I hear it a lot: “Do I HAVE to use the clicker?”
While I highly suggest using the clicker, nothing says it’s a requirement to teach your dog. However, what makes the clicker a useful tool is that it:
The clicker is definitely my tool of choice, but there are times when it’s not convenient to carry the clicker. Or, what if you find yourself without the clicker (or don’t want to be burdened by carrying it with you)?
Easy peasy: Use “YIP!” instead.
Yip is a nonsense word that I say in a high-pitched, enthusiastic voice that stands in place of the clicker. It fulfills the same criteria listed above for the clicker, so I think it’s a great stand-in for the click.
Use it just like you would use the clicker. Both the clicker and the yip are called “markers.” That means they mark the exact moment the dog is doing what you want and it also means the dog earned a goodie. To teach your dog that yip = treat, simply pair the yip with the appearance of the treat. Say yip and then reach to give your dog a treat. Repeat about te n times and your dog will understand the meaning (and value) of yip.
Use it whenever you want to tell your dog he’s done something right and can expect payment! When I’m training service dogs, they sometimes accompany me to public places like the library, a restaurant, or the movies. I’d be the villain if I clicked my way through a dinner or a movie, so I leave the clicker (but not the treats!) at home. I can modulate the volume of yip so I’m not annoying fellow movie goers with the essential training the service dogs need.
You might use yip in place of the clicker when your hands are full — maybe when you’re working on trimming nails or another grooming task that takes two hands. Or maybe when you’re walking two dogs at the same time. Or, not that this would happen to you, but maybe you forgot your clicker at home (or like me: just can’t find it!). The yip stands in whenever you don’t (or can’t) have your clicker on you.
The rules are the same no matter which marker you use:
Sign up for the Dummies Beta Program to try Dummies’ newest way to learn.
As you teach your dog each step of a new trick, you can mark the right behavior in at least two ways. Try the following options:
Here are three quick tips on how to target the right behavior:
Take a Card from a Deck29
Have you ever wished you could see your dog in one of those dogs-playing-poker paintings? Well, this trick won’t teach your dog to play poker, but it’s a start.
Next step: teaching your dog to place a bet.
Check out Jilli Dog playing poker with her owner.
Getting a dog to refuse food sounds like an impossibility, but with a little patience and a lot of hard work, you can get your dog to completely ignore food (as long as it gets a tasty treat, of course).For this trick, don’t use the usual sort of treats you would give your dog to reward it, lest it get confused. Also, you’ll need to make sure your dog is sufficiently well-trained so it doesn’t just lunge at the food and grab it.
With this trick, you’re trying to outsmart your dog’s nose, which is not an easy task.
To give your dog a better chance at picking the right cup, try rubbing the treat on the inside of the cup to make it smell like the treat more.
This little dog knows where those treats are.
Once you teach your dog to walk itself, you can just send it outside for a walk without having to go yourself if you’re too busy. Okay … that’s not actually how things work, but this is still a cute little trick to teach a dog. You can even teach a dog to walk another dog if it’s calm enough.
The walk yourself trick will impress friends and strangers alike.
Every dog has its own little flair for doing the bang trick. Even other animals have mastered this cute trick, where they pretend to be shot and fall over dead.
Maybe it’ll win an Oscar! This dog deserves one.
Having two different animals perform a trick together adds a whole other element to the trick. However, be careful that you don’t injure yourself, your dog or the horse when attempting this trick. You should be familiar with both animals, they should be familiar with and friendly with each other and the dog and horse should both have a calm demeanor. If there is any doubt whatsoever about any of these elements, do not attempt this trick.
This Jack Russell and miniature horse even do a show together.
A fun dance move to teach your dog. Just make sure it doesn’t get dizzy!
This little dog has been trained to spin when it hears “do you.”
Sometimes you’d prefer a wave to a handshake. No problem! It’s easy to teach your dog to wave hello and goodbye.
This pup knows how to wave well.
Clicker Training Without A Clicker – Professional Dog Training Tips
Have you ever seen a well-trained dog in action? They are capable of doing some amazing things. You may have even wished that your own untrained pooch was capable of pulling off some crazy tricks.
Well, wish no more. With these 40 tricks to teach a dog, you can totally get your pooch up to speed on the basics, plus more advanced tricks.
Have plenty of healthy treats on hand, keep training sessions between five and 15 minutes to avoid having your dog lose interest and be enthusiastic when it accomplishes something you want it to do.
