Clicker Training for Your Shih Poo: Improve Behavior and Teach Tricks

As a Shih Poo owner, you likely know that these adorable furballs are smart and eager to please. But have you considered using clicker training to enhance their learning experience? Clicker training is a powerful tool that can help you train your Shih Poo in a fun and positive way. If you’re not familiar with clicker training or aren’t sure where to start, then you’re in luck! In this article, we’ll dive into the details of clicker training and provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to successfully use this technique with your furry friend. So, let’s get started and see how your Shih Poo can benefit from clicker training!

Why Use Clicker Training?

Why Use Clicker Training?
As a Shih Poo owner, you want to ensure that your furry friend has the best training possible. Using clicker training to train your Shih Poo is a popular and effective method. Clicker training is a positive reinforcement technique that helps dogs learn new behaviors and commands quickly and easily. Not only does it focus on rewarding good behavior, but it also strengthens the bond between you and your furry friend. So, why choose clicker training over other methods? Let’s explore the benefits in more detail. If you’re struggling with training issues or want to learn more about positive training techniques, check out our guides on positive training and how to teach obedience to your Shih Poo.

What Is Clicker Training?

Clicker training is a positive reinforcement training method that uses a small device called a clicker to mark desired behaviors. When the pet hears the click, they know they have done something right and can expect a reward. Using a clicker eliminates the need for physical corrections and allows for a more precise and timely reinforcement.

The benefits of using clicker training with your Shih Poo are vast. It is a fun and interactive way to train your dog, which can result in a stronger bond between you and your furry friend. Clicker training is also great for building confidence, reducing anxiety, and establishing trust with shy or fearful dogs.

Furthermore, clicker training can be used to teach your Shih Poo almost anything. From basic obedience commands like “sit” and “stay” to more complex tricks like “play dead” or even navigational skills like “go to bed,” the possibilities are endless.

To get started with clicker training, you will need a clicker and some tasty treats. Begin by clicking the clicker and offering your Shih Poo a treat immediately after. After a few repetitions, your Shih Poo should begin to associate the click with the treat.

One important aspect of clicker training is timing. It is crucial to click the instant your dog exhibits the desired behavior, so the timing is essential. For example, if you want to teach your Shih Poo to sit, click the instant their bottom touches the ground.

Another great thing about clicker training is that it can be used to reinforce positive behaviors. Suppose you notice your Shih Poo doing something that you like, such as lying down quietly. In that case, you can click and reward them, which will make it more likely for them to repeat that behavior in the future.

Below is a table summarizing the key points of what clicker training is and its advantages:

What is clicker training?Positive reinforcement training method that uses a clicker to mark desired behaviors.
Advantages of using clicker training with your Shih PooFun, interactive, builds confidence, reduces anxiety and establishes trust. Can be used to teach almost anything.
How to get startedClick the clicker and offer a treat. Time the click precisely to mark the desired behavior. Use clicker training to reinforce positive behaviors.

In conclusion, clicker training is an excellent way to bond with your Shih Poo while teaching them new skills and positive behaviors. It is a humane and effective training method that can benefit both you and your furry friend. If you encounter issues with your Shih Poo’s behavior, such as barking or socialization problems, consider using clicker training to address these concerns. To learn more about teaching Shih Poo tricks, consider visiting /teaching-shih-poo-tricks/.

Why Choose Clicker Training?

When it comes to dog training, there are many different methods to choose from. However, clicker training has become increasingly popular in recent years, and for good reason.

One of the main reasons to choose clicker training over other methods is that it is a positive reinforcement technique. This means that you are rewarding your dog for good behavior rather than punishing them for bad behavior. Punishment-based training methods can often lead to fear, anxiety, and other behavioral issues in dogs. By using clicker training, you can build a stronger bond with your Shih Poo based on trust and respect, rather than fear.

Another benefit of clicker training is that it is a precise and consistent training method. Clicker training involves the use of a small, handheld device that makes a distinct clicking sound when pressed. This sound signals to your dog that they have done something right and that a reward is coming. By using this consistent sound, you can communicate with your Shih Poo more effectively and help them understand exactly what you want them to do.

