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Cut Training Time in Half with Clicker Dog Training

Aug 17, 2007
Using a clicker to train your dog is relatively new in the dog obedience world. The clicker itself is a simple piece of equipment, nothing more than a small rectangular box with a metal button that clicks when pressed. Many trainers that integrate this training method in with more conventional obedience training have found that it can cut training time in half for some dogs.

The idea behind clicker training is that it is a type of enforced training without the punishment aspect. Dogs learn through repetition and when they do the right thing and are rewarded for it they will continue with that behavior. Dogs also like to please their humans and if they do something that earns praise and a treat they will learn this behavior because it makes us happy. The converse is also true. If they do not behave or do as commanded they then get ignored or told no in a strict voice. A dog soon comes to realize that when this occurs no praise or treat will be given and they do not like that.

Clicker dog training works on the principle that good behavior will be rewarded. For instance if you are training your dog to sit you give the command. When he sits you click your clicker and give him a treat. You repeat this process with each behavior you are teaching him to do. He will soon connect the clicking sound with a reward, whether it's a treat or praise. The clicking sound acts as an event marker that instantly communicates approval of what he is doing. During the first sessions of clicker training it is best to stay close to the dog so that the click and reward or treat can be given almost simultaneously. This allows your dog to associate the two happenings quickly.

As your dog becomes more used to this type of training you can begin to delay the reward portion of the training. This will allow you to start training your dog at a distance, giving you the ability to control your dog when he is off the leash. Again, you will still click at the moment a command is successfully done, but the click is now a signal that there will be a reward in the near future.

The clicker should never be used as a punishment or with punishment as it will send the wrong message to your dog. While punishing your dog for bad behavior may work sometimes it can create other unwanted behaviors. Because dogs have little or no sense of time and they are usually punished after they have done something wrong they seldom understand why they are being punished. If you use the clicker at this time they will associate its use with being punished.

The interesting thing about clicker dog training is that the use of a clicker to train is used on other animals such as horses, birds, and dolphins. If you want to speed up the process of training your dog consider the use of a clicker. It is becoming more popular and it does produce great training results.
About the Author
To learn more about clicker dog training and other training tips and tricks please visit the website Worfdog.com .
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