Located in Rudy, Arkansas
Serving Fort Smith, Van Buren, and surrounding areas

Is clicker training just for pros? Five reasons why I think clickers are great for everyone

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I’ve been told before that clicker training is too difficult for the general public and that only pros can handle the logistics of holding a clicker while training.  I have had students tell me they just couldn’t handle it, and while I don’t push it, I always encourage my clients to give it a try, even if they have not had success in the past.  It only takes a few minutes to get the hang of it, and once you do, it is a powerful little tool.

  1. Precision in Timing: Treat delivery can be really clumsy, even for seasoned professionals. It’s difficult to get the treat into the dog’s mouth while the dog is still performing the behavior.  Because of this, the dog often has trouble associating the behavior with the reward, which slows training down.  With the clicker, the dog receives immediate feedback, even if the handler is still fumbling with their treat pouch.  This makes training easier for both parties!
  2. Clear Communication: Clickers provide a clear and consistent signal to the dog, making it easier for them to understand when they’ve performed the desired behavior. Verbal cues or praise can sometimes be inconsistent, but the clicker offers a distinct and consistent sound that is not affected by the trainer’s tone or by who is doing the training.
  3. Quick and Efficient Learning: The clicker helps accelerate the learning process by providing instant feedback. Dogs are able to associate the click with the behavior making it easier for them to understand what we are looking for.
  4. Reduced Confusion: Using a clicker helps minimize confusion for the dog by eliminating background noise and human chatter. The click is distinct and succinct, and it’s meaning is consistent. This makes it clear to the dog what behaviors we are looking for.
  5. Positive Reinforcement: Clicker training is based on positive reinforcement, where desired behaviors are rewarded with treats, toys, or praise. This positive approach strengthens the bond between the dog and the trainer, creating a more enjoyable and cooperative learning experience. It also helps build the dog’s confidence and enthusiasm for training.


Clicker training is highly effective when done correctly.  With consistency and patience your clicker can be a powerful tool in your communication with your dog.

One caveat:  Some dogs are noise sensitive.  Sometimes we can still use clicker training.  There are clickers that are quieter than others.  Some of us are really good at a consistent clicking noises with our mouths that are less offensive to the dog.  I have even used the clicking of a ball point pen for a dog who was very sensitive to any noises.  Noise sensitivity is really the only reason I will opt to forgo the clicker when training.  No, I’m not going to “force” my clients to use one, but I have yet to have a private training client who wasn’t happy that they tried it.