If you’ve been clicker training your puppy or dog, there will be times when you don’t have a clicker handy. How do you handle the training then?
Well, this has come up quite a bit for me with the last four dogs we’ve had. I teach them the sit, the down, the stay, and the recall for starters.
I often use these in our daily lives at moments when I don’t have a clicker in my pocket. What to do?
You can do a couple of things in this situation. Give the command or cue, and then when the dog does what you want…
- Click your tongue. It’s a clicker that is always with you, even though it doesn’t make as crisp a sound as the kind you buy!
- Use a praise word, “Gooood!” or whatever you like.
In either case, if you don’t have treats on you, use enthusiastic praise.
Making a Transition to Not Using Clickers Much in Daily Life
I hope you’ll reach a point where your dog knows all the basics. Then, while you may choose to train more advanced behaviors or tricks with a clicker, you may not need one much in daily life.
Just ease out gradually, sometimes using the clicker, sometimes not. By the same token, you can sometimes you a treat, sometimes not.
You may notice some backsliding, and then it’s a good idea to go back to more click-and-treat routines. For instance, I noticed Lola coming less willingly if she didn’t think there was a treat involved, so I have fooled her several times by in fact having the treat. I’ve also done the reverse: during what she knows is a regular session,not giving the food treat every single time once a behavior is pretty well established.
For Lots More on Clicker Training
See the ultimate site, Karen Pryor’s Clickertraining site.