Clicker training is a form of operant conditioning; this method uses positive reinforcement as stimuli to train dogs. Clicker training is not only limited to dogs, but can be used for training other pets and also small children.
The idea revolves around the use of a noise, a clicking stimulant, which is used to validate the good behavior of a dog often accompanied by a treat or a ‘pat on the head’. This method not only helps with obedience training, but also helps build a bond with all the family members alike. Despite various trainers believing in other methods, this is one of the most effective methods that bear the most fruit.
Here is what you need to do when deciding on clicker train your dog:
You can easily get one at the pet store; remember that perfecting the time on the clicker takes practice. It should be clicked the exact moment when your dog is doing the right thing and not before or after. The click itself is not the treat rather it is associated with the treat. This will relate the dog’s training period with good things and both of you will actually have fun doing it.
2. Accustom your dog to the clicker
Your dog might want to go on an adventure when it hears something click and is not sure where the noise came from or what it is for. The first step is to acquaint the clicker with the dog. Use a quiet space and click the clicker while immediately giving your dog a treat. You have to acclimatize his memory with the sound the clicker produces.
3. How is your dog responding to it?
Observation is key here, your dog’s response will determine whether this method will be useful or not. If your dog runs through the noise, maybe the sound is too harsh for your dog; you can always soften the sound by wrapping a cling film around it. If your dog is still afraid then this is not the method for you.
4. Reward their natural behavior
Your dog surely does have certain habits that you love, such as lying down on their own or drinking from their water bowl without toppling it over. This can be very useful in clicker training as each time your dog does something good on its own you can click and appreciate his good habits. This will significantly encourage your dog to obey you and to always be at his best behavior.
5. Verbal Cue
When trying to associate your dog with the clicker, try to use a verbal cue such as “good girl” or “good boy” to incorporate the sound of the clicker with giving a treat to your canine companion.