Clicker training is also versatile and can be used to teach a wide variety of behaviors and tricks. Whether you want to teach your Shih Poo basic obedience commands like sit and stay, or more advanced tricks like playing dead or rolling over, clicker training can help you achieve your goals.

Clicker training is a fun and engaging way to train your Shih Poo. Dogs are naturally curious and love to learn new things, and clicker training provides them with mental stimulation and a sense of accomplishment. This can help prevent boredom and destructive behaviors in your Shih Poo.

Finally, clicker training is a humane method of training that focuses on building a positive relationship with your Shih Poo. By using rewards and positive reinforcement, you can create a happy and healthy environment for your dog to learn and grow.

If you’re experiencing training issues with your Shih Poo, consider using clicker training as a gentle and effective solution. And be sure to check out our other articles on topics like shih-poo socialization, crate training, and how to stop barking to help you create a well-behaved and happy furry friend.

How to Get Started with Clicker Training

How To Get Started With Clicker Training
Getting started with clicker training is an exciting journey for you and your Shih Poo pup. This training method is a fun and effective way to build trust and bonding with your furry friend, while teaching them new tricks and behaviors. Before you begin, it’s important to understand the basics of clicker training and how to properly use the clicker to communicate with your pet. In this section, we will guide you through the process of using clicker training with your Shih Poo, from teaching basic commands to advanced techniques. And if you’re experiencing any training issues, don’t worry – we’ll cover common problems and how to troubleshoot them. So let’s get started!

Teaching Basic Commands

When it comes to teaching basic commands to your Shih Poo using clicker training, the key is to keep the training sessions short and sweet. Here are the steps you can take to teach your furry friend basic commands:

Select the Command: Start by selecting a command that you want your Shih Poo to learn, such as “sit,” “stay,” or “come”. It’s important to choose one command at a time, so your pet doesn’t get overwhelmed.

Target Behavior: Once you have chosen a command, think about the target behavior associated with that command. For example, the target behavior for “sit” is for your dog to sit on command.

Mechanics of Training: To teach your dog the behavior, use the clicker and treats. Click the clicker as soon as your dog performs the desired behavior, and then reward your furry friend with a treat.

Repetition: Repeat this process multiple times each day, gradually reducing the number of treats that you give for each successful behavior. Make sure to use the command each time you click and reward.

Testing: After a few training sessions, test your pooch to see if they have learned the command. Give the command without any rewards or hints such as holding a treat. If your pup performs the desired behavior, click and give them a treat. If not, go back to the previous step and repeat the process.

By following these steps, you can teach your Shih Poo basic commands with ease. Remember, patience is key when it comes to training your furry friend. If you are consistent and persistent in your training, you will see progress over time. For more information on training your dog, check out our articles on Shih Poo socialization, benefits of crate training for Shih Poos, and how to stop your Shih Poo from barking!

Building Positive Behaviors

Building positive behaviors is an important part of training your Shih Poo with a clicker. This involves rewarding your pup for good behavior, rather than simply punishing them for bad behavior. With clicker training, you’ll be able to create a strong bond with your furry friend while reinforcing positive behaviors. Here are some steps to follow:

1. Determine the Behaviors to Reinforce: Before you start reinforcing positive behaviors, decide which behaviors you want your Shih Poo to exhibit. For example, it could be sitting, lying down, or coming when called. Make a list of these behaviors.

2. Timing is Important: Clicker training is all about timing. Make sure you click and treat your pup at the exact moment they’re exhibiting the desired behavior. This will reinforce the behavior and make it more likely for them to repeat it in the future.

3. Start Small: It’s best to start with simple behaviors and then work your way up to more complex ones. Start with behaviors that your pup already knows and then gradually move on to new ones.

4. Consistency is Key: Consistency is important when building positive behaviors. Make sure you click and treat your pup every time they exhibit the desired behavior. This will help reinforce the behavior and make it more likely that they’ll repeat it in the future.

5. Keep Training Sessions Short: Training sessions should be short and frequent. Aim for 5-10 minute sessions, several times a day. This will help keep your pup engaged and prevent them from becoming bored or distracted.

Remember, building positive behaviors takes time and patience. Be consistent, positive, and don’t forget to have fun with your furry friend! If you need more information on crate training your Shih Poo, check out our article on the benefits of crate training for Shih Poos.

