- It’s a matter of science. Clicker training is based on the idea that animals tend to learn by association. The clicker helps the dog form a connection in his mind between the command and the behavior.
- The clicker helps the dog identify the desired behavior. The key to success in dog training is to get your dog to repeat the desired behavior, Using a clicker helps the dog make the connection between the behavior and the reward more quickly.
- The clicker is paired with the reward. After giving a command, the clicker is used as soon as the dog performs the behavior. The dog will get used to hearing the sound in conjunction with the behavior, followed by the reward.
- The reward is still very important. The point of the clicker is just to help the dog identify the desired behavior; you still need to reward your dog for responding appropriately if you want him to repeat the behavior.
- You don’t have to use a real clicker. You don’t necessarily need to use an actual clicker to incorporate this training method; you just need something that will make a short, quick noise.
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Don’t over-use the clicker. Clicker training is designed to help the dog identify the desired behavior, so once your dog learns which behavior he is supposed to repeat, you can stop using the clicker.
- There is a risk for dependence. Some people fear that using a clicker means that the dog will only perform the desired behavior to the sound of the clicker. To prevent this from happening, only use the clicker during the first few repetitions of any given command.
- The clicker is clearly defined. Because dogs cannot comprehend human speech, they simply learn to identify certain words and phrases. This being the case, many of the words we speak to our dogs are meaningless. But the sound of the clicker is clearly defined, which makes it effective in helping the dog form an association between the behavior and the reward.
- The clicker makes training faster. The more quickly your dog learns to identify the desired behavior, the more quickly he will learn to repeat it. The clicker helps to speed up the whole process.
The Bottom Line
Clicker training can be incredibly effective as a dog training method, as long as you use it properly. By following these tips and techniques, you can easily incorporate clicker training into your dog training at home.