CLIX WhizzClick™ Training Guide, Your Recipe for Success!

Introduction to CLIX WhixClick trainingWelcome to the world of  Clicker Training and the CLIX WhizzClicktraining tool.  CLIX WhizzClickoffers ‘CONTROL and SAFETY’ when your dog is let off the lead! WhizzClick’srevolutionary multi-function provides the ULTIMATE training tool.

This training guide is about kind; fair and effective ways of training that allows you and your dog to fully engage in the learning process. It is a way that teaches your dog to learn and problem solve. Dogs love to learn and the more successful they are at learning new tasks, the more confident they become and the more they want to learn. Clicker training works because it is based on established scientific principles.

This training guide is for anyone who cannot wait to get clicking but are unsure where to start. It covers the basic skills needed to develop your first clicker-trained behaviours.

The Whizzclick™ is a revolutionary clicker/whistle combination. Many trainers use a clicker and a whistle, but never before have the two functions been built into one unit. This new Whizzclick invention provides the best of both worlds. The whistle can be used as a cue or command and the clicker to reward the behaviour.

How do I use The Whizzclick ?

First you need to condition your dog to the sound of the clicker.

Most dogs readily take to clicker training as something nice – his dinner – is paired with this unique sound.

The process of conditioning your dog to the clicker is relatively easy. Click first and then treat immediately after, repeat this several times – click, treat; click treat. After a few repetitions you will notice that your dog looks at you as soon as he hears the click. He now understands that the click means food is coming! Your dog will believe that his behaviour can cause a click and make a treat appear

You will now use the clicker to reward him for performing the off lead exercises described below. If you would like to teach more exercises please see our Training Tips

The next stage is to condition him to the whistle. You can use a whistle for almost any command, but the primary benefit is to communicate the commands you are likely to need when your dog is at a distance from you. The most important thing is consistency, so decide on your signals and stick to them. The two main whistle commands you will need are:-

Sit at a distance – One long whistle blast with a raised, open hand.

Calling the dog to you – Multiple whistle pips with open arms.

Once you have perfected your technique and have consistently mastered the different types of sound, you are ready to start whistle conditioning your dog.

As with the clicker, you do not need to ask your dog to do anything at this stage; this is purely a conditioning session to get your dog used to the sound.

Conditioning for a sit at a distance

Blow the whistle in one long blast, with your hand raised and open. Click and treat. Repeat at least 20 times.

Conditioning for a recall

Blow the whistle, using multiple whistle pips, with your arms out-stretched. Click and treat. Repeat at least 20 times.

Now that you have conditioned your dog to the two whistle commands and the clicker you are ready to teach him the exercises.

Keep your training sessions short and sweet and practice each stage in different rooms in the house, in the back garden and in different locations out and about – build up the amount of distractions gradually. Four to five minute training sessions, two to three times a day will get you the best results without your dog getting stressed or bored.

Training Whizzclick SIT AT A DISTANCE

The distant sit is the most important command to master early in your whistle training programme. When your dog is in the sit position, you are more likely to have his full attention to any follow up commands you may need to give. The added benefit of mastering this command is that it stabilises any situation – a sitting dog is calm and out of trouble or danger, ready for either his reward or his next command.

  1. While your dog is standing, hold your hand at nose level as though you have a treat in your hand, lift your hand and move it back over his shoulders towards his tail. When he sits, click and treat. Repeat several times until he sits as soon as you start to raise your hand.
  2. Achieve the sit as described above, wait a second or two before clicking and treating to encourage him to stay in the sit until he hears the click.
  3. Raise your hand gradually each time you ask for a sit, until it is raised and open (as you used in the whistle conditioning process) – this movement will become your hand signal. Click and treat him for sitting and remaining in the position. The time delay between achieving the sit and the click can be built up to a couple of minutes within a week.

