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Don’t Waste Time! 8 Facts Until You Reach Your Training For Dogs Is Gentle

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 will be the keys to success with clicker training for dogs.

A Quick Explanation of What Clicker Training IS REALLY

First, it’s important to recognize 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 pet or something more physical, is merely not a part of clicker training for dogs.

Instead of using harsh corrections, clicker training’s humane, reward-based techniques train dogs by applying time-tested psychological principles. Specifically, this scientifically-based training technique capitalizes on a simple, easy to understand 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 dog hear an audible click at the precise moment he is doing what you would like, then immediately giving your pet a delicacy to reward that desired behavior. Your pet will soon come to love hearing that click and will work to make it happen, because he’ll associate the click with finding a treat. Essentially, the clicker tells your pet which particular behavior you need, and that he’ll get a treat when he does it. You also use verbal commands and/or hand signals as long as you’re having your dog perform the behavior you’re teaching him.

As your pet learns the commands associated 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 every time, the treats may also be phased out.

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

About the Clicker Itself

The clicker can be an inexpensive, plastic hand-held device. It produces a sudden, audible click when you press its small metal button or strip. Dogs have sharp hearing, and many 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 the dog to misinterpret.

The click tells your pet that what he is doing is precisely the behavior you need. It simultaneously pinpoints the required behavior and gives your pet consistent, immediate positive feedback. In short, the clicker is really a tool that pairs the sound of the click with finding a treat. With repetition, your pet forms a strong mental association between both of these otherwise unrelated things. Because you only click whenever your dog does what you want (that you will immediately reward him), he quickly learns that when he hears the click, he’s about 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. Training sessions should be short (five minutes or so) to keep them fun and engaging, but have several every day.

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

1. Teach your dog that the sound of the clicker means he’s about to receive a treat and praise. It’s easy to do – while your dog is standing calmly, click and immediately give him a treat and praise. He’ll obtain the idea after you do this several times.

2. Choose the behavior you want your dog to learn. Let’s use sit for example. Either wait for him to sit on his own, or coax him to sit by using a treat.

3. The instant he begins to execute the required behavior (his rump starts going 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 treat. Keep carefully the treats small but tasty so he’s eager to receive them. He’ll soon start sitting by himself because he wants to hear the click and get the praise and treat.

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

6. Add a verbal command and/or hand signal to cue your dog to perform the desired behavior.

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

Remember, clicker training isn’t command-based. If your pet doesn’t react to your verbal command or hand signal, he’s not disobeying you – he just hasn’t learned the cue (yet). Be patient 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 and your dog rather than causing your pet to fear or be intimidated by you. Your pet will be more confident because he’ll gain an obvious understanding of the behavior you want rather than focusing on avoiding what’s wrong. It’s even effective with young puppies.

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

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