Are you training your new puppy, or looking to teach an old dog new tricks? Or maybe you’re looking for the best dog clickers for training your best four-legged friend? Either way, you’ve come to the right place! Clicker dog training is a positive reinforcement technique used to mark good behaviors. Many professional dog trainers swear by training clickers, with high claims that they aid treat training alone.
There’s value in using a clicker in your dog’s training because it can be a very precise tool to mark and reward good behaviors that you want. Because there are many clicker styles and products on the market, we’ve gathered five of the most highly rated and reviewed options on the market in one easy-to-read place. Additionally, here you’ll also find a simple buyer’s guide to help you decide which training tool is right for you and your dog.
Here is everything you need to know about clickers for training your dog:
5 Best Dog Clickers Reviewed
1. STARROAD-TIM Training Set with Clicker
The STARROAD-TIM training set is a four-piece set which includes a dog training clicker, training bells, a training whistle, and a dog pouch for carrying treats and small gear. The clicker in this set is a classic black color, and features a standard handheld clicker design that’s great for easily holding in the palm of your hand. It’s design fits comfortably in your hand, and the attached elastic wrist band is great for keeping it nearby while also being hands-free. Additionally, the stretching wrist strap can be attached and removed with ease because of the user-friendly clip. This feature also gives you the ability to attach the band to a belt loop, or your gear.
The click button on this device presses easily and smoothly, and it comes right back up without sticking. It provides a medium level click for training, not too loud or too soft for the average dog. All together, this set weighs about 9.6 ounces, and it’s highly rated and reviewed by customers for its ability to aid positive reinforcement training, and the convenience of the set as a whole. The training bells and whistle are convenient tools you can utilize in your indoor and outdoor dog training, and the dog pouch is great for carrying treats to reward good behaviors.
2. PetSafe Clik-R
The PetSafe Clik-R is a compact and lightweight training clicker that helps to provide a clear way to communicate and reward good behaviors with your dog. The design of this device is ergonomic and fits in the palm of your hand comfortably, and it weighs only 1.92 ounces. With multiple ways to hold this clicker, it features a convenient finger band for easy carrying, and it has a lanyard attachment point at the base. This handheld training clicker comes in an aesthetically appealing purple and green color design, and it’s designed for use with all aged dogs.
Along with a reliable and easy to use clicker design, this tool also comes with a user-friendly training guide to help you learn the best way to clicker train your dog. This clicker is highly rated and reviewed by users for both dog and cat training, and the button is reported to hold up to heavy use.
3. Petco Training Box Clicker
The Petco training box clicker is a classic box clicker design that’s made without frills, intended to do its job reliably and simply. The box design comes in a red color, and it’s easy to hold in the palm of your hand. Weighing only 0.8 ounces, it’s small enough to fit inside of a pants or bag pocket, and the keyring attachment can be used to secure it to gear. This clicker is designed to make a loud click noise, and it’s constructed to last for a long time and much training to come.
The d-ring that comes attached to this clicker is great for attachment to a variety of gear. It can be clipped to your belt loop, backpack, dog harness, dog leash, dog pack or more. This tool is highly rated and reviewed by customers for its simplistic and ease to use design, and long-lasting click.
4. StarMark Clicker
The StarMark Clicker is designed to provide an ergonomic fit in the palm of your hand, and the stainless steel clicker element is made to be long-lasting. This material helps to prevent rust when the clicker is used outdoors, and the attachment hole allows you to choose between adding a keychain or lanyard. Attaching a ring or clip to the clicker gives you a convenient way for you to clip it to your gear for easy access. Additionally, weighing only 0.96 ounces it’s highly portable and easy to tuck away in a pocket when you’re not using it for training. Because it comes without a ring or clip attached, it’s ultra compact and easy to tuck away.
Along with a convenient and ergonomic design, this clicker also comes with an included training guide to make getting started with your dog a breeze. It’s aesthetically appealing blue and orange colored design is a nice touch, and it comes highly rated and reviewed by many happy customers. Although it’s not an adjustable-tone device, this clicker is reported to be great for adjusting the volume of the click by simply tucking it inside your palm when you want a quieter sound. This type of adjustment is great for using the clicker in multiple environments, and with multiple dogs of different sensitivities.