Having mastered the close up sit using a hand signal you are now ready to introduce the whistle command

  1. Blow one long bast with the whistle as you raise your hand into your signal to sit. As soon as your dog responds, click and treat.
  2. Move a few paces away from your dog, use your whistle and hand signal to achieve a sit, click and throw the treat towards him, keeping a distance between the two of you.
  • Don’t attempt to train long distance sits at this stage – you will need to build the distance up gradually.
  • Don’t attempt to call your dog towards when you reward him, other wise he will understand that returning to you is successful completion of the exercise. If your dog tries to move or crawl towards you, reduce the distance and tether him to something secure. This will teach him not to move forward.

It will take many training sessions to build up the distance consistently, so remember – small steps at a time. When your dog is able to sit at considerable distances (say 20ft), you can then start to practice moving out of your dog’s sight for a short period. Gradually build up the amount of time you are out of sight.

Training Whizzclick RECALL

Coming back to the owner when called is one of the most basic and essential behaviours we need to teach our dogs. The behaviour is vital for the dog’s safety and your sanity! There are many situations when it is difficult or impossible for your dog to hear verbal commands. The whistle works effectively in these situations, for example, when a dog is out of sight, at a distance, in heavy cover, or in windy conditions.

To achieve the best response from your dog you will need to make sure that returning to you is a rewarding and highly pleasurable experience. It is essential that you never punish your dog for returning to you. Until you are sure your dog will come back when called use a long line!

Firstly you need to teach your dog exactly what you want him to do when you give him his signal to come – stand in front while you hold his collar

  1. With your dog standing in front of you, take hold of the collar gently, click and treat. If he moves away after the click, that’s okay, he will soon learn that the behaviour he is doing at the time of the click is what you would like him to repeat. Repeat this behaviour 10 to 20 times in a session, clicking and treating each time you hold his collar.
  2. Teach him a recall word using his name and “COME” or “HERE”. Say his name and the recall word of your choice and repeat step 1 above, click and treat each time you touch his collar. Repeat several times to teach him that you would like him to stand in front of you and allow you to hold his collar held whenever you say his name and the recall word.
  3. With the dog standing in front of you, take hold of his collar; blow the Whizzclick™ whistle using multiple pips, click and treat. Repeat this several times to teach him that you would like him to stand in front of you and have his collar held whenever you blow multiple pips with the whistle.
  4. Move two to three paces away from your dog. Blow the Whizzclick whistle as described above; if your dog comes towards you, click and treat. If he doesn’t respond correctly, reinforce the whistle by using his name and recall word. Click and treat a correct response. Withhold the click and treat if he gets it wrong. Repeat several times.
  5. Be unpredictable; practise these steps at a variety of times throughout the day and in as many locations as possible. ALWAYS click and treat when your dog responds. If he doesn’t respond, don’t give him a second chance. Let him see you put the Whizzclickand treats away and go about your business, totally ignoring him. It’s his loss but no big deal to you!
  6. Increase the distance that your dog has to travel towards you. Take advantage of every day situations to reward your dog’s Whizzclick recall. Use your  Whizzclick to call your dog at feeding times, when you are going to have a play session and when you are about to put his lead on to take him for a walk.
  7. Call your dog from out of sight. Blow your Whizzclick™ using multiple whistle pips when your dog is another room to you or in the garden. Wait until he reaches you; hold his collar, click and treat.
  8. Repeat all these steps in as many different locations as possible – in the house, the garden and out and about during walks. Increase the distractions gradually, and remove the long line when you are sure your dog will always return to you.

Maintaining the behaviour “come” warrants attention throughout your dog’s life.

Trainers Note:

  • It is essential that you never punish your dog for returning to you.
  • If your dog makes a mistake of not coming back, it’s your responsibility to ensure you maintain control, use the long line until you are sure he will come back to you no matter what distractions there are!
  • Dogs do not learn at a fast rate when they are tired, hungry, thirsty, cold, stressed, sick or when they need to relieve themselves. Ensure that the conditions are correct to maximise learning before each training session.

Recommended books: -

Ready Steady Click by Stephen G King
Ready Steady Click Study Guide by Stephen G King

Recommended DVD’s

Clicker Train Your Dog

By Stephen G King 2007 ©

APDT

Association of Pet Dog Trainers

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