- What is a Clicker
- Why is clicker more effective than words of encouragement?
- Advantages and Disadvantages & How To Use A Clicker To Train A Dog
- How a dog clicker works
- Clicker training for dogs – how to use basic principles and teaching commands
- You might also want to look at the following Training:
- Clicker Training 101 (Complete Guide):
- When Do Puppies Stop Chewing – Biting, Nipping and Mouthing Explained:
- How To Crate Train A Puppy – Crate Training 101:
- How To House Train A Puppy – EASILY Potty Train Advice & Tips:
- Puppy Training – Want Your Dog To Listen? Our Easy Guide:
- Teaching Puppy to Walk on Leash:
- Puppy Jumping – Tips to Stop Your Puppy Jumping on People:
- Teaching Puppy To Sit – Is it possible within Minutes:
What is a Clicker
Author: Vernon Mclean
How To Use A Clicker To Train A Dog – The dog training clicker is a special device that was invented by Karen Pryor, a famous trainer. She simply adopted a principle that was originally used to train dolphins. Animal training, especially those living in the water element, requires special methods. After all, a dolphin cannot be put on a collar, harness or leash in order to somehow control its behavior.
Dolphin training required the use of positive methods, with the animal doing the exercise solely for reward. It was necessary to develop a special way of communicating with the animal in order to be able to reward him even at a distance.
The key to success was working with a whistle that makes a specific sound. As you know, dolphins communicate using ultrasound. It is vaguely similar to a series of clicks, whistles. The sound of the whistle of a certain tone meant for the animal that it would now receive a reward for the trick it performed. Thus, training of aquatic mammals became much easier and began to bring the desired results quickly.
The clicker mimics the same job with a dog, not a dolphin. Only instead of a whistle, which is much more convenient, a click is used. Karen Pryor, a renowned trainer, adapted this technique for dogs and wrote her famous book, Dog Training with the Clicker.
Today, the clicker is used to train a wide variety of animals – seals, horses, monkeys, parrots and even zebras.
The clicker provides a clear connection with the animal. With its help, you can teach him not only various tricks, but also perform complex actions.
Today, the use of the clicker has become very popular for training dogs and correcting the behavior of beloved pets.
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What is it & how to use a Clicker to Train a Dog:
The clicker is a button or curved plate embedded in a plastic or metal case. A string or elastic is usually attached to this body, with which you can hang it on the trainer’s wrist, around the neck, and attach it to the bag. When you press a button or plate with your finger, you will hear a characteristic sound, click, click.
The cost of such a tool is small, it all depends on the characteristics of the clicker.
Types of Clickers:
There are different types of clickers that are useful for all kinds of training methods. Some are quiet, while others are loud.
- The button clicker is very convenient to use, it can be easily pressed not only with your fingers, but also by putting it on the floor with your foot. However, it has one drawback – a quiet sound. Therefore, it is better to use it indoors, at home.
- The plate clicker is less convenient, as you can only press on it with your fingers. Its advantage is a loud sound, so it is better to use such a clicker on the street, where there are many other noises that distract the dog. There are plate clickers with a volume control.
- The Target Clicker is a retractable pointer. Such a tool is usually used by professional trainers to teach the dog complex tricks.
Simple push-button and plate clickers are cheap, within 100 rubles. The price of a clicker with a target is much more expensive.
Is it possible to make a clicker with your own hands:
You don’t need to do anything here with your own hands. It is enough to find a small object that can produce a characteristic clicking sound.
- A lid for a jar of baby food. If you press the middle, you will hear a click.
- The piezo lighter element is also quite suitable.
- Ballpoint pen with automatic push-button extension.
You just need to remember that if the object breaks or gets lost, then it will be difficult to subsequently find exactly the same one, so that the sound is as similar as possible.
Why is clicker more effective than words of encouragement?
Of course, the clicker sound can be replaced with a suitable word. For the dog, this will mean the same as clicking. However, it is better not to use verbal encouragement for novice trainers. Dogs are very sensitive to the human voice. But a person pronounces the same word of encouragement differently each time. The intonation, speed, tone of voice and volume change. Therefore, the animal perceives this word in different ways. At some point, it may sound like something completely unfamiliar to him.
Why you need a clicker for dogs is easy to understand. It always makes the same sound. Therefore, it is much easier for a dog to get used to this constant sound than to a word spoken by a person.
Advantages and Disadvantages & How To Use A Clicker To Train A Dog
To understand how to use a clicker to train dogs, you need to know about all its advantages and disadvantages. Here are the undeniable benefits:
- The clicker sound is always the same, so there is no need to worry – the animal knows exactly what it deserves.
