Behaviors that are rewarded will always continue, that is why clicker training is highly effective in dogs. The goodness of the clicker is that dogs, like other animals, learn by association. When your dog initially hears the clicking sound, he gets no meaning from it; but when your dog realizes that every click comes before a small yummy treat, he begins to be very attentive to that click. He then starts asking himself what he was doing before hearing the click.
Clicker training works best by teaching the trainer to be consistent, to have decent timing, and to mark desired behaviors of the dogs accurately. The practice tells the dog that whatever he is doing at the time he hears the click or whistle is correct and will earn a reward. Using clicker training, you can communicate to your dog that what he is doing will make him earn a bonus.
What is a Dog Clicker?
A clicker is an automatic noise maker, but you can use a verbal noise marker as well. You should make the dog understand what he is being rewarded for, for instance, if you are training your dog to lie down, click and reward him once his knees touch the ground.
As your dog continues learning, you can delay the click so that he determines that staying in a down position for some time is what rewards him. He will soon associate the clicking with a tasty reward and will behave well in anticipation for more.
The following are the most important steps to follow when doing clicker training for your dog:
- Start with a bunch of exceedingly delicious treats and ensure that they are cut into many small pieces.
- Do not click and give your dog a gift at the same time; instead, click first and let the treat follow. You can also hurl the treat to the ground and click moments before your dog eats it.
- Repeat the process at different environments and positions for instance, while you are standing up, sitting down or even moving around. This will make your dog understand that when they hear the click, regardless of where he is, he has done something useful that will earn him a tasty reward.
- Repeat this exercise for a few times daily for a few minutes at a go. Do it every day until the time that you notice that your dog is enthusiastically anticipating the treat every time you click.
When you are doing clicker training, you need to be consistent and follow every rule that is associated with it, for the practice to bear great fruits.
Here are some of the rules that you need to follow to make click training a success
- Don’t click more than once, as doing so will confuse your dog and cause him fail to understand the communication. So click only once.
- Every time you click, give a treat. This will make your dog disciplined as he will always do what you want him to, as he anticipates a reward for the right behavior.
- Hold your clicker behind or beside you and don’t point it towards your dog as the dog only needs to hear the sound.
- Muffle your clicker with a towel or buy a softer one if your dog is scared of the click. With a softer one, he will adjust with time, with no fear at all.
Reasons why clicker training works for you and your dog
Your Dog Will Obey Specific Commands
Clicker training makes your dog obey a particular command in combination with the sound of a training clicker.
The sound of the clicking instrument can be heard from far, even amid other high-pitched sounds. When your dog obeys a command you give, you signal his co-operation with a click, then a reward. Within a short time, he will associate the clicker, and the award for the action and he will be obedient to be rewarded even more.
Your Dog Will Learn New Things
Clicker training is one of the most significant ways of motivating your dog to learn new things. Dogs can learn right actions and great behaviors only through clicker training. You can also use click training to mark a good choice or a change of mood for your dog. Once your dog has fully adapted to the action taught or behavior change, you can fade out the clicker and then use it again to train your dog something new.
Your Dog Will Learn Fast
Clicker training will always speed up the process of gaining knowledge for all breeds of dogs. This is because the dogs will enjoy learning with no stress or fear of making a mistake. Your dog will learn new behavior real fast.
Clicker Training Reduces Aggression in Your Dogs
Dogs that are clicker-trained are friendly pets and less aggressive as compared to the ones that are trained using traditional methods. They only raise critical alarms and only bark when necessary.
Clicker-Trained Dogs Can Perform Great Roles
Clicker training gives dogs the chance to perform great roles, like working as service dogs for the police and military. They also get to participate in dog sports and other competing activities when they are through with click-training.
Clicker training in simple terms is a noise or sound that you use to mark the behavior or action that you want your dog to embrace.
A clicker is very important compared to other markers because it is uniquely distinctive. Your dog can never hear it out of context. Never click when you are not training your dog and never do it when you are not following it with a delicious reward.