Believing These 8 Myths About Training For Dogs Is Gentle Keeps You From Growing

There are several dog training techniques, but clicker training is probably the most gentle, effective and fun. As with any dog training method, repetition, patience, persistence and consistency are the keys to success with clicker training for dogs.

A Quick Explanation of What Clicker Training Really Is

First, it’s important to understand that clicker training works exclusively by means of positive reinforcement. You do not make any corrections or physically compel your pet to do anything. Punishment, whether it’s scolding your dog or something more physical, is simply not a section of clicker training for dogs.

Instead of using harsh corrections, clicker training’s humane, reward-based techniques train dogs through the use of time-tested psychological principles. Specifically, this scientifically-based training technique capitalizes on a straightforward, clear to see core principle of dog psychology: behavior that’s positively reinforced (rewarded) is more likely to be repeated, while behavior that is not reinforced (ignored) is less inclined to be repeated.

Clicker training involves letting your pet hear an audible click at the precise moment he is doing what you want, then immediately giving your pet a treat to reward that desired behavior. Your dog will soon arrived at love hearing that click and can work to create it happen, because he’ll associate the click with receiving a treat. Essentially, the clicker tells your pet which particular behavior you need, and that he’ll receive a treat when he does it. You also use verbal commands and/or hand signals as long as you’re having your pet perform the behavior you’re teaching him.

As your dog learns the commands connected with that behavior, you gradually phase out the clicking. As soon as your dog has formed a good association between your commands and the desired behavior, performing it reliably each and every time, the treats can even be phased out.

Rather than punishing undesirable behaviors, clicker training for dogs uses the power of positive association. You click to mark (identify) the precise behavior you want and then immediately follow it with an incentive. Because unwanted actions are ignored (and go unpunished) while desired behaviors are rewarded, clicker training sessions are highly motivating. Clicker training can be used to teach your dog almost anything you want, including traditional obedience commands and tricks.

About the Clicker Itself

The clicker is an inexpensive, plastic hand-held device. It produces a sudden, audible click once you press its small metal button or strip. Dogs have sharp hearing, and several can hear the click from just as much as 30 yards away. As the click is distinctive and always sounds identical, it’s impossible for your dog to misinterpret.

The click tells your dog that what he is doing is precisely the behavior you want. It simultaneously pinpoints the desired behavior and gives your dog consistent, immediate positive feedback. In a nutshell, the clicker is really a tool that pairs the sound of the click with receiving a treat. With repetition, your pet forms a solid mental association between these two otherwise unrelated things. Because you only click whenever your dog does what you would like (for which you will immediately reward him), he quickly learns that whenever he hears the click, he’s going to receive a treat.

A Step-by-step Guide to Clicker Training for Dogs

Clicker training for dogs is effective with all ages and breeds, including young pups. Workout sessions should be short (5 minutes or so) to help keep them fun and engaging, but have several each day.

Follow the seven steps below to use a clicker to successfully train your pet:

1. Teach your pet that the sound of the clicker means he’s about to receive a treat and praise. You can do – while your pet is standing calmly, click and then immediately give him a delicacy and praise. He’ll get the idea after you do that several times.

2. Choose the behavior you need your dog to learn. Let’s use sit for example. Either await him to sit on his own, or coax him to sit with a treat.

3. The instant he begins to execute the required behavior (his rump starts heading down, in this example), mark the behavior with a click.

4. Reinforce and reward the behavior (sitting) by praising your pet and giving him a delicacy. Keep the treats small but tasty so he’s wanting to receive them. He’ll soon start sitting by himself because he wants to hear the click and obtain the praise and treat.

5. Instill the behavior with repetition. Gradually increase the challenges your dog faces during his training sessions. For example, slowly raise the duration, distance and distractions.

6. Put in a verbal command and/or hand signal to cue your pet to perform the required behavior.

7. Once it’s clear your pet understands what you would like him to do and does it reliably, gradually phase out the clicker and treats. Your pet will now sit on your verbal command or hand signal.

Remember, clicker training isn’t command-based. If your pet doesn’t respond to your verbal command or hand signal, he’s not disobeying you – he just hasn’t learned the cue (yet). Show patience and keep practicing.

The Pros and Cons of Clicker Training for Dogs

Clicker training has multiple advantages. It is possible to teach your dog just about anything without resorting to punishment. It is a positive, stress-free training technique that builds a solid bond between you as well as your dog rather than causing your pet to fear or be intimidated by you. Your pet could be more confident because he’ll gain an obvious understanding of the behavior you need rather than focusing on avoiding what’s wrong. It’s even effective with pups.

Some people aren’t keen on clicker training for dogs since they want their dogs to obey them out of respect, not because they want a treat or they’ve been “brainwashed.” However, there’s no question that training technique is effective. Your dog will do as you ask because you’ve taught him that you’re happy when he does.

I know how it usually is tough and time consuming to train your dog. With patience and consistency it will be possible to put an end to all your dog’s “problems” nevertheless, you need to do it the correct way.

Written By DionSalzer

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