Why Use Clicker Training
A clicker works better than a verbal command or a word because it doesn’t change. Your voice changes, your inflection and tone change and quite honestly you can forget the word and then your poor dog is confused. Additionally, when your dog is conditioned to the clicker sound, anyone can train them.
Here’s the kicker…many people are really bad at using the clicker. Seriously. It’s deceptively difficult to click like a pro.
However, You Too Can Be A Clicker Training Pro
Now I’m not saying the device is difficult to use, all you do is press it. However, pressing it at the exact right time to signal a behavior is in fact quite tricky.
When you mark the wrong behavior, say you click too soon or too late, your dog becomes confused about what you’re expecting. It’s like clapping at a concert when the next song is just beginning rather than when the previous song just ended.
The artist thinks your clapping for the song they’ve started. Only the timing is even more critical with a clicker.
The good news is that you can practice using a clicker before you try the little device on your dog. Grab a friend or family member, children are great for this, and try to get them to do something using only the clicker to mark correct behaviors. It can be anything from kicking a ball to sitting down on the living room sofa. You’ll be surprised how difficult it is to click and it’s good practice. Once you’ve mastered humans, clicker training for dogs becomes much easier.
Clicker training is a very effective tool when practicing positive reinforcement training techniques. It helps your dog know exactly what they’re expected to do, makes the training process go more smoothly resulting in less frustration for you and your dog, and embeds behaviors into your dog’s brain – it learns!
Best of all, as part of a positive reinforcement dog training program, clicker training for dogs is a great way to create a strong bond between you and your dog.