The key to effective dog training is the positive reinforcement of good behavior. This works far better, and is more humane, than punishing bad behavior. It involves giving treats when they do something you want them to do - but you have to be very quick and give the treat at the exact moment that the good behavior happens. This is not easy! A better approach is use some pet clickers. Your pooch first learns to associate the pet clickers with the treat. Eventually, the sound of the clickers become a reward in itself.
These handy little devices have been tried and tested and can also be used for more complicated training including agility routines. They cost very little and are easy to use. Before you start looking for some pet clickers to start your own training, check out our useful guide.
The Best Dog Training Clicker
1 PetSafe Clik-R Dog Training Tool
- Useful handheld clickers
- Compact enough to use on walks
- Bright colors
- Easy to use
A compact dog clicker for training your pooch to obey commands and do tricks. It’s a brightly colored (purple and green) and is a strong little device that will fit into your hand securely using the elasticated finger loop. Because it’s so easy to hold onto, you are more likely to use it regularly and get the best results.
It’s small enough to fit into your pocket when you are out on walks. Despite it’s small size, it is certainly loud enough to gain your dog’s attention. There is also a useful guide to how to use the clicker so that you can get the most out of your purchase.
2 StarMark Dog Training Clicker
- Feels comfortable to hold
- Textured surface
- Simple to use
- Built-in loop
An ergonomically designed pet training clicker that feels comfortable in your hand and that has a textured surface so it will not slip out of your hand when you are holding it in your palm. It provides a useful and reliable method of training your dog in a consistent and reliable way. The simple action and robust design makes this a cost-effective clickers option. It even has a built-in loop that will fix to a key chain or a lanyard.
The internal clicker is made from high quality stainless steel that resists corrosion and is easy for your pooch to hear. This training method has been scientifically proven to be effective and the clicker comes with a step by step training guide. Even if you are a beginner, you will soon be able to train your dog successfully with this device.
3 EcoCity Dog Clicker with Wrist Strap
- Available in four colors
- Fits neatly in your hand
- Smooth and reliable operation
- Clicker does not get stuck down
Available in four colors, this pet training clicker can be used for training sheep, chickens and birds as well as your dog! It’s a perfect way of communicating effectively with your pet and establishing good behavior and control. Start off training your pup with this and obedience will soon be under control.
It is a small and compact size that fits neatly into your hand. However, to make sure you don’t drop these clickers when you are using them, there are wrist straps made from coiled elastic and strong metal clips to secure the clicker in place.
The operation is smooth and reliable – you simply press the button and it springs straight back up without getting stuck down. The dog clicker sound is not too loud and will not startle your dog but is loud enough to gain their attention when you are carrying out clicker training.
4 Karen Pryor Clicker Training Clik Stik for Fogs
- Lightweight and compact clicker
- Easy to carry around
- Bright color Karen Pryor design
- Sturdy construction
If you are looking for the best dog clicker for agility training, these Karen Pryor clickers will be the product for you. They combine a reliable dog clicker with a target stick. Because the stick is retractable, the clicker is easy to carry around with you and takes up hardly any room when it is not in use.
Target training is made simple with this clicker. Because you have the target stick and the clicker in one device, it frees up your other hand during training sessions. There’s less for you to carry and to drop on the floor! When the target stick is pulled out, it extends to between 6 and 23 inches making it perfect for a dog trainer who is teaching a dog to weave in between poles, walk to heel or to send-away and go-out. It comes with a belt clip so that you can store the clicker safely when you are not using it.
5 SunGrow 7 Dog Clickers with Wrist Bands
- Pack of 7 colorful dog clickers
- Lightweight design
- Portable clicker with a keyring
- Wristband included with each clicker in the set
SunGrow’s Dog Clickers come with a convenient attachment to a stretchy, elastic band that you can put around your wrist. The included keyring loop also means that you can attach these colorful clickers to your own set of keys or your bag with ease. This is a dog clicker that is designed with practicality in mind, allowing dog owners to always have an effective and useful tool at their disposal.
With these dog clickers, you’ll be able to continue your dog’s training no matter where you are. Give one to each member of your immediate family and still have spares to keep around your home! Switch out your dog clicker for another color to match your dog’s leash for the day. Owning a large set of easy-to-use, non-electronic dog clickers gives you so many possibilities. With a clicker, there’s no negative reinforcement in your dog’s training, so they can learn tricks and commands without getting stressed out, which means you won’t be stressed, either.
6 Downtown Pet Supply Training Dog Clickers
- Loud dog training clickers
- Pack of four dog clickers in different colors
- Ergonomic design
- Stretchy wrist strap
If you are going to carry out your pet training in noisy conditions, perhaps in a park or in a noisy household, these dog clickers will fit the bill for you. You get a pack of four dog clickers so you can keep one wherever you happen to be – keep one in your coat pocket, one in the car and a couple at home. That way, one will always be available for clicker training with your pets when you need it!
