Looking for an effective and easy way to train your Beagle? Training Beagles with a clicker is a fast, fun way to teach your pooch almost any command and reward good behavior and it’s easy for you to get the hang of it, too.
How Clicker Training Works
Clicker training works because your dog will learn to associate the distinct “click” with a specific vocal command and behavior. The sound of the clicker stands out at 20 yards or more and it will “mark” whatever you are trying to reinforce in your dog’s memory. The click will also become a reward – this tells your Beagle that he has done something to please you.
You will have to teach your dog that the sound of the clicker is a reward for desired behavior. You do this with treats (Beagles love their food!) and an inexpensive clicker that you can pick up at most pet stores.
When clicker training Beagles, you want to teach your dog that the click means “good job” and you reinforce this by giving him a treat. This is a stronger, more distinct signal than a verbal command, which we’ll transition to after mastering the clicker. Just be sure not to confuse your dog by using the clicker in any other way (never with bad behavior).
Clicker Training Beagles
There are three very simple steps to clicker training. Let’s say you are teaching your dog to sit. First, you encourage your dog to do the desired behavior, like “sit” in this case (you might gently push down his behind to show him what you want). When he does what you expect, immediately mark that behavior with a “click.” Third, you simply reward him with a treat right after the click.
The key to clicker training Beagles is simply to repeat steps 1 through 3 until your dog responds consistently. It will probably take 2 or 3 times to “mark” the behavior so your dog remembers it and then the response will be immediate. You follow up with an immediate reward (treat).
Reinforcement by repetition is what will train your Beagle to behave the way you desire. Spend a little time at it each day for a few days (remember, don’t try to cram in too much at once – Beagles can get bored). After it seems to stick, you can start replacing some of the treats with praise, petting or a good belly rub. Do this for a few days before you try to transition to a verbal command.
Transitioning to a Verbal Command
Clicker training Beagles means eventually weaning them off of the clicker and using voice commands. Wait until your pooch has mastered the behavior you are trying to teach with the clicker and a mix of treats and some praise or petting. Then you can start the transition to verbal commands.
Add your command into the mix by encouraging the desired behavior, followed by the verbal command (make it clear and distinct) and the click, then a treat or other reward. Your Beagle will quickly learn that good behavior is associated with three things: your verbal command, the “click” and the reward.
The next step in clicker training Beagles is to use the verbal command and praise for a job well done, but no longer using the clicker or treats (you can make this transition gradual – sometimes with and sometimes without). The final step is after some repetition, your Beagle will know that a certain behavior pleases you and will simply do it on command.
Clicker training Beagles is a versatile way to train your dog, making the process much easier and quicker than other methods. You can use it to mark and reinforce most any behavior, but just be sure to do it in a way that isn’t confusing to your dog.