Clicker Training

What is Clicker Training and Does it Work?

clicker trainingHave you ever heard of clicker dog training? It's actually a really simple and extremely effective technique for helping dogs learn good behavior habits while avoiding any problems.

This type of training revolves around actual science that allows us to really reach our dogs and communicate with them - that is why it works so well! It's a very positive way of teaching your dog because it revolves around rewards, repetition, being consistent, and positively reinforcing good habits.

You will really be excited about the results that come from clicker training and the best part is that there is no violence involved! It's one of the best ways to get that deep bond with your dog while making them happy and building their confidence.

Did you know that clicker training was originally developed to teach dolphins in the 1960s? A woman named Karen Pryor then helped to translate them to the dog world in the 1990s. Since then, it has only become increasingly popular - when you see how effective it is, you'll understand why!

All the clicker does is make a certain quick sound that dogs begin to recognize. You will use that to give them the feedback they need to learn what is right and wrong. It's really that simple!

You're probably wondering how exactly a little clicker can teach your dog so much. The clicker isn't what trains your dog though - it's just the tool that you use. You will begin to figure out a little about dog psychology and how they learn. You will also get some insight into some important principles like classical and operant conditioning.

Together, those things make up the best way to communicate with your dog!

The main idea behind clicker training is that behaviors that are rewarded and reinforced tend to be repeated more often, while those that don't slowly go away. Karen Pryor explains that all animals learn by reactions from people and other animals. Utilizing a clicker is essentially taking that natural desire to learn and shpaing it properly.

So What are Classical and Operant Conditioning?

The classical type is pretty simple, and just involves getting two stimuli that are unrelated and forming an association between them. It's like when you grab your house keys and your dog starts to get excited because they know they are going for a walk! Our dogs become classically conditioned even without our help!

Your goal with clicker training is to associate the sound with getting a reward. Your dog will begin to get very excited every time they hear that click because they will know a tasty treat is soon to follow!

Dogs learn from their actions, and this is where operant conditioning comes into play. What you will be doing is trying to control the consequences of your dog's behavior. It's a lot easier than it might sound. You really just have to provide feedback immediately after they do something. Here are some of the main ways that you can do that:
Another way is to not reinforce a problem behavior at all to make it go away completely. This is referred to as extinction.

If you're still confused, don't worry! The main idea is to make the good behavior more common and the problem behaviors go away. By combining operant and classical conditioning, you can really make a powerful way to communicate with your dog! Clicker training helps you to do this, and that is why it works so well. Your dog will look forward to training sessions because they get mental stimulation and they know it will be filled with rewards and praise.

If you practice harsh punishments or use violence, your dog won't be so enthusiastic about training - in fact, they will dread it. Do you see why that is not the right way to teach our dogs?

Positive reinforcement basically works with the natural instincts and drive of our dogs and gives them confidence to learn and think. This will free them up to really concentrate on doing what you want them to and they will never have to worry about what will happen to them if they mess up! Wouldn't you rather be in that kind of learning environment yourself?

You will be using the clicker for reinforcing and building the desired behavior. You will help the dog to know exactly what they are supposed to do like sitting or staying down at the exact moment it happens. It gives your dog that instant feedback they crave! Dogs that are clicker trained will quickly pick up the fact that the "click" sound is a very good thing. It helps to make that association that we talked about in classical conditioning. It also creates a clear understanding for your dog about when they have completed the job.

Are you starting to see how clicker training allows us to communicate really clearly with our dogs?
Don't worry, you won't always have to use the clicker. When your dog really starts to get the hang of the good behavior and tricks that you want them to know, you'll be able to slowly stop using it.

Clicker Training Tips and Tricks

Karen Pryor Clicker Training - Karen Pryor created clicker training a long time ago as an effective way to teach animals in a positive and uplifting environment. If you want to learn a little bit about her and what she is up to these days, you should check this out!

Clickers for Dog Training - Are you having a difficult time choosing the right clicker for your training? If you are, then you should check out these tips. We will help you to narrow down your search to find the right type and help you get started with this effective obedience training technique.

Clicker Training Puppy - Getting your little dog introduced to the clicker tool early on is a really great idea! You cannot teach them much when they are young, but with these simple tips you will be able to start making the connection in their mind between the click sound, a tasty treat, and obeying you.

Clicker Training Basics - If you really want to prepare yourself before you start using the clicker with your dog, you need to check out these clicker training basics. They are easy to follow tips that will get you in the right mindset before you really start working with your dog to learn obedience and tricks.


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