Clicker Training Information
If you are looking for an effective, inexpensive technique to train your dog and have time to spend working with your dog, then Clicker training is an extremely good option for you. Putting in the time and effort you can teach your dog good behavior habits and you will be rewarded with a well behaved dog.
Your dog is encouraged to perform actions through the use of signals both verbal and non verbal, clicks and rewards. It will learn very quickly that if it performs certain actions a reward will follow. Encouraging good behavior by rewarding your dog is a clear sign to the animal that the action it has performed is satisfying to you (the trainer).
Clicker training falls under the rubric of operant conditioning which differs from other forms of conventional training as there is much less negative reprimand to modify adverse behavior. If the preferred action is not performed acceptably, the dog is never spoken to unkindly or physically hurt. The dog is given neutral verbal signs to let it know that it has not performed something that is to be rewarded.
Simplicity and Power
Clicker training requires consistency and patience. Dogs recognize the concept of reward making this training technique easy for your dog to understand.
Using a clicker to accurately identify correct behavior at the exact moment the desired action is performed is quicker than giving verbal praise. In the time it takes to say “good boy” when a dog performs the desired behavior, it may have moved onto an undesired response, before the praise has time to register. Therefore the dog may not understand that the verbal praise was for its response to “sit” and not for “barking at the passing car” that occurred a split second later.
Every successful desired action is met with a click and a reward regardless of how small. Incorrect or undesired actions are met with a neutral disincentive. Your dog will learn very quickly which actions will be rewarded and will opt for these rather than the undesired actions.
Clicker training works exceptionally well due to its foundation in consistent positive reinforcement. Animals previously trained with traditional conditioning can still be trained with the clicker method. Studies have shown that dogs changed over to clicker training still produce great results. During the initial training sessions, if the trainer puts time into assisting the dog, which can require 20 to 50 successful repetitions or cycles the outcome will be worth the effort. Once the dog comprehends target actions, non-verbal & verbal signals can be added later.