Welcome to Sphynx Lair, a community dedicated to Sphynx owners!

Clicker Training

Apr 20, 2010
Hi All!

I had a couple of you ask about some tips about how we clicker trained Arias, so I thought I'd start a thread here with the info I have learned and for anyone else that has some tips! Keep in mind that your Sphynx does have a will of his/her own, you are merely making suggestions :LOL:

It's really quite easy to clicker train our beloved Sphynx breed! They are so smart and since they are little chow-hounds food is a good motivator :Wink: Start your training when they are hungry and it's amazing what they will do for food!

We were lucky that the cat behaviorist that we had come to our house actually lives 10 minutes from us, and she has written articles for Cat Fancy and other cat-related publications. She actually has a book that is coming out in August titled "Click Your Cat To Better Behavior". you can get it on Amazon. I highly recommend it based off my experience with this woman and what she taught us.

All you need to get started is a clicker (which you can get at almost any pet store), your cat's favorite treats, and a designated spot for them to do their "tricks".

Choose a spot that is always available to them (ie. don't have it be the kitchen table b/c then when it's dinner time, they will be demanding treats and wanting to do tricks. good party entertainment but probably a bit annoying on a daily basis). Choose a spot that is convenient for you, interesting enough for them, and not in the way. We chose a barstool in the kitchen. This served a dual purpose--not only did he have his designated spot, but he learned to associate the stool with treats and now sits there when we are in the kitchen instead of on the counters. It's funny b/c now if someone sits on his stool, he jumps up and sits on them! They will claim the spot you choose so choose wisely!

Be mindful of what tricks you want them to learn. It's really cool if you can teach them how to turn on lights, but who wants to be woken up by a sphynx at 3 am who has decided he needs a snack and knows that typically when he turns on the lights he gets treated! (yes, you all know our little sphynxies are not only that smart, they are also THAT devious :Impish: ) In an ideal world, they will only do the behaviors when asked, but they quickly learn what behaviors get them treats and will start to do the behaviors without prompting b/c they want a snack! Sometimes this is great, other times (like with the lights) it's not so good.

When you treat, don't just hand them the treat. if they are up on say a bar stool, throw the treat on the ground. This way, they don't associate the spot itself with treats, but that they have to "perform" to get it.

Keep your training sessions short (like 5 minutes) at first. And only teach a couple of behaviors at a time until they have mastered them.

You simply start by clicking the clicker (hahaha) and then immediately giving a treat. This way the cat associates the clicking sound with a treat. Then from there, you click when they do a behavior that you want them to repeat. Such as sitting. So for example, with Arias, once we had gotten his attention with the treats & clicker, he wanted more, obviously, but we didn't give him one until he sat. Then we clicked and treated. He picked it up quickly that we wanted him to sit to get a treat. At this point you don't use word commands until they continually repeat the desired behavior. Once they are doing that, then when they sit you say "sit" click and treat. Soon enough they put the word command to the behavior.

This is about all I know. I am sure there is more! But if you keep with it & read some more about it, you'll have a “trained†Sphynx in no time! (well, at least a Sphynx that will do tricks when he/she feels like it or the reward is yummy enough!) I have also found that when we practice our "tricks" it's interaction and stimulation that Arias craves and needs so he tends to be a little less wild afterward :BigSmile:

Have fun, good luck! Let us know what tricks your Sphynx can do or learns to do!
Last edited by a moderator:


V.I.P Lairian
V.I.P Lairian
May 14, 2010
I'm going to put this technique to work. Thanks for the post!