Capturing Behaviors and Shaping Tricks

One of the most exciting things about clicker training with your Shih Poo is capturing behaviors and shaping tricks. This technique involves waiting for your dog to perform a natural behavior and then clicking and treating to reinforce it. Over time, you can shape these behaviors into more complex tricks.

Step 1: Observe your dog

To start capturing behaviors, spend some time observing your dog in various situations. Look for moments when they naturally perform a behavior that you could eventually turn into a trick. For example, does your dog like to jump up and touch a certain object with their nose? Do they crawl on their belly when they want attention?

Step 2: Click and treat

Once you’ve identified a behavior to capture, the next step is to click and treat every time your dog performs it. This will help your Shih Poo associate the behavior with a positive outcome and encourage them to repeat it in the future.

Step 3: Add a cue

After your dog is reliably performing the behavior, you can add a verbal or physical cue to signal when you want them to do it. For example, if your dog naturally spins around in a circle, you can add the cue “spin” by saying it right before they perform the behavior. Soon, your Shih Poo will start to associate the cue with the behavior and perform it on command.

Step 4: Shaping tricks

Once you’ve captured a few behaviors and added cues, you can start to shape more complex tricks. For example, if your dog knows how to touch a particular object with their nose, you can gradually move the object further away and ask them to jump or crawl to reach it. This will gradually shape the behavior into a more complex trick.

Step 5: Practice and refine

Capturing behaviors and shaping tricks requires patience and practice. Reward your dog each time they perform the desired behavior or trick, and be sure to practice in a variety of settings and situations. Over time, you’ll be able to refine the behavior and make it more precise, creating impressive tricks that will amaze your friends and family.

Advanced Clicker Training Techniques

Advanced Clicker Training Techniques
As you and your Shih Poo start to master the basics of clicker training, it’s time to move on to more advanced techniques that will take your training to the next level. By adding these innovative strategies to your routine, you can help your pup learn new behaviors, master more complex tricks, and ultimately become a more well-behaved and obedient companion. From target training to chaining behaviors, these cutting-edge methods will help you and your furry friend continue to grow and bond together.

Target Training

Target training is an advanced clicker training technique that involves teaching your Shih Poo to touch a specific target with their nose or paw. This technique helps improve your dog’s focus and helps build a stronger bond between you and your pet. Here are the steps to teach your dog target training:

Step 1:Choose a Target: Select an object that is easy to reach and touch, such as a small cone, a target stick, or a piece of tape on the floor.
Step 2:Introduce the Target: Hold the target out for your Shih Poo to smell and investigate. As soon as they show interest in the target, click the clicker and give them a treat.
Step 3:Repeat: Continue to hold out the target and click and treat your dog every time they touch it with their nose or paw. Repeat this step until your dog consistently touches the target.
Step 4:Adding Distance: Start to move the target further away from your Shih Poo and encourage them to touch it. Click and treat when they do. Gradually increase the distance between your dog and the target.
Step 5:Adding Direction: Once your dog is consistently touching the target, start moving it in different directions and encourage your dog to follow it. Click and treat when they touch it.
Step 6:Adding Commands: Finally, add a verbal cue such as “touch” or “target” when your dog touches the target. Gradually phase out the clicker and treats and replace them with verbal praise and affection.

Always remember to keep training sessions short and reward your Shih Poo with praise and treats for a job well done. With patience and consistency, your dog will learn target training and other advanced clicker training techniques quickly and easily.

Chaining Behaviors

Chaining behaviors is a more advanced clicker training technique that involves teaching your Shih Poo a sequence of behaviors in a specific order. This is useful in scenarios where multiple commands need to be executed one after another, such as in agility courses or obedience competitions.

The process of chaining behaviors can be broken down into the following steps:

  • Teaching each behavior separately: Before you can chain behaviors together, your Shih Poo must be able to perform each individual behavior flawlessly. Once they have mastered each behavior, you can then begin to put them together in a sequence.
  • Choosing the order: Decide on the specific order that you want your Shih Poo to perform the behaviors in. It’s important to choose an order that makes sense and is easy to remember for your dog.
  • Linking the behaviors: Begin by cueing your Shih Poo to perform the first behavior in the chain. As soon as they complete that behavior, immediately cue the next behavior in the sequence. Repeat this process until your dog can seamlessly perform all of the behaviors in the chain without any delays or mistakes.
  • Reinforcing the chain: Once your Shih Poo has mastered the chain, it’s important to reinforce the entire sequence so that they don’t forget the order or become confused. Practice the chain regularly and always reinforce with treats and praise.

