Category Archives: Clickers

Sophie

Embrace the Curfew

Five German Shepherds

Left to right: Fin, Amy, Sophie, Blitz and Molly

Out of Control

Back in 2002, we were the confused owners of five German Shepherds. Their behaviour was appalling and we were losing control. Every morning we would take them to the nearby army ranges for their morning walk. We found ourselves going earlier and earlier in the hope that we wouldn’t meet other dog walkers because if we did, it would turn into utter chaos.

We realised we needed to do something about the situation and we consulted dog behaviour expert, Angela Stockdale of The Dog Partnership. Her advice was ‘they need a curfew‘. We were even more confused if we didn’t take them out, how would they get the exercise they needed? They would become even worse, surely.

We decided to put our scepticism aside and follow her advice. For three months we didn’t take them out for walks. Their stress levels that had been escalating day on day during the walk, began to come down.

Life without walkies

But you can’t just stop walking your dog and leave it at that. The morning walk had to be replaced with some other activity. For us it was clicker training and to say it was a life-saver is not an exaggeration.  We scheduled short five-minute sessions several times a day, individually for each dog. It enabled us to get to know each one of them far better, learn their strengths and weaknesses, what motivated them and what bored them.

In no time at all, they weren’t rushing to the front door at 5 am, barking and waking the whole neighbourhood. They were more relaxed. When it came to training sessions, we did various different things with each of them. We had a lot of glass doors and when one was doing their training session, the others would watch.

Dogs Dancing

Molly (left) does the tango with Fin

Molly, who was a timid girl, learned to dance and her confidence grew. Fin, who was our newest rescue, learned some manners and how to behave around ladies!

Dog Skateboarding

Amy on her skateboard

Amy who was frankly a bit of a thug diverted her attention to skateboarding.

KONG Time

Amy (left) and Sophie at the top of the stairs

Sophie was a master of the KONG. She would empty it of every last crumb by taking it to the top of the stairs and dropping it down.

Jolly Ball

Blitz with his beloved Jolly Ball

Blitz, our first rescue boy who was a real gentleman, loved the Jolly Ball and would spend ages playing with it on his own. Both him and Fin mastered the peek-a-boo trick (see our What Makes You Click Training Cards for this trick) and many others.

Did it work?

So, what was the result of our three-month curfew? We had calmer, better-behaved dogs that we knew as individuals. They could entertain us and show off their tricks which they really enjoyed. Who doesn’t enjoy praise for a job done well? It was time well spent and we were able to gradually reintroduce them to the outside world.

What you can do right now

Why not give clicker training a try? We have Clicker Training Cards, that come complete with clicker and treats, or download our What Makes You Click? cards absolutely free and get started right away.

Clicker Cue Cards

What Makes You Click Training Cards

You will need lots of tasty Training Treats which we have in abundance, or why not make your own. Most people have a tin of tuna, flour and eggs in the house. This recipe will get you up and running in no time: Tillies Tuna Cake Recipe.

Tuna Dog Treats

Tillies Tuna Cake Recipe

Snuffle Mats are becoming an increasingly popular game for dogs and cats. If you fancy a challenge how about making your own Snuffle Mat to keep them entertained when you’re flagging. An old doormat and some t-shirts should suffice to complete this excellent tutorial from the Dogs Trust.

Make your own Snuffle Mat

Make your own Snuffle Mat

Learn to love the curfew

Your dogs may not be badly-behaved and in need of a curfew, but it has been forced on us all and we have an opportunity to really make the best of it by embracing it and spending quality time with our furry friends. You never know, both dog and owner could learn something new.

Clicker Choices

 

What to look for when selecting your training clicker.

If you are new to clicker training or even if you’re an accomplished trainer, the wide range of clickers now available can be confusing. They come in all shapes and sizes, have different sounds and there are a variety of different attachments that can be used with them.

How do you choose which one is right for you?  Every individual is different and has unique requirements so we explain here the pros and cons of the most popular varieties.

Clicker

Volume

Extras

Tab

Use with
Gloves

Ease of Use

Guide

Box

5

Yes

Not easily

Medium

No

i-Click

3

Yes

Yes

Easy

No

QT Clicker

2

Yes

Yes

Easy

No

Quick click

4

Yes

Yes

Easy

Yes

Dogsline Push Button Clicker

2

FL

Yes

Yes but not loop

Easy

No

Dogsline Button Clicker

3/2

Yes

Yes

Easy

No

Dog Activity Soft Clicker

1

WC

Yes

Yes

Easy

Yes

Clix Multi Clicker

3/5

Lan

Yes

Yes

Easy

Yes

Clik R

4

FL

Yes

Yes

Easy

Yes

Dog Activity Finger Clicker

2

FL

No

Yes but not loop

Easy

Yes

Mikki Clikka

5

FL/

Lan

Yes

Yes but not loop

Easy

Whizz Click

4

WS

No

Yes

Medium

Yes

Duo Click

Click 2

Chime 3

FL/

Lan

Yes

Yes

Medium

Yes

Key: FL – Finger Loop; Lan – Lanyard; WC – Wrist Coil, WS – Wrist Strap

Please note:  Clicker volume can be subjective and will differ slightly between clickers of the same type.  Please use as a guide only.