5. Karen Pryor i-Click
The Karen Pryor i-Click training clicker comes in a set of 3, with a red, blue and black clicker included. The compact and comfortable design of these clickers fit easily into the palm of your hand, and it’s easy to use in any position. The small and lightweight design weights only 0.8 ounces, making it compact enough to fit comfortably into a pant or bag pocket when you’re not using it. This simple and convenient design is usable with only a small amount of pressure, and the click is a medium click noise. While this tool isn’t an adjustable-tone device, customers do report that the tone can be adjusted by tucking it more or less tightly into the palm of your hand. This is particularly useful for sensitive dogs, or when you take your clicker training both in and outdoors.
This clicker was designed by Karen Pryor Clicker Trainers, and the simple design is great for convenient use. Featuring attachment holes at the bottom of each clicker, you can easily add a lanyard or D-ring to the clickers for easy attachment to gear. While these clickers lack a wrist or finger band, this feature is great if you’re looking to attach the clicker to your dog’s harness, or to your backpack. Along with 3 colors included, the button is a fun yellow color that’s highly visible during training.
Choosing the Best Clickers for Dog Training: Buyer’s Guide
When you’re ready to get started clicker training your dog, choosing the right tool for the training is key to your success. Clickers vary in the basics, such as size, weight, color and material, but they also vary in click noise and function. Each type of clicker is better for different scenarios, and different dogs, and it’s important to understand your needs to help you choose the product that’s right for you and your dog.
Whether you’re doing outdoor or long-distance clicker training, or starting with the basics indoors, there are clickers designed for nearly every training situation. To help you understand training clicker features, use this guide to determine which style is right for you:
Why Use a Dog Clicker?
Clicker training is used to reinforce good behaviors, and to aid communication between you and your dog. If you’re wondering how this training can be used outside of the home, the answer is that there are endless ways!
Whether you’re planning a roadtrip with your dog, a hiking adventure in the wilderness, a dog -friendly kayaking adventure on the water together, or a camping trip with your pup, clicker training can help keep your dog safe.
Types of Dog Training Clickers
Clickers are small mechanical noise-making tools which emit an audible click when pressed by the user. While most clickers are user-friendly and work the same way, each device may have small differences that make it more desirable for the user over another option. Here is an explanation to the different types of dog training clickers:
- Standard Clicker: A standard training clicker is a classic style with an average click sound. This style doesn’t have any added features, and is the most common type of clicker seen online and in stores.
- Soft Clicker: Soft Clickers are designed for sensitive dogs, and those who may become nervous or frighten easily. These clickers have a softer click sound than standard clickers.
- Box Clicker: Box clickers are rectangular metallic clickers which are designed to have a louder click than standard clickers. This type of clicker is frequently used for outdoor and distance dog training.
- Adjustable-Tone Clicker: Some clickers on the market today provide an adjustable tone click, where the user can control the volume depending on your dog’s needs and the environment you’re training in.
Clicker Size and Shape
The size and shape of the clicker that’s right for you depends entirely upon your preferences and needs during training. If you’d prefer a small, compact and lightweight clicker, choose a handheld device that’s easy to tuck away in a pocket. There are also clicker wands, boxes, rings and more, allowing you a wide variety of choices. Some feature a sleek and ergonomic design that’s comfortable in the palm of your hand, while others feature a classic box shape that’s great for attaching to a backpack or dog harness.
You’ll find different attachment styles when choosing a dog training clicker that’s right for you and your dog. Here are some of the clicker styles:
- Finger Ring Band: Some clickers feature a finger ring attachment band, which is usually an elastic band that fits comfortably around your finger during training.
- Wrist Strap or Band: Clickers with an elastic wrist strap are great for hands-free usage, because the clicker remains nearby while you’re also able to multitask.
- Lanyard Attachment: A lanyard attachment is a small hole where a lanyard can be fed through the device, where it can then be worn around your neck.
