Before answering the question, “What age can you start clicker training a puppy?” Let us, first of all, look at what clicker training is all about, the benefits of clicker training a puppy, and how clicker training a puppy works.
What is a clicker for training puppies?
A clicker for training puppies is a small, hand-held accessory that is usually used to train dogs, cats, and even birds. The tiny device makes a distinct “clicking” sound when pressed, and it is used as a marker signal to indicate to a puppy that it has performed a desired behavior correctly.
The clicker is used in conjunction with positive reinforcement training, where the puppy is rewarded with a treat, petting, or praise after hearing the click sound. The clicker helps the puppy more quickly and easily understand what behavior is being rewarded.
You can check out the Best Clickers for dog training.
Is a clicker good for dog training?
Yes, using a clicker for dog training is very good and recommended for all dog trainers and owners. Clicker-training your dog has so many benefits, which we are going to be discussing below.
1: Clicker training is fun for dogs.
There’s nothing more joyful than seeing your dog happily doing what you commanded it to do and also having fun while at it. That experience is something else, and that’s what clicker training can do for you.
Because clicker training uses rewards, such as treats
, praise, and petting, to reinforce desired behaviors, this can make the training session more enjoyable for both the dog and the trainer.
2: Clicker training helps the dog learn faster.
When you use a clicker in training your dog, it allows you to mark the exact moment the desired behavior you expect from your puppy took place, which can help the dog learn new behaviors more quickly.
3: Clicker training boosts your dog’s motivation.
Because clicker training is based on positive reinforcement, your dog will always be motivated to participate in training and will be less likely to become frustrated or stressed.
4: Clicker training increases accuracy.
By marking the exact moment a behavior occurs with a click, you as a trainer can be more precise in your training and help your dog learn the exact behavior or command you expect from it.
5: Clicker training helps improve the bond between the dog and the trainer.
Clicker training can improve the bond between dog and trainer by creating a positive and enjoyable training experience.
It also helps establish better communication between the dog and the trainer, making it easier to teach new behaviors.
6: Clicker training is quite flexible and versatile.
Another benefit of using a clicker when training your dog is that it can be used to teach a wide variety of behaviors, from simple tricks to more complex tasks.
Clicker training can also be used with a variety of dog breeds and cats.
Remember that clicker training requires patience and time. Don’t force the bar, because you can traumatize your dogs. Also, choose to carry out the training only when you are in a good mood because the pet will feel a positive energy.
How do you clicker train a puppy?
The clicker has a button that, when pressed, produces a click. It may seem simple, but that noise helps the dog understand what you’re trying to communicate. The idea is to use the accessory whenever the pet puts the desired behavior into action.
Next, it is necessary to give the puppy a treat or snack to indicate that the action carried out by the dog is positively what is expected. It can also be praise or affection, but it’s important to reward the puppy as soon as the clicker button is pressed so that it can associate the sound and act of obedience with a positive idea. This is the principle of positive training.
However, below is a simple and quick example of how to use the clicker:
- Call your puppy by name;
- When the dog approaches, press the device button.
- Immediately offer a reward to the little puppy.
- Repeat the process several times.
- After the learning period, be sure to practice with the pet.
At what age can you start clicker training a puppy?
According to information gathered from a reliable source, it is generally recommended to start clicker training a puppy as soon as they are 8–12 weeks old. At this age, puppies are most receptive to learning new things and are not yet set in their ways.
Additionally, starting training early can help prevent behavioral issues from developing later on. However, it is also important to keep in mind that dogs under the age of 16 weeks have a limited attention span and should not be trained for more than a few minutes at a time.
Generally, the clicker training session should last between 10 and 15 minutes at most, though you can repeat them a few times a day.
It is also very important to train weekly and preferably in different places so that the puppy does not get used to the routine and remains interested in the process.