The Benefits of Clicker Training Puppies

Clicker training puppies can be a fun way to train. Since it's all positive, puppies will learn to enjoy training and will be eager to please you when you pull out the clicker.

The Thinking Dog

Clicker trainers like to label their dogs "thinking dogs" because they aren't cued to do commands during initial training. Instead, they have to figure out by pairing their behavior with the sound of the click for which behavior they are being rewarded.

The value in this type of training is that puppies have to figure out what makes you happy. They aren't waiting for you to give them the answer through a lure or physical manipulation. This is a powerful way to learn. Puppies who learn this way know what behaviors have previously earned clicks and try those behaviors before they try other common puppy behaviors, such as jumping, nipping and barking.

Quick Learning

Studies have shows that the noise the clicker makes reaches an area of the dog's brain that our voices don't reach, prompting a faster response than praise does. In addition, when used properly, clickers offer a faster way for trainers to mark a behavior. This allows dogs to pick up the proper behavior more quickly because there is no confusion in what is being rewarded.

Sloppy training can often result in dogs being inadvertently rewarded for inappropriate behavior. For example, when training your dog to sit, if you say "good" and treat as the dog is jumping up from the sit, they learn that sit means sit and jump up immediately.

When owners are clicker training, they are in tune to what their puppies are doing—looking for the exact behavior. This allows for fewer mistakes and more consistent rewards, which speeds up the learning process.

No Punishments

When clicker training, the clicker and a few treats are the only tools you need. Punishment training usually relies on several tools, such as prong collars, squirt bottles and noise makers. Dogs are aware that punishments can only occur when the tools are present and thus begin to misbehave when they aren't. This causes reliance on the tools.

Since clicker training is based on building a relationship based on respect rather than fear, dogs enjoy training and learn to listen because they want to. Rather than being forced to threaten, you will have a dog eager to do what you want. Thus, you can phase out even the clicker as time goes on.

Training Games

The biggest benefit of clicker training puppies is that it's fun for both you and your dog. Since there are no punishments, every training session ends happily with you and your dog on the same team instead of competing teams.

Because training is so fun, your dog will be eager to learn new behaviors, so you can create games out of training by picking a random behavior and seeing how long it takes your dog to correctly perform the behavior. This is a great way to provide your puppy with exercise and mental stimulation, creating a happier, healthier dog.