It’s important to remember that chaining behaviors can be challenging for some dogs and may take more time and patience than other training techniques. If your Shih Poo seems to be struggling, go back to the basics and work on perfecting each individual behavior before attempting to chain them together. With persistence and consistency, your Shih Poo will master chaining behaviors and be able to perform impressive sequences flawlessly.

Adding Verbal Cues

Once your Shih Poo has mastered responding to the clicker, it’s time to add verbal cues to their training. This will help your furry friend learn to associate specific words with certain actions. Adding verbal cues is an essential step in teaching your Shih Poo more complex behaviors and tricks.

The following table outlines the steps for adding verbal cues to your Shih Poo’s clicker training:

Choose a commandChoose a command that you’d like your Shih Poo to associate with a behavior or trick. This could be a simple command like “sit” or “down”, or a unique command for a specific trick.
Click and commandPractice clicking the clicker and saying the chosen command at the same time. This will help your dog learn to associate the sound of the clicker with the verbal cue.
Command and clickNext, try saying the command first and then clicking the clicker immediately after your Shih Poo obeys. This will help them understand that the clicker sound is a signal that they have successfully completed the command.
Repeat and practiceRepeat the process several times until your Shih Poo consistently responds to the command and clicker together. Once they’ve mastered this step, begin fading the clicker out and only using the verbal cue.

Remember to always use a consistent tone of voice and enunciation when giving commands. With patience, practice, and plenty of positive reinforcement, your Shih Poo will soon be performing complex behaviors and tricks with ease.

Fading the Clicker

Fading the clicker is an important part of clicker training. When your Shih Poo has mastered a behavior or command, you want to start fading the clicker. This involves using the clicker less and less as a way to signal to your dog that they have done something correctly.

Why Fade the Clicker?

Fading the clicker helps your dog become less reliant on the sound of the clicker and more responsive to your verbal and physical cues. This helps your Shih Poo generalize the behavior or command to different situations, without needing the clicker present every time.

How to Fade the Clicker?

Fading the clicker is a gradual process. You want to start by clicking and treating as usual, but begin to delay the click a little longer each time, until you can eventually phase out the clicker altogether.

Here is a table outlining the steps to fading the clicker:

Step 1Click and treat as usual
Step 2Delay the click by 1-2 seconds
Step 3Click every other time
Step 4Click every third time
Step 5Start using verbal or physical cues instead of the clicker
Step 6Phase out the clicker altogether

Remember to be patient and gradual in this process, so that your Shih Poo doesn’t become confused and lose motivation. Eventually, with consistent practice, your dog will respond reliably to your verbal and physical cues, without needing the clicker.

Troubleshooting Common Problems

As much as we all wish our furry friends were perfect angels all the time, sometimes even the most well-trained Shih Poo can have setbacks during their training. It’s important to remember that setbacks are normal and can be addressed with patience and persistence. In this section, we’ll delve into some common training problems you may encounter and offer solutions using clicker training. With these troubleshooting tips, you’ll be well-equipped to tackle any issue that arises with your Shih Poo’s training.

Not Responding to the Clicker

One common frustration for pet owners using clicker training is when their dog doesn’t respond to the clicker. If your Shih Poo is not responding to the clicker, it could be due to a few different reasons. Here are some possible solutions to try:

  • Insufficient Training: If your dog has not had enough training, they may not understand the meaning behind the clicker. Try going back to the basics and training them with simpler commands to reinforce clicker training.
  • Noisy Environment: If you are clicking in a noisy environment, your dog may not discern the click sound. Try training your dog in a quieter environment or using a different type of clicker with a louder sound.
  • Timing: Clicker training relies on precise timing to communicate with your dog. If you’re not clicking at the exact moment your dog exhibits the desired behavior, they may get confused. Take time to practice timing your clicks accurately to ensure that your Shih Poo understands what you’re asking for.
  • Boredom: If your Shih Poo isn’t interested in training anymore, they may be bored with the same old routine. Try switching up the training, offering new treats or toys as a reward, or playing games during training to reignite their interest in the clicker.

