Trick #1 - Respond to the Clicker

dog training clicker

Difficulty: Easy
Prerequisite: None
Items Needed: Clicker, Treats recommends Clicker Training for your dog. This is a simple yet highly effective method, the average dog owner in mind. You don't need to know much about dog training to use this method.

Basically, you want to "catch" good behavior with the clicker. What this means is that you want to train your dog that whenever you click (which means he has done something good.) The way we train the dog to respond to the clicker is simply by clicking and immediately treating the dog. It won't take your dog long to understand that whenever he hears the clicker he'll get a treat. This is an essential step in clicker training your dog. Another term that we will use is jackpot. This is an extra reward that you give your dog, usually when he has done exceptionally well or performed the trick perfectly for the first time.

Step 1: Click and give your dog a treat.
Step 2: Repeat about 30 times. This teaches your dog to associate the click with the treat.
Step 3: To maintain this connection, it is important to follow the rule: Never click without treating and never treat without clicking. We have one exception to this important rule in the Come command (Trick #8).


When I taught my dog Caspian to respond to the clicker, I did it over several training sessions. By the end of each five-minute session, he would always jerk his head toward me when he heard the sound of the clicker. Of course, I had to give him several training sessions to reinforce his learning.

You're going to need a clicker! If you don't already have one, you can buy them on our online store!

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Where Can I Find More Info On This Method?
Renowned dog trainer Karen Pryor has several books on the Clicker Training Method, which are great resources for any dog trainer, experienced or not.

For more information about how clicker training works, who invented it, the pros and cons, see the article: Clicker Training for Dogs.

Tip: "After a while, your dog will stop what he is doing and immediately come to you for a treat. Because of this, you might be tempted to use the clicker to get your dog to come to you. Don't use the clicker in this way. The clicker is meant to shape behavior, and using it as a recall device might teach your dog to run away or behave opposite your intentions."

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