Clicker Dog Training – 3 Simple Steps to Effectively Teach Owners And Their Dogs!
Clicker dog training is widely considered to be one of the most effective methods used today in controlling and managing a dog’s behavior. When it comes to teaching them basic commands, it really takes very little time to grasp the principles and techniques of clicker training, and when utilising a good quality clicker, you will be able to see results in a very short time, regardless of the kind of dog you’re training.
How Clicker Training Works
The general principle behind clicker training involves creating an association between the clicker sound and a particular command, and teaching your dog to recognise this association. When the dog responds correctly to any given command, they are rewarded with the sound of the clicker. The result is that specific, desirable dog behaviors are then marked.
Obviously, you first need to teach your dog that the clicker symbolises a reward for their good behavior and this can be helped along with the use of dog treats, and of course, a clicker purchased from your local pet shop.
An important note to mention here is that your dog should not hear the noise of that clicker except to let them know that they have done a good job and that they are about to receive a treat. In the early stages of training, if you use a verbal command at other times without use of a clicker, they may not respond as quickly because the association is not as strong between command and reward as it is between command, clicker and reward.
Clicker Dog Training – How It’s Done
Clicker dog training comprises of 3 basic steps. Initially, you need to get the dog to perform the correct behavior, in other words, convince them to do what it is you want. This may involve getting them to either sit, stay, come, roll over, or whatever trick you know will be easiest to get them to do first. As soon as they perform this behavior, immediately mark it with the clicker and their favourite reward.
Usually, you will see results after only 2 or 3 markings. Your dog will understand quickly what it was they did, and will start to repeat that correct response whenever you use the clicker. Clicker dog training is so successful because the dog’s immediate response to your command means that you can reward them straight away, reinforcing the association in the dogs mind. Using a verbal command on its own, without the use of a clicker, will take longer for the dog to grasp.
In the following days and weeks, continue this process to reinforce your dogs correct responses as much as possible. Making sure to always use the clicker, you can substitute the use of treats as rewards from time to time with lots of praise and petting. Your dog will appreciate this just as much and will eventually forget to expect a treat for their behavior.
Making the Transition to a Command
Once your dog is an A-Grade student and has mastered good behavior, you can make the transition to a verbal command that you can use anytime, anywhere, with or without a clicker. Whenever you choose to use the clicker, make sure to say the command, followed quickly by a click, and finished up with a reward. Your dog will very quickly learn to associate these 3 steps.
Progressing on from good clicker dog training, your dog will readily respond to verbal commands and praise at the drop of a hat and will simply learn the command.
There will be no further need for either the clicker, dog treats or praise, as your dog will instinctively know what the correct response is to any given command, and that it pleases you.
As you can now appreciate, there are many applications for clicker dog training. With a simple, sharp command, you will be able to mark and reinforce practically any behavior you want.