WHAT IS CLICKER TRAINING?
So, before you start clicker training your dog, you need to understand what is it? It is a scientifically method in which you can communicate with your loving pet and it has been used since 1960s. In this method of training, you uses a sound – a – click to tell your pet that he has done something right. It is a very small box held in your palm with a metal tongue which you push promptly. You can teach this clicker training to any animals of any kind or age. This is very popular between puppies or dogs. Here are some tips that you should keep in mind before the clicker training to your dog.
1. UNDERSTAND POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT :- Positive reinforcement means giving rewards to your pet for good behaviour. You should understand that punishment can make your pet aggressive. Clicker training is a method of positive reinforcement training as you do not control the behaviour of the dog or punish him in this method.
2. HOW CLICKER – TRAINING WORKS :-
You must understand how clicker – training works. The clicker is a very small thing which makes a very different “click” after being pressed. When you click the clicker, it means your dog has done something correctly. You are intended to give him rewards after pressing the clicker, this will help your dog understand that if he behaves properly or learn any tricks, he will receive rewards. Remember that the clicker is not a reward for your dog, however, it is intended to mark whick behaviour is correct. The treat which you will give your dog after pressing the clicker, that is the reward for your dog.
3. LOAD THE CLICKER :- “Loading the clicker” means training your dog by giving rewards after pressing the clicker. Simple click the clicker and then give treat if you want to load the clicker. If you repeat this method, your dog will soon associate the treat with the clicker. Try to use very small treats like small pieces of cheese, small pieces of hot dogs etc, if you want to use clicker training so that your dog can eat that quickly. Also if your pet is already fed then he may not be interested in the rewards so make sure not to feed him before the clicker training.
4. CATCH “GOOD” BEHAVIOUR :- You should wait until your dog performs the action you want, instead of using physical force. For example, if you want your dog to sit, then do not use physical force, but wait for him to sit on his own and then give him treat as his rewards. However, you may move him gently to put him in the correct position but do not force or pull, let your dog to find how to do behave good on its own.
5. START CLICK – TRAINING YOUR DOG :- You can start click – training your dog once you have understand the basics of this method. To start this training, sit infront of your dog and hold the clicker in your left hand and the treat in your right hand, however, you dog will most probably to look at your right hand but ignore this and click the clicker immediately and give your dog treat. Repeat this exercise a few times and then start commanding him by saying sit, lay down, etc and if he does right, reward him with the treat.
6. TROUBLE – SHOOTING :- If your dog runs away after hearing the click then you should make the sound softer by putting a towel on it or by keeping it in the pocket. Some dogs freak out after hearing this sound so if you have a dog with sensitive ears then you can use this method of making the sound quiter. Once your dog associates the click with something positive happening then you can remove the towel from the clicker and use it freely.
7. DO NOT TRAIN MORE THAN ONE DOG WITH A SINGLE CLICKER :- You must use unique sounds for different animals as you do not want your one dog to sit after hearing the click and the other dog to shred the couch while hearing the click.
8. KEEP PRACTICE SESSIONS SHORT :- If you have a dog then you already know that the dogs have short attention spans especially puppies. You can train for five minutes, 3 times a day, instead of training an hour per day without any break. If you do not want your dog to get bored then train him only 5 minutes, 3 times a day. Also dogs do not show interest unless they gets treat so make sure to give him small treats after pressing the clicker.
9. HAVE FUN :- Once you learn to use the clicker training, you will love it. Go and impress you friends by showing off your dog. It will also helps in creating an unique and an unbreakable bond between you and your dog.