Welcome to PetForums

Join thousands of other pet owners and pet lovers on the UK's most popular and friendly pet community and discussion forum.

Sign Up

Clicker training- would you reccomend?

Discussion in 'Dog Chat' started by Amelia M Richards, Jul 15, 2019.


  1. Amelia M Richards

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2019
    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    7
    So my fancy new dog walking bag just came and it has all the accessories, like poo bag dispenser, collapsible water bowl..and a clicker.
    I know clickers are supposed to make it easier for a dog to understand they're doing the right thing, so I got some treats and tried clicking and treating Roxy to get her to start understanding the noise means good things.
    But in typical Roxy style she was scared of the noise and her ears went straight back, eyes wide and head turned (it was quite comical the looks she was giving me though like :eek:)
    Do you think it's worth persevering?
    Also got a gentle leader so going to slowly start acclimatising her to that over the next week...fingers crossed:)
     
  2. McKenzie

    McKenzie PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2010
    Messages:
    20,488
    Likes Received:
    20,393
    Some dogs find the sound of clickers a bit alarming if they are quite loud. You could start by clicking a ballpoint pen and then once she realises the click is a good thing she'll probably accept the clicker. You can also get clickers with volume control.

    I'm 50/50 about clickers to be honest. My little dog is clicker trained and it worked really well for her when we were learning complex tricks (Heelwork to Music dog), and also because she does everything at a million miles an hour so precision was important. My younger dog isn't clicker trained because I never found a reason to really - he works slower and I haven't taught him anything particularly complicated. However, with both dogs I use a verbal marker (yes!) which is all they need in 90% of our training situations.

    Of course the clicker is only as useful as the accuracy of the person using it!
     
    Picklelily, margy, O2.0 and 7 others like this.
  3. Linda Weasel

    Linda Weasel PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2014
    Messages:
    2,757
    Likes Received:
    5,612
    Clicker training is great if you can get it right and understand the principle.

    Just in case you haven’t checked it out: The click marks the behaviour you want, the dog knows at the point of the click that what it has done is right and that a reward will follow (always, even if you were a dummy and clicked in the wrong place you have to follow the principle regardless, then get it right next time).


    If you get one move towards what you want, click. Proof this then ask for a little bit more and build till you’ve got what you are aiming for. Leave a 2-3 second gap between clicking and treating. As your dog gets more into it, you can even leave the treats on a worktop or in another room; he knows a treat follows a click, so no rush.


    Simple exercises can be ‘lured’, complex ones broken down into parts, and you can also just wait for a behaviour to be offered (a play bow for example) and click it so you can work towards getting it on command.

    Get a good book; videos are all very well but it’s not so easy to go over a bit you don’t understand the first time, or learn it in a sensible sequence.

    As for your dog being suspicious of the click..... start with it in your pocket so the noise is a bit muffled and use amazing treats.
     
  4. Bugsys grandma

    Bugsys grandma PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2018
    Messages:
    2,039
    Likes Received:
    2,648
    I would absolutely recommend clicker training. My dog has been trained using a clicker and I've found he picks up stuff really quickly.
    It is important to get your timing perfect. I practiced that on my own, with my dog well out of the way so he couldn't hear it, by watching the news and clicking every time someone blinked. Sounds daft now, but it really helped me get my timing spot on.
    As @Linda Weasel says you must reward after every click, even if you get it wrong.
    Hopefully once your dog realises that the click means a fab treat is coming she will be happier about it, so make sure,to start with at least, that you use very very high value treats.
    There are lots of clickers available, and they're not expensive, so if she really is freaked out by the sound of the one you have now,maybe have a look and find one with a volume control, or with a different click.
     
  5. Burrowzig

    Burrowzig PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2009
    Messages:
    18,433
    Likes Received:
    12,368
    I'm also a clicker fan, it's been really useful with my dogs and they love it when the clicker comes out. If the noise is too much for your dog, use it inside a pocket or cloth to muffle the sound, or use the ballpoint pen idea, until they accept what fun they're about to have.
     