- D-Ring Attachment: A D-ring is a convenient keychain attachment that is great for clipping to gear, such a backpack, dog harness, dog leash or more.
How to Clicker Train Your Dog
Dog training clickers are used by experts around the world, and with the right tools you can utilize their training power, too. Best Friends Animal Society recommends getting started with clicker training in the following steps:
- Choose the Best Dog Clicker
Because there are several types of dog training clickers to choose from, you’ll want to choose one with a click noise that doesn’t startle your dog. Animals who frighten easily likely won’t respond well with a loud click, and will do better with a soft click device. Imagine a soft click device like a ballpoint pen click noise. Loud click noises, on the other hand, are best for outdoor or long distance training.
- “Charge” the Clicker
According to Best Friends, next you’ll need to “charge” the clicker. This means you’ll give the clicker a particular meaning so that your dog associates it with something good. To start, have your clicker and some delicious treats on hand broken into small pieces. Then position yourself near your dog in a quiet location where there aren’t many distractions. Push and release the clicker, then immediately give your dog a treat, click-and-reward. Repeat this numerous times. The goal is for your dog to expect a treat every time that she hears the click noise.
- Use the Clicker to Reward Good Behavior
The next and final step in clicker training is to reward good behaviour with clicker training. To do this, when your dog does something positive, “capture” the behavior by click-and-reward. This training sends your dog the message that what they just did is good, and this will make them want to do that behavior again. If you’re working to teach your dog new training, use the click-and-reward method when she makes even small movements in the right direction. According to Best Friends, this behavior is called “shaping”.
Things to Teach Your Dog with Clicker Training
Once your dog has learned that one behavior with the clicker, and they do it every time, it’s a good time to start incorporating other good behaviors. Before you get too excited, remember that it’s important that you teach your dog one at a time to best help them succeed. Learning too many things at once can be overwhelming, and cause confusion for both you and your dog. Use patience, go slowly, and teach one thing at a time for ultimate success with your best four-legged friend.
When you’re ready to get started, here are some examples of behaviors to click-and-reward for:
- Paw, Shake, or High Five
- Sit Up, or Sit “Pretty”
- Lay Down
- Spin in a Circle
- Step Up or Down Onto Different Surfaces
- Back Up
Remember when you start clicker training your dog to only click while or immediately after a good behavior happens. It’s important that you click first, and then offer a reward next. Only click once. Additionally, keep your training sessions with your dog short to prevent stress or burnout. The goal is for your dog to enjoy clicker training, and want to perform good behaviors, so don’t make the session a chore. Have fun while clicker training your dog, and likely they will too!
Don’t Force Clicker Training on Your Dog
Having reasonable expectations from your dog while clicker training is crucial to their success, and it’s important that you keep your training sessions brief to prevent stress to your dog. If you’ve been working on clicker training and your dog doesn’t do what you’re asking, there is likely another way to approach it.
Don’t ever push, pull or force your dog to do what you want. If your dog isn’t performing the task that you’re asking her to, such as sit or lay down, don’t click or offer a treat. If you’re having trouble with the clicker training, go back to reliable resources and brush up on your strategy. Here are some other clicker training resources to help you get started:
Whether you're seasoned in dog training and looking for new pieces of gear, or a novice clicker trainer excited to get started, use this guide to choose the best clicker for training your dog. Clicker Training is used by experts from all over to help communicate with dogs, and to encourage good behaviors. By investing in the right tools, and by thoroughly understanding the clicker training concept, you’ll be well on your way to better communication with your best four-legged friend!Here at Seaside Planet we’re dog and adventure enthusiasts. Clicker training your dog can help you and your dog prepare for epic and unforgettable adventures, like dog paddle boarding, camping, hiking adventures with your dog, or exploring a dog-friendly beach. How will you use your clicker training skills with your dog? We would love to hear about it! Share your thoughts with us in the comment section below.
Megan Jones leads the editorial staff of Seaside Planet. They are a multidisciplinary team of outdoor adventurers, water sports lovers, and passionate beach goers. You can learn more about Meg and the rest of the editorial team here.