This Article is About
positive reinforcement
physical actions
clickers
pitched voice
beaks
exact time
small pieces
short time
gap
Clicker Training Your Dog
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What is clicker training and what is it used for? Clicker training is a type of training where you use a clicker, a small mechanical noise maker, to mark behavior in the beginning stages of training for your dog or other animal.

This type of training uses positive reinforcement and is reward based. By using the clicker in the beginning stages of learning a new behavior, the animal quickly learns what new behavior is sought and the exact behavior of interest.

The clicker was first used in the training of wild-caught pigeons by teaching them to push a ball with their beaks while doing military research. This type of training informs the animal of praise and reward at a much speedier rate than the traditional methods of training.

Clicker training is almost entirely based on positive reinforcement and teaches your dog to learn without using any physical actions or corrections at all.

The Beginning step is important and should not be skipped.

We are going to be forming your dog's behaviors. The clicker is a way to show your dog that he is doing the behavior that is expected of him. At first you will give the dog a treat for each response that is right, however since this takes a short time in seconds, you will use the clicker to mark the exact time of response, this bridges the gap between response and reward. You are going to pair the clicker and a treat or reward until the click itself is what makes your dog happy.

Purchase some clickers and while waiting on your clicker you can choose a word as a bridge word such as "yes" as it sounds happy and is a short word. You would say the word in a high pitched voice. This would replace the clicker. Although the clicker is better to use because the sound of the clicker has a consistent sound and the sound is processed quicker by your dog's brain.

Clickers are only used during the beginning or training phase of any new behavior.

Now go to a peaceful room with the clicker and a bowl of treats and your dog. The treats should be in small pieces and should be soft treats as hard treats take too much time to eat. Or you could have a large piece that you break small pieces from.

Provided your dog is not misbehaving, click the clicker and then give him a treat. Repeat by clicking again and give him a treat. By doing this we are making the connection for the clicker to be effective and not asking for any behavior yet.

Repeat this procedure 5 - 10 times. You will know when your goal has been accomplished, when you click and your dog immediately looks up at you looking for his treat.

To be successful at this type of training the bridge or clicker must be followed by great reinforcement.

You now have your dog conditioned to the clicker and are now ready for the next step.


Street Talk

leslie2  

I used clicker training with my first dog and have loved it ever since. I used it a lot when he was a puppy but only need to pull it out now when he is learning a new trick. The best thing about it is that we got eye-to-eye in terms of communication. Awesome method! And it DOES work for all breeds and sizes. Even older dogs...

Reply
  about 6 years ago

Hello all, yes it works for all breeds and sizes, in fact other animals such as whales, bears, lions and chickens have been trained with clicker training

Reply
  about 6 years ago

Thanks for the tips.

Reply
  about 6 years ago

Thanks for this article. I've never used clicker training but know people who have had great success with it.

Reply
  about 6 years ago
Joan S  

Thank you for these tips. Does it work with all breeds and sizes? I've had little dogs and big ones. They were all wonderful, but I think they managed to train me before I could get to them.

Reply
  about 6 years ago
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