Need an effective way to improve on your dog’s behavior? You might want to try clicker dog training. This method for dictating as well as controlling your dog’s behavior is one of the more impressive methods out there – and the best part is that it will work with any kind of dog breed out there!
Clicker dog training combines behavior training and teaching of basic commands in a shorter time and using a handy dandy clicker tool. With this, the possibilities of teaching your dog anything and everything are practically endless!
The Science Behind Clicker Dog Training
In a nutshell, clicker dog training is training that makes your dog associate the sound that the clicker device makes with specific commands you want it to perform.
If you are wondering whether or not the dog will be able to respond to the clicker and if it is audible enough, you can rest easy in the knowledge that the strong sharp sound it makes is easily distinguishable to a dog even from more than twenty yards away.
The entire point of the training is to put a mark on desirable and specific behavior and the dog is rewarded with the sound that the clicker makes.
Of course, it should be said that you do not begin clicker dog training by simply pressing on to the clicker and hopefully make the connection between it and the specific desirable behaviors. There is a pre-requisite to using the clicker, and that will require teaching your dog the idea that the clicker will be a reward that they get upon the demonstration of good behavior.
Fortunately, it is easy to gather the things you need for clicker training – which is basically just a simple bag of treats you know your dog likes, and a basic clicker that you can get at practically any pet store. There really is no need to spend a lot for this kind of training, so steer clear of the expensive gadgetry and go with the plain ones that will work just fine.
The use of the clicker should be done with care. If you are too enthusiastic about it, then the dog will lose the connection between the sound that the clicker makes and the very specific desirable behavior you want it to perform.
Always keep in mind that the dog should only hear the clicking sound when it has successfully performed a good job, and to indicate that a reward treat will be given to it soon after. No words or even verbal commands are needed in this situation, because it might confuse them and it might not help in cementing the relationship between the sound and the behavior.
The Basics of Clicker Dog Training: Easy Done Right
There are three steps that you need to know when it comes to training your furry friend to automatically respond to the sound of a clicker.
The first step is to establish the behavior – wherein you will have to convince your dog about performing the desired commands. Some of these commands include speaking, sitting, rolling over, and any other trick that you would like for it to learn (it’s all up to you). Once your dog has successfully performed the trick, “mark” it by making the clicking sound and then giving the reward.
On an average, it will take maybe two or three markings for a dog to understand and remember the good behavior it did and will repeat this later on when it hears the clicker again.
Some dogs can take a much faster time learning this (as short as only one marking), or some dogs will take a much longer time (more than three markings). The important thing is to persist until your dog makes the connection.
The beauty of clicker dog training is that once it is in place you can expect your dog to immediately respond to it, and this allows you to give the reward faster and further affirm that there is a relationship between the good behavior and the treat. Compared to behavior training using verbal commands only, you will see how much faster clicker dog training is at achieving results!
In the early days of clicker dog training, make it a point to always give a reward to further reinforce this good behavior often. The reward does not always have to be a treat though, as sometimes a simple praise or even a round of petting will work just as fine and can eventually be the reward that replaces the doggie food treat.
Making the Transition to Just Verbal Commands
When it is clear that your dog has already learned the specific good behaviors, the next step in clicker dog training is to make the transition from clicker tool to spoken commands. Making this transition will certainly make things a lot easier for you because you can give out commands that will be obeyed even when you do not have the clicker handy.
This time, you first need to say the command then follow it up with a click. Once the dog performs the behavior, hand it the reward. In no time, your dog will quickly be able to associate the new addition (verbal command) with the previous two learned.
In no time and with careful clicker dog training, your dog will be able to respond only to verbal cues and also praises when they perform their required actions well. You will no longer need treats or lavish amounts of praise, because by this time the dog will know that these are actions that please you, its master.
There are many opportunities wherein clicker dog training will be beneficial to you, and will make the training of subsequent dogs a lot easier. With only a simple command noted by a sharp sound, you’d best believe that it is possible to actually mark and later on enforce any kind of behavior that you want your dog to demonstrate at any given time, or all the time!
As you might imagine, clicker dog training has a number of applications. It can make training your dog so much easier in many ways. With a simple, sharp command, you can mark and reinforce nearly any behavior.
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