Whichever dog breed you have, clicker training your dog is one of the most impressive and effective methods for teaching basic commands and controlling your dog’s behavior.
Mastering clicker dog training is very straight forward and takes very little time. You can train your dog for nearly anything with a correctly operated clicker.
How Does Clicker Training Your Dog Work?
The basic principle of clicker training is that you are teaching your dog to associate a specific command with the noise from the clicker.
A clicker gives a strong sharp noise that your dog will hear from over twenty yards away. The aim of this style of training is to identify the desired behavior and then reward it with the noise made by the clicker.
Clicker dog training does not begin with a clicker. To begin you first need to train your dog to associate the clicker with a reward for good behavior. This is easily done using a cheap clicker from your local pet supply store along with a bag of treats.
For many reasons it is necessary to use a clicker in this instance. To begin with, your dog will associate hearing a clicker as confirmation that a treat will be given as they have done a good job.
In other situations a verbal or word command could be given and the relationship in their head will not be as good because of it.
How to Clicker Train Your Dog
There are three very simple steps when you begin training your dog to respond to the sound of a clicker. The first step is controlling their behavior and convincing them to do something that you want.
It could be rolling over, sitting or whatever other tricks you are trying to teach them. When they perform the behavior you required them to, identify it by clicking the clicker and reward them with a treat.
It will normally take two to three markings before your dog relates what their behavior was that they did and start repeating it whenever you click the clicker.
The reason why clicker training works so well is because your dog will respond immediately which allows you to reward them with a treat straight away and instill it in their mind. A Verbal command will take time to get through.
After your dog has done the behavior and received the reward, continue with the process to reinforce the behavior as much as possible. Treats do not need to be used every time as praise and petting will work just as well and in time replace the behavior.
Switching Over to a Spoken Command
After your dog has learnt the behavior well, you can switch over to a spoken command that can be used anywhere, even when you do not have the clicker with you.
Just before you use the clicker, say the command and then use the clicker and follow with the reward. Your dog will learn quickly to associate all three.
In time and with the correct clicker training your dog will respond to your verbal cues and praise for their behavior and then they will simply learn it.
Your dog will understand and know the behavior that pleases you and the need for treats and praise will be over.
Clicker training your dog has many applications as you can imagine. There are many ways that it can make training your dog much easier. You can make and reinforce almost any behavior with a simple, sharp command.