Don’t jump right into the hard stuff. It’s important for your dog to learn some basic stuff first. Most of all, it has to learn to sit still while waiting for treats. A dog that is jumping up and down, trying to snatch a treat out of your hand is not a well-trained dog.
Having said that, though, you should be rewarding your dog for the behavior you want from it immediately so it associates the behavior being taught with receiving a treat. If you wait too long to reward a dog, it will not know what it’s getting the treat for and no association will be made.
Many people have adopted the clicker method of training where you teach your dog to associate clicks with good behavior. You can do this, but introducing a clicker into your dog’s training isn’t necessary. Dogs have been trained for thousands of years without clickers and it’s possible for anyone to train them without the use of clickers as long as they have patience and enthusiasm for what they’re doing.
Use short commands so they’re easy for your dog to understand and follow. Be cognizant that your dog will almost certainly not learn any of these tricks quickly. It takes a lot of repetition for a dog to learn these behaviors, which is why you should only do them for a maximum of 15 minutes per day. That may not seem like a long time, but it adds up over the days and keeps your dog from getting bored with learning.
This is the first trick most people will teach their dog. It’s useful for getting hyper dogs to calm down and it’s probably the easiest one for them to learn.
Especially sneaky dogs will learn to army crawl all on their own if they are trying to grab a snack while not being seen. For other dogs, though, they need a little help.
Your dog might even get to the point where it doesn’t need the command to do the trick. Some dogs will shake your hand if you simply raise your hand in front of them.
People equate dogs licking their face with kisses, but any old dog can lick a person’s face. It takes training to get your dog to offer what we humans might call a ‘peck’ on the cheek.
Be careful with dogs who like to nip when they get excited and with extra big dogs who might accidentally headbutt you.
Enjoy the doggy love without the doggy slobber! Check out this bulldog baby kissing a human baby. So cute!
Teaching your dog to be ashamed may sound odd, but you’re not actually teaching it to be ashamed, you’re simply teaching it to look ashamed. Think of when a person does something embarrassing and they look down and shield their eyes with their hand. That’s what you want your dog to do so it looks ashamed.
Dancing is usually associated with small dogs, but big dogs can get their two-step on under the right circumstances. Overweight dogs or dogs that have issues with their hind legs are not recommended for dancing, though.
Be careful if you have a particularly big dog who may not be steady on its feet. If it falls, it could easily take you with it.
Sometimes you want your dog to do more than just shake your hand. Sometimes you’d like it to salute you or someone else.
For a real surprise, train your dog to salute and then next time your friend or family member who has a military background comes to visit, show them what your dog can do.
Shorter dogs may find skateboarding easier than larger dogs because of their low centers of gravity and shorter legs. While it would be really great to get your dog to propel itself while on a skateboard, this trick is just getting your dog to ride a skateboard.
A trick that will easily impress all who see it, the handstand isn’t easy and some dogs may not be able to do it. Toy dogs like chihuahuas can perform this trick best because their big heads and small bodies give them the right balance to do this trick naturally.Big dogs can learn this trick, but you must use extreme caution with them.
Remember, plenty of praise. You will know when your dog is ready to graduate to the next step by how easily it places its back feet on the blocks or books and the wall.
It’s just like real fetch, but with water. This may sound odd to people who own dogs that are natural swimmers, but some smaller breeds may actually need to be taught how to swim and short-legged dogs may even need floatation devices.
Take care not to tire your dog out, especially if it’s just gotten used to this whole swimming thing.
Although it would be basically impossible to teach your dog any songs on piano, you can teach it to “play” by hitting random keys.Although larger dogs should be able to play on a standard sized keyboard, you likely wouldn’t want to sacrifice a real piano for this trick. It’s best to get an old toy piano or keyboard from somewhere.
If your dog is having a little trouble getting started, try placing treats on the keys so it presses them down with its nose when it retrieves the treats.
It’s adorable when small children play it and it’s equally adorable when dogs can play peek-a-boo. Teaching your dog this trick is fairly easy, but you’ll already be halfway there if it knows how to shake hands.
This is not so much a trick as a skill. Of course, dogs can naturally walk backward, but the real trick is to get it to do so on command. Getting your dog to walk backward on command will be useful for when you need your dog to back away from a situation. It will also help improve coordination for your dog.
Depending on your living situation, you may not want to teach your dog to open doors, as this could lead to it escaping and putting it in danger.You should teach your dogs to only open doors with ropes attached to them, as this will save wear and tear on both the doors and your dog’s teeth. Plus, it will discourage your dog from opening exterior doors.