You’ll get an assortment of bright colors so they will be easy to find in a hurry. They also have a strong and stretchy wrist strap so you don’t have to worry about dropping them during clicker dog training. You will have no problem using the clicker because they have an ergonomic design and a large clicker button. Because this pet clicker makes a loud noise it would not be a good dog clicker for training sensitive and nervous dogs who would rather a quieter device for training.
7 Mighty Paw Dog Training Clicker
- Crisp clicking sound
- Instructions on how to train your dog
- Attaches to a wrist or to clothing
- Fits neatly into your hand
You can carry out clicker training wherever you are with this pet clicker that makes a clear and crisp sound – easily picked up by dogs even if they are not right next to you. The clicker itself is just the right shape to fit in your hand. It is a bright orange color so you will always spot it and the button is large and easy to press.
You can attach the clicker to your body in two ways so that you can have both hands free if you need to. There is a lanyard-style wrist strap with a clip that slides to secure it in place. It’s made from soft fabric so that it does not cause irritation. Alternatively, you can use the retractable clip that fits onto your clothing. The clicker comes with full instructions on how you should use it to train your dog.
8 Petco Dog Training Clicker
- Simple clicker
- Durable design
- Makes a loud click
- D ring for attachment
A simple but loud clicker that will help with the positive reinforcement aspect of training your dog and securing obedience. It is a durable device that will last for many training sessions. As it is a bright red color, it is easy to spot if you drop it when out training your dog.
The clicker comes with its own D ring attachment so that you can fix it to a sports bag or to your belt loop.
Best Dog Training Clicker: Buying Guide & FAQs
What to Consider When Buying a Dog Training Clicker
You may think that a clicker is such a simple device that they are all the same but that is not the case. There are some subtle differences that can make your life a lot easier – or harder. Here are the main things that you should consider before you head out and buy a clicker.
How big is the clicker?
Dog training clickers need to be small enough to fit in your pocket because you will need one with you at all times. It also needs to fit into the palm of your hand. Check out the size provided by the manufacturer in the description. If you have small hands, you may prefer a smaller clicker. A textured surface is also a good idea as it will improve your grip.
How loud is the clicker?
Your choice of clicker depends on the personality of your pet and where you are going to be doing the training. If you read a training guide on clickers, it will say that you should go somewhere quiet so that your pooch can clearly hear the click. However, sometimes this is just not possible so you may want to get a clicker with a loud click that can be heard above some background noise. If your dog is nervous, a loud clicker will not suit them. It would be better to choose a pet clicker that has a low volume to prevent them from being startled. You want them to be focused on the training session not cowering in the corner!
How easy is it to operate the clicker?
It’s a good idea to choose clickers that have an ergonomic design. When you are training your pet, you will be able to press the button easily and quickly. Some of the best clickers can be used by people who have disabilities and can be operated with other parts of the body.
What if you lose the clicker?
However careful you are, it is possible that you will drop the clicker and could end up spending hours hunting for it in long grass! Most clickers are made in bright colors so you will be able to spot them easily.
Does the clicker attach to you?
To try to prevent you from losing the clicker, many of them come with accessories that you can use to attach them to your body. This leaves your hands free when you are training your pet. Some attach to the finger, others have a wrist strap and some come with lanyards. Have a think about which would suit you best.
Benefits of Using Dog Training Clicker
More and more dog owners are discovering the benefits of pet clicker training. Even though the price of even a good clicker is very low, they work remarkably well, no matter what breed of dog you have. Many dog training books and experts now recommend them. If you are still not convinced, here’s a summary of the main benefits.
Training a dog using positive reinforcement via clicker results in a confident and happy dog that is not afraid of making mistakes. This results in good manners and makes it less likely that your dog will display aggression and other unwanted behaviors. They work for all breeds and all temperaments.
Rewarding for dog Moms and Dads
There is nothing more frustrating than a training method that does not yield results. You won’t get this problem with clicker training. You will clearly be making progress week by week and this is a very satisfying way to train your dog. When you use clickers, dog training will progress more smoothly and quickly. This is true if you are an experienced dog owner and if you have never owned a dog before.
Speed and efficiency
We all want a well-trained dog but very few of us have got hours and hours to dedicate to being a dog trainer. We need fast results! All dogs train at different speeds but most owners find that a clicker significantly speeds up the process. With just a few minutes of training a day, your pet will soon get the hang of it. There is some research to suggest that clicker training is faster than marker word training.
It forgives mistakes
A training guide that recommends negative forms of training such as choke chains and correction words is now very outdated and these methods are considered cruel by many experts. They may have some degree of success but it is easy to get it wrong and end up causing confusion and fear. The worse thing that can happen during clicker training is that you will click at the wrong time which will hurt no one.
