Dog Clicker Training Reinforces Positive Behavior

>> 11/8/09

Training dogs has many methods and one of these methods is called Dog Clicker Training. It is used to train dogs, but was first introduced to train dolphins. It allowed the use of a clicker or a clicking sound to communicate to the dolphins as they swam under the water. The clicker method was found to be useful for other animals as well, including puppies, fish, elephants and other animals.

A clicker is a simple metal gadget that creates a click sound that does not waver in volume or pitch. It is a quick single sound that animals are not afraid of and can respond to quickly. This type of training is one of the most humane ways to train a dog. It does not hurt the body of the dog or injure the dogs ears. Dog clicker training is used to associate the sound of the clicker with the desired behavior the trainer or owner seeks.

The idea of using a tool such as a clicker is to reward the dog or puppy with the quick sound of a click and a small treat when the dog obeys it's trainer. Many times in training a dog receiving a treat alone is not as successful. The reason for this is that once the dog has achieved it's goal, it quickly moves on to another activity and while the owner rewards the pet with a small treat the dog has already moved on to another activity. This proves to be confusing to the dog and training the dog takes longer and can frustrate both the dog and the owner. If the clicker is used to train the dog, the behavior is associated with the click immediately, and the dog associates the good behavior with the click, and not the delayed response of a treat.

The owner, or trainer will want to start with allowing the dog to get used to hearing the click and immediately receiving a small treat. Soon, the owner will want to allow the dog to do a small task, one that the dog already is doing or has already learned. An example of this is if the dog is on a walk, and the dog urinates outside as opposed to inside. Immediately after the dog uses the outside for its waste, the clicker is used and the dog receives a treat. This reinforces this behavior in a positive way.

Similarly, if the dog jumps up on the couch or people he would be held back from the clicker sound and the treat. If the dog calms down and waits to see what the trainer is going to do, he would be given a quick click as the calmness is rewarded with the click and treat.

As time continues in training, body language and voice commands can be used along side of dogs in clicker training. Together, they bring a strong message to the dog. It will help teach the dog quicker than just simple voice commands or treat commands.

Dog clicker training not only teaches the dog positive behavior and good habits, but can also teach a dog to reject bad habits such as chewing or barking. Dog clicker training is not just the responsibility of the owner to raise a puppy correctly but can add to the overall generation of the canine community. The dog will be a happier one.

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