Before you choose, you may want to consider a few things: where you will be using the clicker, will you be wearing gloves, whether or not your dog is sensitive to sound.  If this is your first clicker you may also require some basic instructions.

Box Clicker

Shaped like a small rectangular box with a metal tongue.  This is probably what some may call the original clicker.  You hold it in your hand and depress the metal plate with your thumb.  It gives a lovely, clear and loud click which is its big plus point.  However, there are some minuses.  It’s not very ergonomic, so doesn’t fit in your hand comfortably, only one end of the metal plate moves so you have to ensure you are holding it correctly as it’s very easy to miss that perfect moment.  Excellent for use outdoors or in a noisy environment, it comes in a wide range of colours and usually has a small tab on the end so you can attach it to a wrist coil or lanyard.

i-Click

Developed by perhaps the best known clicker trainer, Karen Pryor, this clicker is the perfect shape to fit into your hand and instead of a metal plate it has a raised button.  This button is easy to locate without having to look and it minimises the chances of you missing the click.  It can be used with a variety of attachments.  The click, although clear is not quite as loud as the box clicker.

You could also use this clicker with your foot, if you put it on the floor and press down gently.

QT Clicker

Very similar in shape to the i-click, although slightly quieter.  However, for those of you who are fashion conscious they come in pastel or neon colours.  Push button action and an ergonomic shape, complete with tab for attachments.

Quick Click

The quick click is another clicker with a button, however, the click is louder and crisper than the i-Click, but not quite as loud as the box clicker.  It is a tear-drop shape and fits comfortably into the hand.  Again, attachments can be used with this clicker.

 

Dogsline Push Button Clicker

Very similar in shape and design to the Quick Click having an ergonomic shape with a in-built button which is not prominent and therefore less likely to be pressed by accident.  It has a softer click but it does have an extra feature which can be extremely useful, a finger loop.  This ensures that the clicker is always to hand and ready for action.

The Dogsline Button Clicker

This clicker comes in two slightly different tones, you can choose from a muted or crisp click.  The button itself is prominent and easy to find and press, and the clicker shape is comfortable to hold with a tab for use with the attachment of your choice.

Dog Activity Soft Clicker

An ergonomically designed push button clicker, with wrist coil and detachable strap.  It has a more muted sound than all of the other clickers, but is still perfectly audible to your dog and may be more suitable for sound sensitive animals.  Probably best used in a quieter environment.

 

Clix Multi-clicker

This is the only clicker that actually has a volume control so it can be matched to your dog’s sound sensitivity.  It has a large raised button on a metal tongue which makes operation easy and underneath there is a sliding switch to change the volume.  Comes with a wrist strap.

Clik-R

This clicker was created by Terry Ryan.  It is quite large but ergonomically shaped for a comfortable fit in your hand. The button is prominent for ease of use and it also has a stretchy finger strap on the back.  Other attachments can be used if required

Dog Activity Finger Clicker

This small clicker is again, ergonomically shaped, and comes with a soft plastic loop on the back to slip on your finger.  This loop is not stretchy and would be difficult to fit over gloves.  There is no tab on this clicker for alternative attachments.

Mikki Clikka

This slightly larger clicker has a big easy to use click button and a stretchy finger band, it also comes complete with a neck lanyard and training guide written by professional behaviourist Claire Arrowsmith.  It feels robust and has a good loud click.

 

WhizzClick

The WhizzClick is unique in that is combines both a clicker and whistle in one device.  It has a flat plastic button which can only be depressed at one end, so, rather like the box clicker, you have to ensure it is the correct way round before clicking.  With the built in whistle it does offer additional training options.  Comes complete with a wrist attachment and training guide.  Developed by Stephen King.

CLIK-R Duo Dog Training Clicker

Developed by Peter Neville, this is the most expensive clicker available at this time.  It is digital rather than mechanical and is capable of making dual sounds so that you can train more than one pet.  The sounds available are either a traditional click or a triple chime. Its ergonmic shape sits well in the hand and both its raised buttons are different so, with practice, you should be able to tell them apart by touch.  It comes with a stretchy finger loop, lanyard and full instructions.  Requires batteries.