When I was younger, our family dog was a Chihuahua named Mickey, and we did everything wrong with him! He was an aggressive little terror that we spoiled to no end–and it was little surprise that my friends soon dubbed him, “The Devil’s Spawn.” But he was our little spawn, and our family loved him to pieces, and we all mourned when he finally crossed Rainbow Bridge after an amazing 17.5 year run on Earth.
As an adult, I knew I wanted to raise my own dogs, but I vowed do things differently. I read books, I talked to trainers, I watched countless YouTube videos, and then I set up (and stuck to) ground rules for my pups.
However, clicker training wasn’t something I was on board with right away. It certainly wasn’t that I had any objections to it or doubted its efficacy. I just never really got around to it. I suppose part of me also had the misguided notion that clicker training was for professional animal trainers, not for ordinary people like me working with my issue-ridden rescue dogs.
I couldn’t have been more wrong! Clicker training was exactly what I needed. It’s so easy to do, and it provides wonderful consistency when it comes to providing positive reinforcement for my dogs. And the fact that my dogs have issues (i.e. Webby has separation anxiety and overall hyperactivity, and Hoochoo has massive trust issues because she was abandoned by her previous owners) actually makes them excellent candidates for clicker training. It’s quick and consistent, and enables them to really build up their confidence.
I initially started with an inexpensive box clicker, but I found it inconvenient to hold at times. Your hand has to always be grasping the box, and your thumb needs to push firmly against the inner metal piece to make the clicking sound. It may not sound like much of an inconvenience, but it sometimes made clicking at the right moment difficult, and clicker training depends heavily on accurate timing.
Also, it was a bit on the loud side (especially when we were training indoors in a quiet room), and it would inadvertently startle my pups more than reinforce their good behavior.
The Clik-R Training Clicker is great because it has a much more ergonomic design–I especially like that the clicking mechanism is protruding instead of recessed, which makes it a lot easier to access. This is super important since it lets me be much more accurate with my timing.
It also features a great elastic strap so it can be strapped to your finger–it stays in place whether or not I am grasping the whole clicker. Lastly, the sound is a bit softer, which makes it a lot better for indoor training sessions.
All in all, I’ve been very happy with the Clik-R, and I also highly recommend the training book Click to Calm: Healing the Aggressive Dog by Emma Parsons. It was a great resource for me on using clicker training to help Webby’s leash reactivity and anxiety.