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Clicker Training as an Effective Dog Training Tool

Aug 17, 2007
Clicker Training, is a training method created on operant conditioning which comes from the fact that the reinforcer used a small mechanical noisemaker that produces clicking sound called the clicker. Clicker training can be used to train animals other than dogs like horses, cats, pigeons, etc.

The real difficulty when training a dog, is in communicating accurately and at the right time when the dog is behaving correctly. Traditionally when a dog did behave correctly, you praise him only after he move to some other behavior which may not be a good behavior and thus strengthening something that you might not want. Besides the precise timing of the communication, your tone, loudness of your voice, pronunciation and speed may send confusing signal to your dog.

This irregularity is overcomed by clicker training. Clicker Training make use of the clicking sound as a brief signal that dog can capture almost at once when he behave correctly which solve the problem of timing and prevent the problem of irregularity in comparison with the use of the trainer voice.

Clicker training do have its down side when too much dependence is placed on the physical clicker to signal to the dog, especially when there come a situation when you do not have the clicker on you or in a place where sound can be a problem such as in hunting environment or in a certain public places.

You should strive to combine the training of your dog with voice or hand command jointly with the clicker. The clicker can be used as the preliminary training as more command and cues are added. In this way by the time you start to fade out the clicker training there would not be any problem communicating with your dog.

The goal of implementing clicker training program is to produce connection between the clicker sound and reward in your dog perception. This connection is created by clicking the clicker each and every time the dog behave correctly and thereafter giving him the reward which can come in a tasty treat that can be consume almost immediately. This is done repeatedly from 10 -15 times per session. Some dog make the connection faster than others.

One of the procedures to know if your dog has made the connection is by allowing your dog interest to be shifted to other things before clicking. If the dog instantly looks toward you upon you clicking the clicker, then most probably the dog has made the connection. Once this is done, you can use the clicker to indicate desired behaviors. This is done by immediately clicking and rewarding your dog after the dog carry out the desired behavior. The key is in the timing, clicking too early or too late weaken the effectiveness of the training sessions.

As stressed before, clicker training is only one of the training method, and it has its disadvantages, combining this training method with the others will improve the effectiveness of training your dog. Do learn and study the many practical ways you can do with this training method that can make this training a more fun and meaningful way which is so numerous that simply cannot be cover in this article.
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Leo Enoch is providing a Free Tips and Information on Effective Dog Training Solution.

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