like sit, lie down, and stay, to more advanced tricks and tasks. The possibilities are endless!


How Does Clicker Training Work in Practice?

During our personalised 1-2-1 sessions, I'll guide you through the ins and outs of clicker training, tailoring each session to address your specific needs and concerns. Whether you're struggling with recall, teaching your puppy not to jump up, or mastering basic commands, the clicker will be your secret weapon for success.


Let's take teaching your puppy not to jump up, for example. Every time your puppy keeps all four paws on the ground instead of jumping up, you'll immediately click and reward them. This reinforces the desired behaviour and helps them understand that staying on the ground earns praise and treats. With consistency and positive reinforcement, you'll see a significant improvement in reducing their jumping up.


Recall is another common challenge for new puppy owners, but clicker training can make it a breeze. Start by practising in a quiet, distraction-free environment, gradually increasing the level of difficulty as your puppy becomes more proficient. Each time they come when called, click and reward generously to reinforce this crucial behaviour.


And when it comes to basic commands like sit and lie down, the clicker provides instant feedback that helps your puppy understand what's expected of them. You can also teach your puppy a marker word such as "yes" or "good," which gives you a backup when you don't have the clicker on hand.


Personalised Support When You Need It Most

Clicker training can be a game-changer as it's often a lack of clear communication that causes training failure. You'll be amazed at how quickly your puppy learns and grows by incorporating this into your training toolkit.


As a puppy specialist, I'm here to support you every step of the way. Whether you're feeling overwhelmed or unsure where to start, my puppy packages can help provide the guidance and reassurance you need to succeed. If you're ready to unlock your puppy's full potential and embark on an unforgettable training journey, don't hesitate to reach out.



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