  6. lullabydream

    lullabydream PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2013
    Messages:
    15,265
    Likes Received:
    23,299
    Try dampening down the clicker by wrapping something round it...some dogs are very sensitive to the noise and it's common thing to do.
     
    Picklelily, Bugsys grandma and O2.0 like this.
  7. O2.0

    O2.0 PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    May 23, 2018
    Messages:
    8,035
    Likes Received:
    24,699
    Just wanted to emphasize to get a good book or even try a class specific to clicker training. It's a fabulous way of training but understanding what it is and what it is not will make your efforts so much more successful and enjoyable for you both.

    Always good to go to the original source too :)
    https://www.clickertraining.com/dog-training?source=navbar
     
  8. Amelia M Richards

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2019
    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    7
    Thanks everyone!
    I'm so excited at the moment as Roxy finally got loose leash training today and was excellent on her walk...I mean I had to stop and start a few times but she ran to my side each time and walked nicely for most of it..I'm so proud! Only took 3 months :Banghead:Smuggrin
    I have two children, one is in a buggy when i walk her during the day, so good walking skills and manners are essential, I've been putting the effort in though and its paying off:D
    I think I will leave the clicker for now though and introduce it when her confidence is a bit higher...she's come so far in the three months I've had her and come out of her shell more and more each week ..she actually pays attention to me when we're outside now! And loves her training sessions...if I can crack polite doggy greetings I'll have complete success!
    Anyway I'll stop rambling.. thanks everyone again
     
    Picklelily likes this.
  9. tabelmabel

    tabelmabel PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2013
    Messages:
    7,795
    Likes Received:
    14,676
    Yes, another fan of clicker training here. It's much easier to mark the targeted behaviour at the exact right time using a clicker:)
     
    Picklelily likes this.
  10. StormyThai

    StormyThai Moderator
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2013
    Messages:
    9,544
    Likes Received:
    22,401
    One of the little dogs that I work with finds the noise from a clicker far too aversive and shuts down so with her I click with my tongue which works really well with her.
    If I'm not using an actual clicker I use "yes" or tongue click...so long as you charge the marker with rewards it works the same.

    Clicker training is all about the timing...it is very easy to "mark" the wrong behaviour if your timing is off.
    For example when I started to teach a hand touch I accidentally marked for a nose "bop" instead of the actual touch so found it frustrating when trying to add duration. Once I worked out where I had gone wrong I started again making sure to mark the right behaviour.
    To work on timing I usually suggest a game when the dog isn't in the room and you are watching something pick a word that you want to target, get two pots one filled with treats and one empty and when the word is said you click and then transfer a treat from one tub to the other...keep doing this until you are clicking the instant the word is said :)
     
  11. Picklelily

    Picklelily PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2013
    Messages:
    3,330
    Likes Received:
    2,008
    I love clicker training, I have used it to teach behaviours I wouldn't ever have managed any other way.

    My dog was scared of the clicker initially so I downloaded the free clicker app on my phone this had lots of softening options.

    I used that to load the clicker then moved on to a real clicker.

    Initially, I loaded my clicker and then just used it for trick training in the house and stuck to other methods outside of the house.
     
    Bugsys grandma likes this.
  12. Blaise in Surrey

    Blaise in Surrey PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2014
    Messages:
    2,808
    Likes Received:
    2,510
    I’ve always thought of clickers as a bit of a gimmick.... A swift “tkk tkk” with my tongue serves exactly the same purpose.
     
    lullabydream likes this.
  13. McKenzie

    McKenzie PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2010
    Messages:
    20,488
    Likes Received:
    20,393
    Yes it’s just a marker. Clickers have the benefit of being a consistent sound every time, but I imagine your noise is pretty consistent too. My ‘yes’ probably less so, but my dogs are smart enough to know it’s a marker ;)
     
    lullabydream and StormyThai like this.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice