01395 642 065
01395 642 065
Whether you’re training a new puppy to sit calmly or a complex trick routine, you need a proven method for positive reinforcement training that will help you get the results you want.
Clicker training could be just what you need.
Clicker training is an effective way to teach your dog desired behaviours. It uses a small box with a button that makes a distinctive ‘click’ sound when pressed. This is used to ‘mark’ desired behaviours before rewarding your dog with a treat or a play with a highly motivating, favourite tug toy.
The clicker lets you indicate to your dog that they are doing the right thing at precisely the right moment. It’s safe, humane and backed up by animal behaviour science as one of the best ways to teach your dog almost any behaviour.
Clicker training is based on the same foundation as any other positive training. Your dog should be happy and willing to play and you should follow their lead. If at any point they are disengaged or not enjoying the training, you should stop.
If you do opt to use a toy instead of treats, the secret is to play with it with them. Interactive engagement with you, with a tug toy they love, takes the reward to the next level. Simply throwing the toy and not doing anything else isn’t enough.
Clicker training isn’t a punishment or dominance-based method of training. Studies, and personal experience, show us that these negative training methods are harmful and ineffective.
There’s also a common misconception is that clicker training is ‘bribing’ your dog into doing what you want. But that’s not the case. Bribing isn’t an effective way to train. Bribing is when the food comes first. With clicker training, it comes after - only as a reward.
Don’t get frustrated. Instead, ask yourself if your dog truly understands what they need to do, and if they are sufficiently motivated to do it. Then try again. If needed, go back to basics with step one (above). Be patient and offer lots of encouragement.
Adding variety to clicker training can help keep your dog’s motivation and focus high. Here are a couple of things you can try: