Why is it essential to make clicker training fun for a dog?

Click training is training entirely positive reinforcement. Your dog is never forced to learn but, with this training, your dog will do so willingly. There are no corrections, no yanking dogs around, no shoving them into place and then giving some praise and hoping the dog will make the connection.

The dogs have loads of fun doing it. The basic premise of clicker training is that you click (or use a verbal marker, such as the word “yes”) at the precise time the dog completes a desired behavior. Then you immediately—within 1 to 2 seconds after the click—follow it up with a treat. Eventually, the dog learns that the click really means a treat is coming, so she’ll work very hard to make that sound happen.

The treats aren’t the only enjoyable aspect (although, for the dog, that’s a huge part of it). Since clicker training lets your dog know very simply exactly what’s expected of her, you can teach her the more innovative and fun tricks as well as the basic commands. For instance, your dog can learn how to turn on a light! Show her how to touch the light’s button, click and voila! Easy to show her how to dance; once she stands and twirls, just click and follow with a treat. Very soon she’ll learn that the stand and twirl, or the light switch touch, is behavior that brings a reward (treat).

In addition, clicker training is fun for the entire family. It’s so easy, even the youngest of kids can do it—just be sure they understand that the clicker is a training tool and not a toy.

Some people get concerned that clicker training that produce an overweight animal. Although the reward must be something of value to the dog—that is, she needs to like it—many dogs love the taste of baby carrots, a piece of broccoli or even a small piece of apple. It’s healthy and low-caloric for your dog!

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