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is clicker dog training?
dog training is but one of
many different dog training techniques that are out there today. It is a positive
dog training technique that involves using only praise and positive
thrive on positive reinforcement and encouragement. Positive
reinforcement such as acting excited and petting your dog when he does
the right behaviour help with your dog training efforts. Experts have
found that positive dog training is more effective than a system of
punishment. It is a very effective dog training method in any dog
discipline, be it obedience,
tracking or others.
clicker is also called a "reward
marker". It is used to mark the exact
moment that the dog does a desirable behaviour. The click must ALWAYS
be followed by a treat, even when you click at the wrong moment. In
words, the "click" tells the dog that "what you just did, was perfect,
The dog quickly learns that when he hears the click, he will receive a
treat. He now starts working for the click. If you do not
after every click, the clicker looses its power. The dog will offer
different behaviours, just to get that click. He will soon learn that
certain behaviours will result in a click.
At first you
take a treat in your one hand, clicker in the other, and you lure your
dog into the position you want him, for instance a sit. You don't say a
word. The very moment he comes into position, you click and then give a
treat. After about 20 - 30 repetitions you start giving the command,
still luring the dog into position. The dog will now start to associate
the command with the click and thus with the treat. You will soon be
able to stop the luring and just give the command - dog goes into
position - click and treat.
After a while you start clicking
only for fast behaviours as when the dog does a fast sit or a fast
down. Or you can click only for the more correct behaviours - a nice
straight sit and not a skew sit. So he will learn that a skew sit will
not result in a reward. With clicker training the only "punishment" is
not clicking and not treating. If your dog does the wrong behaviour -
don't click and treat. If he repeatedly does the wrong behaviour, you
progressed too fast. Take a few steps back or break the exercise down
into smaller parts and putting it back together (chaining) when he
understands each seperate part.
Just a few
important points to remember with using the clicker:
- Do NOT
use the clicker to call the dog.
- Click once and treat. I found that many people, when
they start, will click a few times before they treat.
- Although your training will go much faster than when
using other methods, do not be in a hurry.
- When your dog performs a certain behaviour
exceptionally well, do
not click twice, but give a bonus of a few treats.
- Remember also to still praise your dog - the click does not replace praise!
- Also, still follow the secrets
of dog training!
This is just a short introduction to clicker training. You will find
more detailed, step by step descriptions on the Article page or you can
follow the links on the left.
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