Remembering Clicker Training!

Clicker training is a way of teaching a dog to respond as desired, with the “click” being a very precise and “clean” sound which can be created very quickly to mark success to a vocal and/or body language instruction. The dog soon recognizes that a “click” means a reward is imminent, just as it recognizes that no “click” means something went wrong.

When Ray moved in with us, he clearly had no training in his background so all instructions were learned with this method. He responded very well to clicker training and was later weaned off it so he only needed the vocal and/or body language instructions. That was almost two years ago now and, with the exception of some isolated additional training, the clicker has been hanging from a cupboard door handle near his den. We had almost forgotten about clicker training.

We were recently in our local Cdn. Pet Connection store and were having a general conversation with our (all three of us!) friend Joan who was working there. Ray, in true Ray character, was laying on the floor with his front paws crossed ; head down, and generally just chilling out while waiting for us to show some sign of either giving him a treat, or of leaving and heading for the Oakville & Milton Humane Society which is nearby. All was quiet and relaxed until a lady came into the store.

She wandered around seemingly looking for something specific, and clearly having difficulty, so Joan offered to help her. They were soon chatting away and the lady was clearly trying to make up her mind over some options and, what must have been a habit of hers, took out a pen from her purse and started pressing the on/off button on and off ……… and on and off …………….. and on and off.

Carol silently drew my attention to Ray. While still laying on the floor, his head was up; he was alert, and totally focused on Carol. His whole manner said “Treat!”.

The clicker! He remembered the clicker and all its possibilities! He was not going to question what he was supposed to have done, but was just going to graciously accept his treat!

The situation was explained; the lady stopped clicking her pen, and Ray got a little treat anyway. Who would have thought that the clicker training of so long ago would still be prominent in his mind?

11 thoughts on “Remembering Clicker Training!

  1. Wow, that is impressive.

    I was also trained on “clicker training”. It has been a while since my last proper training, and I think my humans are thinking about introducing the clicker back in my life again.

    I’m not complaining. As long as treats are in order.

    xoxo Sookie
    PS, I love your blog!


    • Yup! I loved clicker training and in fact, I love all training ‘cos all I have to do is work out what they want …… and I get treats! Perfect! Glad you like my blog ‘cos my Dad thinks I’m special and wants to share that. Of course I agree! Woof! Ray.


  2. We have never tried the clicker training before, but dogs do remember EVERYTHING. Routine is what does it. For instance, after every meal our dogs sit by their little treat jar because they know that they get a treat. They will sit there like forever if I forget, and won’t move until they get their special little treat. It’s cute to watch. Dogs are so awesome!

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    • They are awesome! Ray’s gets his dinner around 5:15pm. If we get close to that time and nothing is happening, he will find me and just stare at me! Given that he (presumably) cannot read clocks, his biological timing is remarkably precise.


      • I know, it’s kinda spooky that they know what time it is! I know that every night I pour a glass of wine (getting it ready for my BF to come home), the dogs get all excited and run to the front window to see if he is pulling in the driveway. It’s amazing on how aware they are of their surroundings! But I LOVE IT!

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  3. Well done Ray! Dogs don’t forget, especially where goodies are concerned.
    We went into a pet shop some four months ago to get some flea treatment as the Vet surgery wanted over £30 for a particular brand whereas we knew we could get something similar for around a tenner.
    Maggie was in her element, tail wagging, sniffing everything on the low shelves though she never attempted to pinch anything. We say ‘Show Me’ and she’s likely to nose something she likes. She put her feet on the counter (nice lady behind it encouraged her, phew!) and nudged a jar with soft stick chews in it. The lady took one out, offered it to her and she took it so gently. The tail was wagging so fast, she almost took off. Now every time we go past the shop, she tries to drag us in. The last time we went in, the paws were up on the counter, the nose pointing to the jar, and tail wagging expectantly. We bought 10. 😀

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    • Agree with “all of the above”! Over here, we always check a vet prescribed medication because it is often available from a regular pharmacy (chemist) and at around half the cost. Ray also does the “show me” routine but usually for finding his poop in the snow (future Post topic!). His behavior in pet supplies stores is good, but not quite as courteous as Maggie’s! He once helped himself to a bag of food by picking it up and dropping it at the assistant’s feet! She was impressed. I should mention that he also grabbed a bone on the way out!!!!!!!!!! Hmmmmm …. more work needed there!

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