Clicker Training for Dogs
Clicker training has long been a useful method for training all breeds of dog. It is proven to be very effective in directing a dog’s action to get them to follow basic commands. When done properly, clicker training may go very quickly and you can use it to train your dog to do a wide variety of things.
Clicker Training Basics
The basic idea is to teach your dog to associate the clicking sound with your instructions. You give the dog a command and when it follows through you mark its obedience with a couple of clicks as a reward. At first, the dog should also be rewarded with a very small treat to help the association be a good one that goes deep. As your dog matures, hearing the clicker and knowing you are pleased with its actions will be sufficient.
The clicker works well because it is clear and the dog easily associates the sound of it with recognition of its behavior, and the delivery of a treat. The clicker is a more consistent message than a verbal response by you, though words of encouragement in addition to a few clicks will be appreciated.
The Steps in Effective Clicker Training
The first step is to train your dog to obey a specific command. Teach it to sit, for example, and each time it obeys use the clicker and reward your dog. The association will soon stick and the pooch will be eager to obey whenever a command is given. Use the same process with all the behaviors you are teaching your dog.
The second step is to be consistent in your training so that the association deepens and the obedience becomes automatic. Gradually wean the dog off of the treats and replace them with generous amounts of praise and pats on the head.
Dispensing with the Clicker
When done well, clicker training creates a deep and lasting association that cannot generally be accomplished through your verbal cues alone. The link between your command, the sound of the clicker, and then a given reward is a powerful chain of events. Consistently linking the three will soon develop a well-trained dog that will respond immediately to your command. You’ll be able to dispense with the clicker. Your command, followed by a word of praise for its obedience, will be all your dog needs to hear!
You’ll be surprised at how well clicker training works and the variety of applications it will serve. Use it to teach your dog all the essentials of a well-trained pet and the lessons will never be forgotten.