Clicker Training For Dogs
Clicker training for dogs has a long standing history of success. It’s based on behavioral psychology concept called operant conditioning which says that by marking a behavior and rewarding for it your dog will be better trained.
If they know that each time they hear the click they get a treat then they’re going to work hard to hear that click. They’re going to work hard to not only to perform that desired behavior but to repeatedly perform that desired behavior.
How Clicker Training Works
The dog trainer, presumably you, holds a clicker in your hand. A clicker is a small device you hold in the palm of your hand. When pressed, the device makes a clicking sound.
The sound marks the behavior so your dog knows when he’s done something right. When training dogs, this is a very important event. It’s very easy for them to become confused about what you expect. That why we use clicker training.
Many behaviors have multiple steps. A simple example would be the basic roll over command. Roll over begins with a lie down and then the roll. The clicker helps to eliminate this confusion during the training process.
The click is only the beginning. The dog training process of using the clicker is complete only after the reward has been given. Put another way, the click is not enough to reinforce or motivate the behavior. Let’s face it, they’re dogs.
They love to please their owners but for many it all comes down to yummy treats. Now you don’t have to offer a food reward. You can give verbal and physical praise however food rewards work so well, why not? They’re easy for you to carry and dole out and your dog will most likely prefer them to other alternatives.
Clicker training, when it includes both the behavior marking and the reward, actually encourages your dog to learn new behaviors. It’s more than bribing them for a behavior – it’s teaching them what’s expected and then rewarding them for learning.
Additionally, once the behavior is learned, the clicker is no longer needed. However your dog will still expect rewards and treats for their good behavior – and rightly so!