- Therefore, training takes place in a relaxed environment, stress-free for both the dog and the trainer.
- The speed of getting the result in training is higher with the clicker.
- The clicker allows you to more accurately adjust the dog’s behavior. Because the animal begins to better understand the commands, memorize them reliably, and learn easily.
- Even if the dog is quite far away for a walk, he will hear the clicker sound.
- The clicker is very convenient to use, it is small, fits in the palm of your hand, you can carry it with you literally everywhere.
However, this convenient and effective tool has its drawbacks, when the use of the clicker needs to be suspended for a while or used only in a certain setting:
- Agitation. An overly emotional dog, hearing the clicker sound, can become agitated. He will be too active to rejoice that now he will receive an award and forget about everything in the world. In this case, you should first work on balancing the state of the animal, working with it only in a calm atmosphere and in a calm mood. This requires patience and perseverance from the trainer.
- Fear. Some animals are afraid of any harsh sounds, even a clicker. Perhaps this is in the past. The dog was once frightened by a similar sound and now exhibits the same behavior. In this case, you first need to rid the animal of fear with the help of special exercises and only then use the clicker.
- Weak hearing or deafness. Unfortunately, not all animals are in perfect health. Rarely enough, but there are dogs that are deaf for various reasons. Here the clicker is, of course, useless. However, you can replace it with a flashlight signal.
How a dog clicker works
First of all, the dog must understand what the sound signal that the clicker emits means to him. To do this, you just need to “encode” with the help of special actions the dog’s brain so that it always reacts to sound. In answering the question in short, “How To Use A Clicker To Train A Dog” – It is very easy to do this with the help of encouragement, reward – delicious.
First step. The clicker sound is a reward!
Take a clicker and a few pieces of your favorite dry food in your hand. Just press a button on the device to get the dog’s attention and then give him a treat.
Now, at the first stage, “How To Use A Clicker To Train A Dog”, it is not at all necessary to require the animal to execute any commands. The main task is to accustom your pet to the fact that the clicker sound for him means that he will now be given a treat.
The first time you click on the clicker, when the dog itself drew attention to you. Then click at any other point in time. The main thing is for the animal to become interested in this “game” and to develop a persistent reflex to the clicker.
Then the clicker sound will cease to be one of many other sounds in the background for the dog.
Second phase. Testing the fixed effect
After a few days, you should check how effective your dog clicker training is. Second Stage, “How To Use A Clicker To Train A Dog”, if the dog’s ears rise at the sound of the clicker, the head turns towards the trainer and the eyes look for the owner’s gaze, this means that the signal is working.
Therefore, we can already start using the clicker to reward the dog after performing simple and already known commands or actions. Any dog, even not trained, but communicating with its owner for some time, is able to perform some actions at his request. For example, he is suitable for the call “come here” or at least knows his nickname.
This is exactly the simplest action that can be fixed with the help of the clicker and the reward following its sound.
How and when can such a test be done? For example, when the dog is at a short distance from you, for example, walking from the kitchen to the room or calmly walking next to you on a leash down the street. This is where you can click on the clicker button and watch its reaction, and then be sure to reward.
Such a test should not be performed too often, since in this way we can inadvertently reinforce the random behavior of the animal. One or two times will be enough to get a clear idea of how entrenched the dog’s reaction to the clicker is.
Dog Clicker Training – How It Works
How To Use A Clicker To Train A Dog with commands. If the dog is already responding appropriately to the clicker sound, we can begin teaching commands or developing new behaviors. This will make it much easier for the dog to learn. The dog, after each properly executed command, receives a clear signal that this action is correct. The owner expects this behavior from her!
Thus, a complete understanding is established between the animal and the trainer.
The clicker is especially useful when walking.
The clicker can be used perfectly in everyday situations. For example, the neutral reaction of a dog when he does not pay attention to bread or other bait lying on the ground. He walks quietly alongside on a free, released leash.
Many dog owners would like to get this behavior from their pets. Then the walk becomes a pleasure, not a constant tug-of-war and hassle. These are very valuable skills.
It is very easy to acquire and enhance them using a clicker. Just press the button at the right time and your pet will know that his behavior at the moment deserves a reward.
Then he will strive to change his behavior, and then this will be fixed in him as a norm.
You can form new complex behaviors using the clicker
This method of teaching new behaviors should be divided into separate stages. Each of these stages should have a specific, small goal, the next step towards the formation of the desired behavioral response.
