What and Why Clicker Dog Training for Dogs Works
Clicker dog training for dogs is a type of training identified as operant conditioning method for training animals using a clicker or a small noisemaker. For dog training it has proven to be a very effective way to control and communicate to a dog during training. It generally takes less time to train a dog with the clicker method.
The concept for clicker training is your dog is taught to associate the clicker sound, which can be heard up to 20 yards, with a specific command that you are teaching during that session. When your dog completes the command correctly, the clicker sound is a positive indication to your dog and is thus rewarded. It is also thought that the clicker sound is more consistent in sound than the human voice during this follow up acknowledgement, thus easier and faster for the dog to understand without any confusion.
Clicker training begins with you training your dog that the sound of the clicker is a reward for having good behavior. Simple treats will suffice for your training as well as an inexpensive clicker is all that you need.
While using the clicker as a training tool, it is important that your dog knows exactly the reason for the clicker sound and that is they understand that there will be a positive reward to follow. During the beginning of training, mixing your voice acknowledgement with the clicker will only confuse your dog and thus you will not get the desired results from your dog. It’s best to avoid using verbal commands in place of the clicker sound for now.
Three Phases To Successful Clicker Dog Training For Dogs
There are 3 phases during clicker training that your dog must learn while learning a command using the clicker dog training for dogs.
You need to teach your dog what you want him/her to do. Whether it is to sit, stay, fetch, etc, you know what I mean. Once your dog understands the command, you will then start using the clicker as a way to communicate to your dog that he has completed the command and then you will positively reward him during this phase.
Now that you’ve done this a few times, your dog is responding and is learning the new behavior. Consistency is a very important segment at this stage. By practicing, using the clicker makes for learning much quicker for your dog. This is much quicker that if you were using verbal commands as your voice can vary, thus confusing your dog. This is a key element during the clicker dog training for dogs.
As you are practicing the new command, you are reinforcing the this command in your dogs mind and he is now responding to your command. You can now slowly start to ween him off the treats and instead praise him by petting or saying ‘good boy’ as an example.
Transitioning to the Verbal Command. By the time your dog is comfortable with responding to the command and you’ve slowly switched him off the treats. It is now time to transition him to the spoken command only. This will only happen if you have been consistently working with him so that he is responding to the command in a natural way. During the beginning of this transition, at first you can say the command, then click, then reward. Eventually you will stop using the clicker and just say the verbal command and reward. Your dog will learn quickly, thus he will respond to the new command without the clicker. Again consistency is the keyword during the clicker dog training for dogs.
As you can see, the clicker dog training is a process. Using the above techniques, your dog will learn new commands much quicker and will be less of a headache for you. Please note that clicker training if taught correctly will not lead your dog to clicker sound dependency. It is important to consistently work your your dog while implementing the clicker dog training for dogs if you expect any positive results.