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Clicker Training for Your Chihuahua

Clicker Training for Your Chihuahua

Clicker Training for Your Chihuahua

What is Clicker Training?

Clicker training is a form of conditioning training that is relatively new to the world of dog training. 

A clicker is a small mechanical device which will make a clicking noise when you push a button. 

Proponents of this form of training will tell you that the benefit is the immediacy of your response to positive behaviour.

When you are training your Chihuahua part of the challenge is to make your little one understand which behaviour you are trying to reinforce.  There is always a pause between your Chi’s action and you offering a treat or verbal praise.  If your Chi does not make the connection between the action and the reward they will not know to repeat the behaviour.

With clicker training you can push the button almost instantaneously.  There is no delay between action and your response.  The idea is that if you can eliminate any delay your Chi will learn more quickly.

How To Clicker Train

The first thing to do when using clicker training is to make your Chihuahua associate the click sound with a reward, usually food.  Start with a handful of treats and a hungry Chi.  You may need to feed only part of your Chi’s regular portion of food while actively training in order to make sure he or she is hungry and motivated to perform for food.

When you have your Chi’s attention, click the clicker and give a treat.  Keep repeating this process until your Chihuahua responds every time you click the clicker by looking for the treat.  Your Chi is now trained to associate the clicker with a reward.

You can use your Chi’s response to the clicker to reward instantly when your pet exhibits behaviour you want to reinforce.  Make sure you attach a command to the behaviour so that your Chi will begin to associate certain actions with certain verbal commands.

Repetition is the key to success with any form of training.  Clicker training will hopefully allow your Chi to learn more quickly but be prepared to repeat commands over and over before your Chi reliably associates your verbal command with an action.

Trainers who do not like clicker training point out that unless you keep the clicker with you at all times your dog will not respond.  There may be some truth to this but if you are diligent in saying a command each time you click the clicker so that your Chihuahua learns to respond to verbal commands as well you will hopefully not have this problem. 

Benefits of Training

Training your Chihuahua to follow your commands helps keep them safe.  Knowing that your Chi will come to you on recall in case of danger could save their life.  Teaching your Chi to sit also helps if you need to administer medication and need them to stay quietly.

Chihuahua owners love to show off their pets.  That is why they keep their long haired Chihuahuas looking so beautifully groomed.  It is also why owners spend money on fancy Chihuahua clothing and Chihuahua collars.  You will enjoy displaying your Chi even more when they behave nicely, obey commands and display appropriate social behaviours.

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