Remember, patience and consistency are key when training your Shih Poo with a clicker. If they are not responding to the clicker right away, try changing up your approach and keep training sessions short and positive.

Showing Fear or Avoidance

One of the challenges that clicker training can help address is dealing with a Shih Poo that shows fear or avoidance behaviors. These can occur for various reasons, such as lack of socialization, previous negative experiences, or innate temperament.

Identifying Fear or Avoidance Behaviors

It is important to recognize the signs of fear or avoidance in your Shih Poo, as they can manifest in different ways. Some common behaviors to watch out for include:

Signs of Fear or AvoidanceDescription
Shaking or TremblingExcessive shaking or trembling, especially in unfamiliar situations
Hiding or AvoidingTrying to escape or hide from perceived threats or triggers
Growling or SnappingAggressive behaviors that aim to ward off perceived threats or defend personal space
Panting or DroolingExcessive panting or drooling without apparent physical exertion or heat
Freezing or StiffeningBecoming immobile or tense in response to stimuli or cues

If you notice any of these behaviors in your Shih Poo, do not force them to continue the training session or interact with the trigger. Instead, take a step back and assess the situation.

Addressing Fear or Avoidance Behaviors

Here are some tips for working with a Shih Poo that shows fear or avoidance behaviors during clicker training:

  • Start Small: Begin by working on simple commands or tricks that your dog already knows and feels comfortable with. This can help build confidence and trust.
  • Break it Down: If a behavior or command seems too complex or overwhelming for your dog, break it down into smaller steps that they can master one at a time. Use successive approximations to gradually shape the behavior.
  • Use Positive Reinforcement: Reward your Shih Poo with treats or praise for small successes, and build up to bigger rewards as they become more confident and proficient.
  • Avoid Punishment: Do not scold, yell, or physically punish your Shih Poo for making mistakes or showing fear. This can exacerbate their anxiety and damage the bond between you.
  • Provide Positive Associations: Associate the training environment and tools (such as the clicker) with positive experiences, such as playtime or cuddles, to create a positive association.
  • Seek Professional Help: If your Shih Poo’s fear or avoidance behaviors persist despite your best efforts, consider consulting a professional trainer or behaviorist who specializes in positive reinforcement techniques.

By following these tips and being patient and persistent, you can help your Shih Poo overcome their fear or avoidance behaviors and enjoy clicker training. Remember to always listen to your dog’s cues and adjust your training accordingly.

Becoming Distracted or Overly Excited

During the clicker training process of your Shih Poo, it is common for them to become distracted or overly excited, especially during the early stages of training. However, with patience and persistence, you can help your furry friend stay focused and attentive during clicker training. Here are some tips for tackling these training hurdles:

1. Reduce Distractions: try to train your Shih Poo in an area with fewer distractions. Too many sights, smells, or sounds can divert their attention away from the training process. A quiet, private place will make it easier to keep their attention focused on the training.

2. Shorten Training Sessions: Overlong training sessions can cause your Shih Poo to become bored or restless. Short training sessions of ten to fifteen minutes are more effective and easier for your furry friend to handle.

3. Use High-Value Treats: Sometimes, training your Shih Poo with low-value treats, such as kibble or small training treats, may not be sufficient to hold their attention. Instead, try introducing high-value treats like chicken pieces or cheese, which will motivate your pup to stay focused and attentive.

4. Play with Toys: Incorporating toys that your Shih Poo is fond of while training them can help keep them engaged and focused on the task at hand. For example, training your dog to “fetch” and “drop” can use both the clicker training and their favorite toy.

5. Practice Patience: Always keep in mind that training your Shih Poo takes time and patience. Don’t expect too much too soon. Consistency in training every day will bring about better results, and your dog will learn to focus on you and follow your lead.

With the proper attention and patience, your Shih Poo will eventually become more focused and attentive during training sessions. Remember to take things one step at a time and to reinforce positive behavior with the clicker and treats. And most importantly, have fun spending time training and bonding with your furry friend!

