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The Benefits of Dog Clicker Training:
It’s no secret that an untrained dog is no walk in the park. The barking, the destruction, the seeming unwillingness to do what you want. It’s very frustrating at times, and it can strain even the healthiest of relationships. So, anything that promises to make your life easier with simple, painless training sounds pretty fantastic.
The first major improvement for training dogs since the introduction of such horrible tools as choke chains and spiked collars, clicker training has been quickly established as being the best and easiest way of training dogs. Used by animal trainers of all walks of life, dog clicker training has been used for years to train dogs and teach them to respond immediately to the sound of that click.
Currently, there are over 10,000 trainers who are using the Clicker Training method every day. It is also easy to use for many different species – as long as a food reward is of interest to the animal – then he or she can probably be clicker trained.
It’s not as simple as all that though. You have to convince your dog that the click will in some way benefit them. But, if you do it right, the clicker can turn around your stress-ridden household and make your life infinitely easier.
Having used clicker training on all of my dogs for years, I can certainly testify to it’s fast and effective results. Not only are the basics so easy to learn that children master the skills quickly, but clicker training sure is a whole heap of fun to do – for both the trainer and the dog! Puppies LOVE clicker training.
And after the basic obedience manners are under your dogs belt, you can then move on to teach some really fun tricks. With clicker training, your puppy will look to you for direction constantly and your control over him will be dramatically increased.
The relationship between the two of you will become very close and usually quite intuitive. I recommend that all owners learn clicker training.
Clicker Training is Easy To Learn
One advantage to using this positive reward form training at home is it’s easy to learn, and great fun for both the puppy and his trainer!
Originally used to train marine mammals, clicker training breaks down the process into two separate steps, information and motivation. The click is the information, the treat is the motivation. While other trainers still work on these two steps, they try to teach them all at once, which can confuse the animal and slow down results.
Most trainers will verbally praise a dog for good behavior, while at the same time motivating the dog to repeat his actions. This can be a good method, however it takes longer for the dog to understand which behaviors and actions caused the praise from the trainer.
With the clicker training method, the processes are easily taught. In normal training, a person would say “good boy” when a welcomed action occurs and proceed with giving a treat. The clicker becomes a substitute for verbal praise and can actually catch the “good boy” behavior quicker than saying it, letting the dog know exactly which behavior he is being rewarded for.
Another way to look at about clicker training is viewing it as a secondary reinforcement, while food, water, physical affection and play – which are all things that the dog wants – become primary reinforcement. When you take a dog for a walk, the leash works as a secondary reinforcement. It is obvious to the dog that the leash is not taking him for a walk; the owner is. However, it triggers a reaction in the dog, telling him that the leash will let him know where he will go and where he will not. And if he reacts to the leash with good behavior, his reward will be a nice leisurely walk.
Clicker training works the same way. When a dog hears the clicker, he will know that he performed a good behavior and as long as he keeps hearing a click, there is a treat coming his way very soon. So, the clicker works as a secondary reinforcement, teaching him boundaries and appropriate behavior.
How Dog Clicker Training Works:
The idea behind a clicker is very simple. You’re training your dog to recognize exactly when they’ve done something right by using a clicker. The clicker will make a short, simple sound that they can hear from large distances. At first, you’ll need to supplement the clicker sound with yummy doggie treats. In many cases, this just means sitting there with a bag of treats and handing a treat to the dog whenever you use the clicker.
This positive reinforcement will teach them that when you make a sound, they’re going to be rewarded. It can also be converted to, or combined with, command words very easily – something that many other training methods cannot. The breed or intelligence of an animal is rarely an issue with clicker training due to the natural response to the noise that most dogs already have. Dog Clicker Training is humane, it’s simple, and it’s incredibly effective.
So, what are the benefits of Dog Clicker Training?
The number one benefit of dog clicker training is how simple it is. It can take as little as 15 minutes to teach your dog that a click is a good thing and even less time to start teaching them basic commands with a clicker.
It is also very small and easy to carry with you anywhere you take your dog. You can have a clicker in your leash hand and use it when on a walk to control your dog’s walking behavior.
You also have the benefit of a clicker being very audible from great distances. Additionally, a clicker is much more consistent than your voice. It doesn’t have a tone and cannot be misunderstood by a dog. Sometimes, our commands can get confused with other words and can result in inappropriate responses from the dog.
When combined with a good command word, a clicker will tell your dog exactly what you want them to do and streamline the entire process of getting your training commands through to them. You’ll never need to worry about whether they understand that what they’re doing is right or wrong.
In the end, a clicker can be supplemented with simple affection and positive reinforcement and you’ll never need to resort to the more controversial and inhumane training methods that are out there.
What’s Best About Clicker Training:
- Faster response than verbal praise. The clicker can identify the exact behavior at the time it happens.
- It takes the place of treats. While motivating the dog to hear clicks, it will also teach him to work without the expectations of having treats given to him each time he does something good.
- If the trainer is working at a distance from the dog, the clicker will still work, without having to be right next him.
How To Start Clicker Training A Puppy:
The first thing you’ll need to do is invest in a clicker. The clicker is nothing fancy and a cheap one should cost you under five dollars. You can buy a cheap clicker here.
However, the cheap clickers don’t last very long, their sound is “funny” and they usually rust. If you are seriously about clicker training I suggest you purchase a longer lasting clicker. You can buy a good quality clicker here
Make sure to grab some pocket treats, little bits of dried liver work well. Treats are a vital part of clicker training. Get your dog treats here
Then buy the ONLY decent book on the market – Clicker Training for Dogs by Karen Pryor. See it pictured here on the right. You can buy it with free shipping here.
A good method to use when getting started with clicker training is to stand in front of the animal. Click the clicker and give a treat. Continue doing this for 20-30 minutes, or until the dog becomes startled by the sound of the click.
This will familiarize him to the clicking sound, while teaching him that every time he hears it, he has done something good. After he gets the hang of it, begin by adding commands, such as “sit” and “stay.”
About clicker training has proven to be a simple, yet consistent training method for all puppies that shows very fast results. So for the puppy trainers out there who are looking for a new and innovative way to motivate and praise their canines, get out there, buy yourself a clicker and… click and treat!
If you’re having any behavioral trouble with your dog, one of the first things you’ll be taught by any dog trainer is to exercise them and then train them with some basic tricks. Clicker training can make that all so much easier and faster.
Learn the basics of clicker training and you’ll be well on your way to a happy, obedient and healthy dog – in a really enjoyable way.