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Keep in mind that the clicker is the signal that a reward is coming, rather than being the reward itself. The clicker can be a much more precise method than verbal cues ("good" or "thanks") to communicate with your dog during a training session. You will need at least a handful of treats, since you will be practicing this over and over. If he continues to run away from the clicking noise, you will probably need to rely more on verbal cues to train him. The “catching” method will only work when your dog already knows how to do the good behavior without being commanded to do so. The clicker training will reinforce to him that he is doing the right thing, which will encourage him to repeat the good behavior. By using the clicker and reward at each small step, you will be providing him with continual positive reinforcement as he is learning the new behavior.
When you see that your dog consistently responds with the food lure, remove the food lure but continue to hold your hand in front of his nose as if you have a treat.
Eventually, your dog will learn how to lie down by following only your hand signals without the lure of a treat.


Clicker train your dog when you are in a good mood.[25] The training sessions should be enjoyable for the both of you. When you clicker train, use small and soft treats that your dog can eat quickly and easily.
If you are having trouble clicker training your dog on your own, you can sign up for clicker training classes or have him trained by a professional dog trainer.[26] Talk with your veterinarian to learn more about dog training classes. This version of How to Clicker Train Your Dog was reviewed by Pippa Elliott, MRCVS on August 4, 2015. A clicker, which is available at your local pet store, is a small, handheld plastic device with a button or small metal tongue that you press down on to make a clicking noise.[3] The key to using a clicker is to use it at the exact moment that your dog performs the expected behavior.
Before you can use the clicker for training purposes, you will need to teach your dog what the clicker means to him. One method of clicker training your dog is called “catching”– you will click as soon as you catch your dog doing a good behavior that he’s already pretty good at doing on his own. This is called “shaping”– by using the clicker and immediate reward at each small step, you are shaping the new behavior as a whole.[17] For example, if you want to train your dog to go lie down in a specific area, click and reward him as soon as he turns his body in the direction of that area. Adding a verbal cue is helpful regardless of which method of clicker training you have been using to train your dog.


This is known as “charging” the clicker.[9] While you are in the room with your dog (any quiet room will do), hold a treat in one hand and the clicker in the other. If your dog runs away when he hears the clicker, the sound is probably a little too harsh for him. It would be best to train him in quiet location without other people or distractions around.[14] If you have a fenced in backyard, you could also clicker train him outside.
For example, if he is in the room with you and decides to lie down to get more comfortable, click as soon as he lies down and immediately throw him a treat.
You can then click and reward him at each small step: beginning to walk to the new spot, arriving at the new spot, starting to lie down, and fully lying down on the floor.
For this behavior, you would hold the treat right in front of your dog’s nose and slowly move the treat down to the floor.



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