Clicker Training

What is clicker training?

  • A training tool that that assists teaching new exercises or refines responses to trained behaviours in your puppies and dogs
  • It means each time that you “click” a behaviour, your dog receives a reward. It is a method that requires consistency and timing by the dog handler
  • You can reward behaviours you ask for, or behaviours as they occur in your dog’s day to day activities
  • The clicker will give you more time to give the reward, as the click will tell the dog it has done the behaviour you are asking for and the reward will come soon
  • It is a great tool for marking the exact moment of good response and gives you time to get the rewards to the dog after the click – that’s why we call the click a REWARD MARKER

Clicker training steps

Phase 1. CHARGE your dog to the clicker

– have your clicker in hand, treats at the ready and your dog in front of you

  1. “click and treat”: Click the clicker then give your dog a treat straight after the click
  2. Repeat “click and treat” closely together several times
  3. Your dog will soon pick up that a click = treat
  4. NOTE: Dogs learning occurs within the range of 6-10 treats repeated in succession

Phase 2. MARK (CLICK) a behaviour with a click …..THEN give a reward.

  1. Ask your dog to eg. SIT, or a behaviour you know that it can do for you
  2. When your dog sits, CLICK in THAT MOMENT
  3. Then give your dog a reward

Phase 3. ADD a CUE/SIGNAL(Word/hand action) to ask for the behaviour

  1. Ask your dog for a behaviour using your word and/or hand signal (= CUE)
  2. “CLICK” (or mark) the behaviour in REPONSE TO THE CUE
  3. Give REWARD

Phase 4. PHASE OUT the use of the CLICKER

  • When your puppy gives you good responses to your cues with the clicker training, you can stop using the clicker and use your words/hand signals (CUES) instead
  • Start your puppy’s clicker training with:
  • Teaching their Name/Come/Sit/Drop/Stand/Stay/Walk right next to me/Look at me/Give me a toy….and so much more
  • Remember your CLICKER RULES and have fun!!


  • the click = a reward marker
  • this is a LIFE RULE for clicker training – after the initial CHARGING of the clicker in phase 1
  • think that the click = taking a photo of the behaviour you want
  • each click MUST have a reward – even if you click by mistake or at the wrong time
  • teach one exercise at a time