Clicker Training

Clicker Training

What is Clicker Training?

When it comes time to start training your new pup, the amount of different training styles can be overwhelming! There are tons of different approaches and styles to training your new dog. One of the most simple and convenient ways to train your pup, is clicker training. This method consists of teaching your dog to understand commands by using a small hand held clicker, lots of treats, and lots of repetition!

The Training Method

The clicker training method is effective because it plays on your pup’s ability to associate desired behavior with treats and positive reinforcement. It has been scientifically proven that  dogs learn by association, and using a clicker quickly helps your pet to identify what behavior you are seeking, which in turn he connects with treats and pleasing you. It is easy to forget that our four-legged family members do not actually understand human speech. Instead, they learn to associate certain sounds and words with desired behaviors. The sound of the clicker is clear, and easy to remember for your pup, and will make the command learning phase quicker by speeding up the association between the command and reward.

Consists

The clicker method consists of giving your dog the specific verbal command, and following it with a click as soon as your pup performs the desired action. After the click, be sure to give him a treat. This lets him know that you are pleased with him. This will lead your dog to quickly associate clicks with the desired behavior and consequently receiving treats and praise. Even though you are using the clicker, rewards are still very important in this part of training. The clicker will only help your puppy to identify the command and desired behavior, so be sure to reward him. This serves as motivation to continue the good behavior.

Small dog treats, belly rubs, and play time are great rewards for this type of training. While you should be consistent in rewarding good behavior, it is always a good idea to switch up your rewards every once in a while so neither you nor your dog get bored!

Fast & Easy

While the clicker method is a fast and easy way to train your new puppy, it is important not to over use the clicker. Be sure to only use it the first couple of times you give your dog the command. This will prevent him from becoming dependent on the clicker. If he becomes dependent on the sound of the clicker he will not be able to follow your commands without it. Remember that this is a training method, so as soon as your pup has learned to make the association between your command and the treat or the positive reinforcement, be sure to phase out the clicker. After he understands the command, there is no reason to continue to use the clicker.

Bottom Line

One of the many advantages of clicker training is that it does not require lots of fancy or expensive equipment. In fact, you don’t even need to use a real clicker. Anything that makes a short noise will do just fine for this training method. The best part about clicker training method is that it speeds up the whole process of training your pup. The more quickly he associates your commands with treats and positive reinforcement, the more quickly he will be able to repeat the the desired behavior. While clicker training method will speed up the training process, repetition is still the key to effectively training your pup. Just like everything else in life, practice makes perfect! Or in this case, practice makes the perfect pup!

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