Clicker training is an excellent way to train your puppy. It can be used successfully to train dogs of all ages and shape their behavior using some kind of marker signal. The method is greatly useful when you are training puppies or young dogs.
Clicker training involves the use of a handheld, mechanical device – a clicker – that produces a “click” sound when pressed. With its roots in the behavioral psychology, such type of teaching is also known as positive reinforcement training. It focuses on marking the desirable behavior with the clicker sound to inform the dog that he is doing the right thing. When combined with rewards, such clear communication works wonder.
This type of dog training can be used for teaching many things, including commands – how to walk on a leash, tricks, and a lot more. It is also considered an effective, safe, and humane way to train your pet befitting his physical and psychological capability.
Puppy Clicker Training and Treats Go Hand-in-Hand
Some people feel that there is no benefit in training their puppy with a clicker since it also calls for the use of treats. However, clicker training is far more effective than just using treats and other types of rewards to reinforce it. This is because clicker training involves positive reinforcement as well as conditioning. Your dog becomes conditioned to respond to the clicking sound. This makes future training a lot less difficult with or without rewards.
Initially, frequent treats are required to get your dog used to the clicker training. After a while, treat rewards are reduced, as these are not required as too frequently. You need to give treats occasionally to maintain the training effectiveness.
Clicker Train Your Puppy in A Few Simple Steps
You do not need to be a professional to use clicker training. It is simple to train your puppy using a clicker device. Follow these easy steps, and you will be using a clicker in no time at all:
- Find a relaxed training area.
- Prepare a Ziploc bag with treats or other food to be doled out rewards. Whenever possible, begin training just before the mealtime to make sure your dog is motivated by the treats.
- Press the device and reward your puppy with a treat as soon as you have their attention. Repeat this process about TEN more times or until your puppy is used to the clicker.
- Give a basic command such as “sit.”
- Press the clicker when your dog sits obeying your command.
- Reward your puppy with a treat and praise him.
The same steps can be followed for training other commands and behaviors.
Clicker Useful for Both Basic and Advanced Dog Training
Clicker training is perfect for basic dog training because of its simplicity. Once your dog knows the clicker, you can utilize it for more complicated training routines. For instance, you can use the clicker to prompt your dog through a hula hoop in preparation for other activities required in agility trials. You can also make use of the clicker to teach your dog tricks, such as twirl, speak, crawl, play dead, and more.