Click, click …the sound of the clicker is something we dogs really enjoy. If you were lucky enough to be trained with a clicker you will know:
- You’re going to have some fun with your owner
- Learn a new trick or two, that makes you feel confident!
- And best of all a yummy treat is on its way!
If not, it is never to late to have your owner start training you with a clicker. Now you might be asking why it’s better with a clicker so let me give you a little info:
It all started in Germany back at the turn of the 20th century by Col. Konrad Most. He trained military dogs in Germany. He also wrote a book about it called Training Dogs- A Manual
It was translated into English around 1954. His training approach was widely adopted by military training throughout the world and is still used today for many military, police and service dog training programs. Some of the techniques that included collar correction and punishment are a bit heavy-handed for today, however, his methods based on training with a clicker are now used globally.
What’s a clicker?
The clicker is a plastic toy like device with a metal strip that makes a quick, clear, consistent and distinctive sound when pressed. Today they come in many shapes, sizes, and colours and it’s easy to find one that is a perfect fit for you and your budget.
Clicker training for dogs? What does it do?
It is an important tool in the clicker training process. Clicker training relies on understanding how we dogs learn, mixed in with a little dog psychology, behavioral science, and conditioning. Combining these principles are the best means of communicating with us dogs.
Basically, clicker dog training is if you reward us dogs with positive reinforcement we are more likely repeat what we learn.
The clicker itself is basically the tool used to build, shape and reinforce desired behavior. Its function is to clearly pinpoint the behavior we are looking for in our dogs precisely when it takes place. The clicker marks an event or behavior and provides instant positive feedback, which we dogs need to learn. (some say we dogs have a short attention span)
Clicker trained dogs quickly learn that the clicking sound is a great thing! We know that…
- a reward is on its way and we strive to hear it’s clicky sound.
- It connects us with the thing you’re trying to teach us and a reward for doing good!
- It also lets us know that the behavior is finished and the job is done.
Did you know once we learn our new command really well and we can do it anywhere and anytime you can actually phase out the clicker and the treat (if you have to!) for that command.
Then its time to teach us something new!
Clicker Training Paw by Paw
We dogs already know how to do these new tricks that you want us to learn already we just need you to clearly communicate with us and tell us what you want us to do and make it worth our while to do so!
So grab your clicker and teach your dog a new trick or two
- Get the desired new trick to happen (for example: sit)
- “Click” the instant it happens (your dog sits)
- REWARD! Reinforce the behavior – use tasty treats, praise
- Generalize the new trick- practice the trick everywhere adding new challenges like increased duration, distance, and distractions.
- Cue the Trick – use a hand signal or a verbal signal such as “sit”
- Gradually fade the clicker and treats.
Clicker training Benefits
- You and your dog will build a strong bond, based on mutual respect and cooperation.
- It is a real motivational training method that is gentle and not violent.
- It’s all based on proven scientific methods that work and makes your owner look real smart!
- Start early! It’s a great way to bond and trains your puppy
- Always focus on what your dog is doing right rather than what your dog is doing wrong. It builds confidence in dogs!
- Makes you dog a creative, happy and thinking dog.
- Dog feel good about training and are stress-free.
I would Recommend:
Mikki Training Fun Tricks Clicker Training Kit
It is a great product which contains everything you need to start teaching your dog a new trick or two. It comes with an easy training guide with expert advice by Claire Arrowsmith an Animal Behaviorist.