What is clicker training?
Clicker training pairs something that the dog likes (food a toy etc.) in combination with the clicker. During a training session, the clicker is used at the point where the dog is doing something that you desire, which is then followed by giving the dog something that it likes.
Why is clicker training effective?
Dogs very quickly link that the 'click' means that something they like is coming (usually within a few clicks), and quite soon after that they start to understand that it is what they are doing that drives the clicks.
Why use a clicker?
A clicker makes a unique sound which helps to make it clear to the dog the exact moment that they are doing the right thing.
The 'click' of a clicker is neutral, unlike our voices which can change to sound excited, happy, angry or frustrated, the neutral sound makes it easier for dog's to understand.
Why don't you use punishments as well as rewards?
Research has shown that punishment can reduce the frequency of unwanted behaviour, but it can also result in producing other unwanted behaviour, or making a behaviour worse.
With clicker training you are focusing on the positive rather than the negative and the difference between a dog that wants to work to earn reinforcer’s rather than avoid punishment is vast.
Do clicks and treats need to be used forever?
No! Once a dog has confidently learned a behaviour and they respond to the cue for that behaviour in different environments and situations, then the dog understands the behaviour so there is no need to constantly click and treat it. The behaviour can be maintained by occasional rewards or less intensive rewards like praise.
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