It’s excellent for complex training
If you want to move from basic training to teaching your pooch more complex tasks or some agility routines, you will find that dog clickers are invaluable. You can precisely time the click so that your dog knows exactly what they have done right. The timing in this sort of precise training is essential. Dog agility trainers find them very useful when combined with a target stick.
Related Post: Dog Agility Tunnel
Clicker Training Tips
It would be useful to refer to a training guide for clickers before you start. You can get a clicker training guide from your vet, online or you may find one supplied with the clicker itself. Here are our top tips for successful clicker training.
- You have to start with a clicker-treat association. Many owners forget that this is the most important stage! If your dog does not associate the clickers with a treat, the training is not going to work. For a dog, the best initial treat is almost always food!
- Start off somewhere quiet. Your pooch must be able to hear the click when you are giving the treat! Go somewhere quiet to start the training.
- Watch the calories. As you start to teach your four-legged friend that a click means they are going to get a tasty treat, you will need to use quite a few treats! This will need to be taken out of your dog’s daily calorie allowance or they could put on too much weight.
- Only click once. It is easy to get carried away and click too many times. You just need to make one noise with the clicker and give a treat.
- Be careful when you click. Never use the clicker when your pet is doing something that they should not be doing! It can be tempting to do it to gain their attention but resist that temptation!
- Keep training short and sweet. A training session of around two minutes in length is ideal. Any longer and your pooch will get bored. A little and often approach is always best.
- Start simple. Always start using a clicker for simple commands. Commands like ‘sit’ and ‘stay’ are a good place to start. You can ‘lure’ your pooch by moving a toy over their head until they sit.
- Be quick! You must operate the clicker as soon as your dog’s butt touches the floor! They need this rapid response to be able to connect the action with the click.
- Introduce a command after the lure. Once your pooch has mastered the lure, you can add in the command. Eventually, you can drop the lure.
- Lengthen the sessions. As your pet gets older and more experienced, you can use the clickers for longer training practices. They can last for up to 15 minutes but no longer than that.
- Use the clicker only. Don’t forget that your aim is to use the clicker only without the treat. The sound of the clicker should be enough to get your pooch to do what you want them to do.
Related Post: Dog Treats and Vegan Dog Treats
Dog Training Clicker FAQ:
Q: What is a dog training clicker?
A: A pet clicker is simply a device that you hold in your hand and which is able to make a clicking sound that your dog will come to recognize. It is usually made of plastic and has a strip of metal inside. When you press down, it makes a click. Clicker training is an effective way to train your dog. It is a reward-based training approach but introduces another step in between your dog carrying out the desired behavior and you giving your dog a treat. It can be hard to get the treat to your dog quickly enough so they may not associate the right behavior with the treat. A clicker gives you a fast way of reacting to good behavior.
Once you have taught your dog to associate the click with the treat, you can start using a clicker on its own, without the treat. The click itself becomes the reward.
Q: What age should I start clicker training?
A: You can use clicker training on a dog of any age but it is best to start clicker training dogs when they are pups. When you first get your pup home, give them some time to settle in and to feel less anxious about their new surroundings. This can take a few days. Once they feel confident that they can trust you and that their basic physical needs will be met, you can start the basics of clicker training.
Most puppies arrive at their new homes at around 10 weeks of age and you can start clicker training shortly after that. Use it for very simple and basic commands to begin with and take your time. If you build solid foundations now, it will help the training process in the future.
Q: Do I need to buy more than one clicker?
A: The manufacturers of training clickers do all they can to help you not to lose them! They make them easy to hold so that you are less likely to drop them. They use brightly colored materials so that if you do drop them you can find them easily. They also often supply them with a means of attaching them to your body such as a wrist strap or a clip to attach to a belt loop.
Despite this, it is highly likely that you will lose at least one clicker during your training sessions. As with all small devices, it is easy to put them down and forget where you put them! If you had just started making some progress with your clicker training, this will be very frustrating. There could be a delay whilst you get another clicker and that will interrupt training. For that reason, it is a good idea to have at least two in your home at any one time!
Check out our guides on the Best Training Collars for Dogs and Best Anti Bark Collars.
Our Top Pick
Our top pick for the best dog clicker is both compact so that you can hold it easily and brightly colored so that you can spot it if you drop it in the long grass. It comes with an elasticated finger loop to secure it to your hand.
It will fit into your pocket and is loud enough to gain your dog’s attention. There is also a useful guide to how to use the clicker so that you can get the most out of your purchase.
- Lynna C.Feng, Practices And Perceptions Of Clicker Use In Dog Training: A Survey-Based Investigation Of Dog Owners And Industry Professionals, ScienceDirect
- Rachel J. Gilchrist, The Click Is Not The Trick: The Efficacy Of Clickers And Other Reinforcement Methods In Training Naïve Dogs To Perform New Tasks, PeerJ
- Dr. Kit Darling, Obedience Training For Dogs, Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences