Properly Clicker Train Your Dog
Edited by Mian Sheilette Ong, Lynn, Alma, Jen M and 1 other
Positive reinforcement is the key to effective training. Clicker training is one of the methods utilized by professional trainers. It is based on rewarding desirable behavior. In clicker training, a clicker is used to mark the desirable behavior. The clicker referred to here is not a counting clicker with numbers used for manual counting. It is a device that makes a very short clicking sound that signals the animal that a task has been performed correctly. Clicker training is used on dogs for faster, more efficient training that's humane and safe for both the dog and the trainer. If you want to properly clicker train your dog, you should prepare three important things: A clicker, a bunch of treats, and patience. Clicker training your dog is a very rewarding thing, especially if you know everything that you can first about how to do it.
- 1 Effectiveness of Clicker Training
- 2 Reasons for Using the Clicker
- 3 How Clicker Training Works
- 4 Considerations in Clicker Training
- 5 How to Properly Clicker Train Your Dog
- 6 Tips
- 7 Comments
Effectiveness of Clicker Training
"Operant conditioning" and classical conditioning" are the methods implemented in clicker training. These types of conditioning help make your dog associate objects, persons, places, events, and actions with a positive consequence. Classical conditioning comes first in clicker training because the behavior is instilled through the environment and events. Operant conditioning follows when your dog intentionally performs the task that was previously conditioned so that rewards can be obtained. Your dog will eventually perform the task with purpose and not just because a habit was formed with the clicker. Their enthusiasm is heightened because of the pleasurable reward that they will get to the task.
Reasons for Using the Clicker
There are other training methods that are reward-based, but clicker training is clearer. In this training, the sound of the click makes the dog understand that the specific behavior was done correctly. If the click is not heard on the exact desirable action, your dog might not instantly connect it with the reward. It is also possible that without the "click", your dog will associate the sound with an undesirable action. The click marks the behavior that you want. It also connects the wanted behavior with the treat or reward. This is known as the bridging signal.
The clicker is more effective because the sound is consistent all throughout the training. The click is quicker and can be made at the right moment when the correct behavior is completed. If you use your voice, various emotions and moods may affect the sound. This may confuse the dog about the meaning of your voice — if the task was done correctly or not. The clicker always delivers good news to the dog. This clearer form of communication makes the relationship stronger between the dog and the handler. The click also makes the handler or the trainer more engaging and interesting in the eyes of the dog.
How Clicker Training Works
In clicker training, it is like you're taking a snapshot of your dog's correct behavior. The dog immediately understands that after the click, the reward follows. It is usually in the form of a toy, petting, or a treat. The basic steps in clicker training are:
- 1Obtain the behavior.Make sure that your dog does the behavior you want.Advertisement
- 2Mark or click on the behavior.Using the clicker, you mark the desired behavior.Advertisement
Considerations in Clicker Training
Remember the following when you start clicker training your dog:
- 1Choose a quiet place for your sessions.It should be a familiar place that is free of any distractions.
- 2Keep the sessions short.They should last for only 15 minutes or less. About one to three sessions a day are recommended. Do not lengthen your sessions too much or your dog will lose enthusiasm.
How to Properly Clicker Train Your Dog
Conditioning with the Clicker
The primary thing you should do in clicker training is condition your dog with the clicker. This allows you to make your dog understand that the click is always a positive thing. Below are the steps for conditioning:
- 1Prepare your dog by attaching the leash to the collar.
- 2Hold the leash and the clicker with one hand.
Conditioning with the Clicker and your Dog's Attention
It's important that you have your dog's attention all throughout the training sessions. Dogs don't think about what they look at, so you must make sure that your dog look at you.
- 1Attach the leash to your dog's collar.
- 2Hold the leash and the clicker in one hand.
- 3With your free hand, get a treat and hold it up next to your face.
- 4Click the moment your dog looks at your face.
- 5Give the treat.
- 6If there is a distraction, pass the treat by his nose and bring it again next to your face.
- 7Give the treat.
- 8Repeat this 25 times for two training sessions.
The "Sit" Command with the Clicker
- 1Position your dog on your side.
- 2Hold your dog's leash with your hand.With the same hand's forefinger and thumb, hold your treat.
- 3Hold the treat in front of the dog's nose.
- 4Raise the treat to make him sit.Do not say "sit" at this stage. Instead, click and give the reward to your dog.
- 5Repeat this 25 times for two sessions.Just use the click.
The "Come Back" Command with the Clicker
- 1Prepare a six-foot leash.
- 2Attach the leash to your dog's collar.
- 3Hold the leash and the clicker in one hand.
- 4Stand and wait for your dog to notice distractions.
- 5Take a treat and hold it in front of your dog's nose.
- 6When your dog becomes attracted by the treat, back away slowly while you hold the treat in your hand.
- 7Bring the treat closer to you as you back away.
- 8Click when your dog reaches the treat and give the reward.
- 9Repeat this 15-20 times in one session.
- 10Then, use the command "come" as you back away.
- 11Click and give the reward.
Have patience with clicker training your dog and you will reap the benefits. There is nothing better than a well-behaved, well-trained furry companion by your side at all times.
- Purchase your clicker from online pet shops or offline pet stores.
- A treat pouch is a handy tool. It will let you carry treats conveniently without leaving your position.
- Do not use dog food as a treat.
- You can use liver or sausage pieces as treats.
- If you have problems with any of these steps, ask a question for more help, or post in the comments section below.
Categories : Dogs
Recent edits by: Jen M, Alma, Lynn