Breaking Bad Habits with Clicker Training

Breaking bad habits in your Shih Poo can be a difficult process, but with clicker training, it can become much easier. Here are some key steps to follow when using clicker training to break bad habits in your furry friend:

  • Identify the bad behavior: The first step in breaking bad habits is identifying what the bad behavior is. Whether it’s excessive barking, chewing on furniture, or jumping up on people, you need to be aware of what you’re trying to correct.
  • Use positive reinforcement: It’s important to use positive reinforcement when trying to break bad habits. Punishing your Shih Poo for bad behavior will only make them fearful and defensive. Instead, use the clicker to reinforce good behavior and ignore bad behavior.
  • Train an alternative behavior: One of the most effective ways to break bad habits is to train your dog to do something else instead. For example, if your Shih Poo tends to chew on furniture, give them a chew toy instead and click and reward them for chewing on it instead of the furniture.
  • Be consistent: Consistency is key when it comes to breaking bad habits. Make sure everyone in the household is on board with the training and that the training is consistent every day.
  • Be patient: Breaking bad habits can take time, so it’s important to be patient with your dog. Don’t expect overnight results, and don’t get frustrated if progress is slow.

By following these steps and using clicker training, you can successfully break bad habits in your Shih Poo and create a well-behaved and happy furry friend. Remember to always use positive reinforcement and be consistent and patient in your training efforts.


In conclusion, using clicker training with your Shih Poo can be an effective and rewarding way to train your furry friend. With its ability to reinforce positive behaviors and shape desirable actions, clicker training can help create a lasting bond between you and your dog.

Remember, patience and consistency are key. It’s important to start with basic commands and slowly build up to more advanced techniques. This may take time and effort, but the results will be well worth it.

Don’t forget to keep training sessions short and frequent. Regular clicker training sessions, even just a few minutes a day, can make a big difference in your dog’s overall behavior and obedience.

If you encounter any problems, don’t get discouraged. Troubleshooting common issues, such as not responding to the clicker or showing fear or avoidance, can be addressed with patience and persistence.

Most importantly, have fun with your training sessions! Clicker training is a positive and enjoyable experience for both you and your furry friend. It can create a strong bond and enhance communication between you and your dog. So, grab your clicker and start training today!

Frequently Asked Questions

What equipment do I need for clicker training my Shih Poo?

All you need is a clicker and some treats. Clickers are inexpensive and can be found at most pet stores. Choose treats that your dog loves and can easily eat during training sessions.

Can clicker training be used for all types of dogs?

Clicker training can be used for any breed or size of dog, as long as they are food motivated and enjoy receiving treats as rewards.

How do I introduce my Shih Poo to clicker training?

Start by introducing the clicker and associating the sound with a treat. Click the clicker and immediately give your dog a treat. Repeat several times until your dog understands that the click means a treat is coming.

What are the benefits of clicker training?

Clicker training encourages positive behavior and strengthens the bond between you and your dog. It is also an effective way to reinforce basic obedience commands and teach fun tricks.

Can clicker training help with problem behaviors?

Yes, clicker training can be used to address problem behaviors such as aggression, barking, and jumping. However, it may be best to seek the assistance of a professional dog trainer for more serious behavioral issues.

What if my Shih Poo doesn’t respond to the clicker?

If your dog doesn’t respond to the clicker, it may be because they haven’t yet associated the sound with a treat. Try using a higher value treat or charging the clicker again to reinforce the association.

How often should I train my Shih Poo with clicker training?

Training sessions should be short, around 5-10 minutes each, and done multiple times throughout the day. It is important to keep the training sessions fun and positive to avoid burnout.

When should I start advanced clicker training techniques?

Advanced clicker training techniques should only be introduced after your dog has mastered basic obedience commands and is comfortable with clicker training. These techniques require more focus and patience from both you and your dog.

Can clicker training be used in conjunction with other training methods?

Yes, clicker training can be used alongside other training methods such as positive reinforcement and luring. It is important to find what works best for you and your dog.

Is clicker training suitable for senior Shih Poos?

Clicker training can be a great form of mental stimulation and exercise for senior Shih Poos. However, it is important to tailor the training sessions to their physical abilities and provide plenty of breaks.


Britta Thygesen

Britta Thygesen

A passionate dog owner and a full-time certified dog trainer. Aspires to make DogCareHacks a go-to place for all the doggo info. Shares personal experience and professional knowledge.

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