For example, you want to teach your dog to calmly leave the entrance for a walk. To do this, divide the entire action into several stages. First, form the correct behavior before leaving the apartment door. Then – during the opening of the door, then the passage along the entrance, etc.
In doing so, use the clicker and the reward that follows to reinforce each of the small goals achieved.
You can reward those positive actions that the dog shows on its own initiative.
Sometimes a walk, especially during bad weather or cold winter, is not enough for the dog to have a good time, run up and throw out the energy that it has accumulated. Returning from a walk, the animal will still “rage”, trying to involve everyone around in its noisy games. This doesn’t always work well for furniture, carpets, even your clothes. And the neighbors do not like the constant “bangers” at all.
Offer her mind games that consume a lot of excess energy.
This is how it might look in reality:
- Take a large, empty cardboard box and set it up in a corner of the room that your dog likes.
- Once she’s interested in the box, watch carefully.
- For any positive action – looking, sniffing, etc., use the clicker and reward the animal.
- The main thing is to be patient and wait for the dog to show itself, to perform any interesting, in your opinion, action.
- This behavior can be reinforced and gradually turned into a wonderful trick. It can then be proudly demonstrated, for example, to guests.
Clicker training for dogs – how to use basic principles and teaching commands
Learning with a clicker is very easy. Is it hard to push a button or a record? Of course not. However, this tool must be used correctly. There are certain rules here, each of which has its own meaning. And these rules must never be violated. Otherwise, the whole workout will go to waste.
Here’s how to use the clicker.
Just one click:
The most important teaching principle is to click only once before rewarding the dog with a tasty treat. If you click on the clicker several times, for example, five, then you should encourage it the same number of times, give out five tasty pieces.
Each click on the clicker is accompanied by a reward, and nothing else!
The duration of the workout should be short and only lasts 15 minutes
Don’t press the button if you don’t have a treat
Before you click, make sure you have a tasty morsel in your pocket to give your pet. Lack of reward is deceiving the animal. You should never disappoint your dog! Having once received a negative experience, the pet will remember it well. And next time it will be very difficult, almost impossible to overcome this feeling. It will be clearly associated with the clicker sound.
If you clicked on the clicker button by accident, be sure to give the dog a treat right there.
Never just click unless you have any reason to do so.
Click the clicker deliberately
A clicker sound for a dog means well done. And then, when the encouragement is received, the dog retires. By her behavior, she shows that she has fulfilled her mission, and now she has the right to drop everything and run about her dog business.
Therefore, if you, for example, practice the command “sit” with the help of a clicker, do not expect that after clicking the dog will remain in a sitting position. Each time, carefully consider what kind of behavior you want to reward your dog for.
If you need to work out the very moment when the dog comes down to the ground after the command to sit, then click and reward it immediately.
In the event that you want the animal, after crouching, not to run away immediately, but to remain in a given position, wait a few seconds and only then click the clicker and encourage the animal. Try to maintain eye contact with the dog during this pause, as if reinforcing the expectation of a reward with your promise. Reward not for crouching, but for showing patience.
Voice and clicker?
Of course, all commands must be given by voice, without using a clicker. And only after the command is executed correctly, a click is heard and something delicious is given.
Can you also reward your dog with your voice? Of course, but only after the clicker has sounded.
Don’t use a clicker to call your dog for a walk
The clicker sound is only used to reward the dog’s desired behavior. If you replace the command “to me” by clicking, it will be a big mistake.
The dog will understand that it is being rewarded for being as far away from the owner as possible. Therefore, he will try to run away from you a long distance, each time increasing the distance.
In this case, you need to use the clicker, to work out the command “to me”, given exclusively by voice, only when the dog is near.
What should be delicious
For reward, use small pieces that are soft enough that the dog can eat quickly. Even large breeds need to be rewarded with small pieces.
Try not to feed your dog before training. She must “work” for food.
Create an atmosphere of benevolent, positive, take up the dog training only in a good mood.
It is easy to train dogs with a clicker, you just saw it. Reviews of people using this technique on the Internet are mostly positive.
The owners of the dogs note, basically, that their pets dramatically “grow wiser” after such training. They learn quickly, become calmer, more balanced. The process itself is like a fun game, so they are happy to work with their animals.
Puppytrainingscoop.com wishes you to try this wonderful training method, which gives a lot for both the dog and the trainer. After all, a special aura of understanding begins to develop between the pet and its owner, literally at first sight.
You might also want to look at the following Training:
Clicker Training 101 (Complete Guide):
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