Dogs are very friendly animals. They have a habit of repeating things they get appreciated for. That’s why positive reinforcement dog training focuses on rewarding your dog for the behavior you appreciate. For example, think of it as your dog giving you a paw, and you give him a treat for that. So, your dog will most likely give more paws the next time.
Now, that’s where clicker training comes in. You may also hear it in the name of reward training. In this article, you will know how clicker training works and how it reinforces positive behavior in your dogs. Plus, you will also learn about tips for clicker training your dogs.
What Is Clicker Training?
Basically, clicker training is the same positive reinforcement, but here we use the clicker in benefit. A clicker is basically a tiny mechanical noisemaker that when clicked, tells your dog exactly which behavior is rewarding. In this way, your dog understands which behavior is appreciated and which shouldn’t be done. So, it’s basically the click sound of the machine which gives it the name clicker training. Now that you have known what clicker training is, let’s hop into the tips.
Introduce Your Pet To Clicker
It’s important that your pet understands what the clicker does, so take a few treats in small pieces in your hand and click the clicker with another hand. Now, as soon as you click the clicker you need to give your dog a treat. Do this several times and your dog will understand that the clicker and treats are relatable.
Teach Your Dog The Command By Clicking the Clicker
Now you have to teach your dog to act. Like if you want your dog to sit down, as soon as your dog sits you need to click at that time and give them a treat. In this way, you will be gently encouraging your dog. You need to repeat this several times so that your dog understands that you are appreciating. In this way, it will soon connect the desired action click and treat.
Time Is Crucial
Your time is important because it is necessary that your dog understands that the behavior is being rewarded. Try clicking during the desired behavior and give a treat right after that.
Reward Every Time You Click
In your early stage of training, remember that you are making your dog familiar with the click. So you need your pet to understand that click means treat. So, even if you accidentally click on the clicker, give your dog a treat.
Keep The Treats Small
This thing is necessary because you will need to give your dog lots of treats. So you need to keep the treats small, or else your dog will gain weight. Moreover, you cannot introduce your dog to the clicker fast if you give a humongous amount of treats, because your dog may get full easily.
Start Adding Vocal Commands
You also need to add vocal commands to communicate. So continue to click the clicker and reward when your dog does according to your vocal commands. Don’t click or reward your dog if it sits without your commands.
Always End Positively
Training needs effort, so it’s best you end the training with positive notes, like a correct action of your dog, a treat, and lots of praise.
Phase Out The Clicker For Your Dog
Keep in mind that the dog training clicker is only for training your dog’s new behavior. As soon as your dog responds to your verbal behavior, start phasing out the clicker and slowly the treats.
As soon as your dog starts to follow your vocal commands, you should stop giving your pets the treat every time they complete your desired action. But still, after completing the desired action, give them a pat, lots of love, and encouragement. You can also treat them now and then when your dog is listening to your commands.
These are a few of the tips you need to follow and keep in mind while clicker training your dog. Hope you find this article insightful and that it makes the way of training your dog pretty straightforward. Keep an eye on our blog if you want more informative content like this.