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The Basics of Clicker Training part 3

There are many benefits of clicker training your dog. If you’ve decided to start, you must first acclimate your dog to the clicker. Start by teaching your dog the significance of the clicker and allowing him to get used to the sound. If your dog has never seen the clicker before, then jumping right into clicker training would likely produce undesired results if anything at all.

Once your dog is used to the clicker, you can begin using it as a reward for training.

Teach your dog “touch”:

The “touch” command is when your dog touches its nose to your open palm. Your hand may be down low, up high, or off to the side.

  1. Photo courtesy leerburg.com

    With the clicker in one hand, hold out the other hand open and 2-10 inches away from your dog’s face. We start closer to his face to begin as he is inclined to sniff your hand, thus performing the desired action of touching his nose to your hand.

  2. Say “touch” and wait. As soon as your dog’s nose touches your hand, click.
  3. Do not repeat the phrase if your dog doesn’t perform the desired behavior. Wait 10-20 seconds and if the behavior does not occur, repeat the phrase once. If the behavior still does not occur, move your hand closer to your dog’s nose, or even start out by touching your dog’s nose with your hand.
  4. Repeat this a few times and as your dog begins to learn the command, gradually move your hand a few inches further away from your dog’s nose so he has to reach a little bit.
  5. Once the behavior has become consistent, try lowering your hand to the floor or moving it significantly farther away so that your dog has to get up to reach it.
  6. Be sure to consistently click at the exact moment your dog successfully “touches” each time.
  7. You may opt to sometimes give your dog a treat following the click but this is up to you.

Were you able to successfully teach your dog this command? Let us know how it went!

About Stacy @Trupanion

Stacy Kowalchuk is a dog mom to her rescued Whippet-mix, Ellie. During the week, you can find Stacy surfing (the internet, that is) and managing Trupanion's presence in the social media world. In her free time, Stacy likes to bake, especially cupcakes! To balance her culinary affinity, she also likes to stay active, especially with activities that include her dog such as hiking and going to dog parks.

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