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How To Train A Puppy With A Clicker

Australian shepherd puppy being trained with a clicker

Be like Pavlov!!

Clicker training is supposed to be a fun way to help your dog remember what he or she is supposed to do. It is similar to how Pavlov trained his dogs but what is different is that you are not training them to be fed.

You are using the clicker for different behaviors, including following your commands. You can use the clicker as instant feedback to your dog, letting them know they obeyed correctly.

To do clicker training right, you just click the clicker and then reward your pet with a nice treat when they obey. It is simple and maybe a little fun along the way as well. Puppies respond better and repeat activities over and over once they know they will be rewarded.

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Is Clicker Training Good For Puppies?

There are a lot of benefits to using clickers to train your pet. It does build confidence in your dog as they find out which actions will provide them with a reward and which do not.

You only reward your pet when they do the right action. The drawbacks to this type of training are many, as your dog has to decide what is the right action to do before they get a reward.

Plus, the clicker replaces voice commands, and that may be confusing to the dog when you have many desired actions to teach him or her. Then, during and after your training, you need to be consistent as well as persistent, as you can’t stop the training or change what the click sound represents.

This type of training can be hard on you as you need to use the clicker and not your voice every time you want your dog to obey.

At What Age Can You Start Clicker Training a Dog?

Corgi mix being trained with a clicker

You can start this training as soon as you bring them home from the breeders., etc. There are reports of 10-week-old puppies learning to do puppy push-ups at the sound of a click.

The best time to start is really up to you, and you get to decide when that training begins. Just make sure your new puppy is accustomed to its new surroundings first.

That should bring you to about the 3-month mark. That is a recommended time to begin this type of training. While some people say the clicker replaces voice commands, it doesn’t. You still have to use voice commands for the dog to learn what action they are to do.

The clicker sound just reinforces their behavior as they know they will be fed a treat when they sit correctly. Then, you only use this training until they have been trained to walk on a leash.

After that takes place, you can revert to voice commands. Actually, the clicker replaces the vocal praise words, not commands. The reason you use the clicker is that your dog gets the message and reward faster.

Also, the clicker is easier for your pet to hear. Sometimes voice praise gets lost in all the surrounding noise that takes place around your home. Then, the clicker can be used by different members of your family without confusing the dog.

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Clicker Training Pros & Cons

dog clicker laying on a pair of dog paws


  • Makes the connection between behavior and reward easier
  • Makes training go a lot faster
  • It is an easy sound to hear, even with surrounding noises going on
  • You do not have to be the only trainer; different people can use the clicker


  • Has to be used in a consistent and proper manner. In other words, the clicker has to be used in the same way all the time, or the dog may become confused
  • The clicker does nothing for bad habits or behaviors. Your dog is not a machine that can be turned on or off at the press of a button
  • You need training and practice to use it right. This is important as you have to learn how to use it the right way so you can do it the same way all the time
  • The click is a clue, not a replacement for treats or positive reinforcement

Some Final Words

Boxer puppy being trained by clicker

Clicker training can be a faster way to train your pet. When paired with commands, treats, and praise, your dog should learn what they are to do quicker than if you did not use this device.

The trick to using the clicker is for you to get proper training and use it in the same way every time you want your dog to obey a command. It is not as simple to use as you may think.

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