Training your beagle with a clicker, when done right, can do exactly that: accelerate the learning curve and make the training fun for you and for your beagle.
So What is Clicker Training Exactly?
You are training your beagle to respond to the sound of that clicker. The underlying principle is to help your beagle make the following connection in their brain: “the sound of the clicker and a benefit or something good for them”. In other words, when your beagle has done something right, click and give them a reward. By the end of the training process, the sound of the clicker will be enough reward.
Where Do I Start?
STEP 1 – You need to build the following connection in your beagle’s brain: the sound of the clicker means a reward. Get a bag of treats and feed your beagle a treat after making a sound and pausing. The click sound means “good job, a treat is on its way”.
STEP 2 – Once the positive meaning of the clicker sound is established, get your beagle to perform the desired action. Mark it. Reward it.
STEP 3 - Add the command word. Say the command. Click. Reward.
STEP 4 – Start substituting treats with praise as soon as possible. If clicker training is done right, your beagle will learn to perform the command on cue and treats and praise won’t be necessary any longer.
Bonus Tips For Beagle Clicker Training
SECRET 1 - Clickers make a sound that can be heard from a long distance, so if you are using it in short distances, muffle your clicker or it can be too loud and unpleasant for your beagle.
SECRET 2 – Start by building the right connections and meaning in your beagle’s mind: click, PAUSE and then offer a treat. If you don’t pause, the connection you are building might be wrong.
SECRET 3 – Your treats must have enough variety. Subtract your treats from your beagle’s meals because you don’t want to over feed your beagle. The treats should be small and very interesting. At the beginning you need the treats (and a wide variety of interesting treats that work for your beagle). Then you can start substituting the treats with praise. By the end of the process the sound of the clicker will be enough reward.
Advantages of a clicker
These are some of the advantages of properly done clicker training and that is why we are so excited about it:
- It is fun for you and for your beagle. If beagle training is fun, you get a happy and successful beagle ready to learn more in record time.
- There is no need for yucky punishments or yelling or hitting your beagle. It is positive training that works. Clicker training is an extremely effective positive training technique when used correctly.
- It’s simple and effective. In a matter of minutes your beagle will learn that a click is a good thing, then you can start teaching them the commands.
- There is no need for bribes or luring. The treats are hidden until your beagle performs. Then you give them a treat. The ultimate goal in using a clicker is that at the end of the process you won’t need treats any more. The sound of the clicker will be enough reward because when used right, your beagle learns to make the right associations.
- You can train new behaviors and tricks in record time.
- It is small and can be easily carried everywhere.
- It is more consistent than human voice since there is no variation of tonality. The sound of the clicker remains constant.
Is Clicker Training Magic?
The results of the training process depend always on two factors: the training method you use and the skill level of the trainer. A clicker is just technology that when used right it can accelerate the training process. It is like a race car, it can help you go fast but first you need to learn how to drive a car before you can get any results.
If you want to become a super trainer for your beagle, you need to understand the basic principles behind your beagle training. Then you can add the clicker to your tool box and perform what others will consider beagle training magic.