Dog Clicker - Why are Dog Clickers
so Effective as Training Aids?
Training canine companions with the aid of a dog clicker is increasingly becoming a widespread trend that is attracting more and more dog owners across the globe.
Based on the scientific principles of operant and classical conditioning, clicker training has obtained many rave reviews from dog owners and trainers experienced in using this brilliant training method.
If you are interested in enhancing your relationship with your dog, learn how clicker training can prove beneficial in many different ways.
What Exactly is a Dog Clicker?
A clicker is basically a noise-making device activated by its user by depressing one side of it with a thumb. Its distinct clicking sound is effectively used to mark wanted behaviors. Because the clicking sound is always followed by a treat, the dog learns pretty quickly to associate the noise produced with a job well done.
While voice may effectively praise a dog for accomplishing something worthy of a reward, dog clickers have been proven to be far more powerful and consistent than voice.
Karen Pryor, a marine mammal trainer, was the first to use what is now known as a ''dog clicker''. She initially used this noise-making device in the 60's to train dolphins and whales which required clear, easy to understand signals.
In 1987, Karen started conducting dog training seminars and educating people on this new reward-based training method. Shortly thereafter, thousands of dog owners and trainers started using a clicker to train their canine companions with astounding results.
Understanding How Clickers Work
In order to understand how clicker training works, a brief journey into learning theory is a must.
Dogs learn about the world around them through associations and consequences. Basically, if upon hearing the distinct clicking sound the dog receives a treat, the dog will soon learn to associate the clicking sound with a training treat. When the equation "click=treat" is clear in the dog's mind, the dog has been classically conditioned to associate the clicker with food.
Once this point has been achieved, the dog can then shift into operant conditioning.
Operant conditioning takes place when the dog learns that its behaviors lead to consequences. This is when the "lightbulb goes on'' and the dog begins realizing he can actually make things happen. For example, if the dog is repeatedly clicked for lifting a paw, the dog will soon learn that this behavior is rewarded; therefore, the behavior will be expected to significantly increase over time.
Why Use Dog Clickers?
A clicker may benefit dogs and dog owners in many ways.
One of the main benefits of clicker training dogs is the fact it helps build confidence in dogs. Once dogs understand they have control over their actions, they start to perform with more enthusiasm and confidence. Dogs that are clicker trained are also more likely to take initiative and learn new behaviors. This helps dogs learn faster and more effectively.
Best of all, a clicker can be used to train dogs a vast array of behaviors. For instance, you can easily train your dog to sit by clicking as soon as its rear touches the floor. In a similar fashion, you can also easily train your dog to come when called, lay down, and fetch a ball.
Because a clicker can mark behaviors as they unfold or shape gradually over time, a dog can be also taught to perform some impressive tricks. Indeed, the most amazing dog tricks are very likely the product of clicker training.
Is Clicker Training For You?
Perhaps the most impressive part of clicker training for dogs is the fact that it can deliver outstanding results in a relatively short period of time. No special training is required to introduce a dog to this discipline. Many owners have started clicker training after simply reading a guide, a book, or after watching a video. After a few brief sessions, many dog owners have fallen in love with this discipline which has led to years of passionate dedication.
Best of all, clicker training is not at all costly. A dog clicker is a fairly inexpensive device which can be easily found in pet stores or online. Books, videos, and guides to free dog clicker training can also be found easily online, ultimately making this training method quite cost-effective. The results of clicker training for dogs are priceless: many dog owners report a stronger bond and a much happier dog!
Clicker training your dog with the use of a dog clicker is ultimately a positive, non-confrontational training method. Considered more a philosophy than a training method, it comes as no surprise why more and more people are embracing this rewarding discipline.
Clicker training your dog may unveil a fun world ready to be explored and discovered: start using a dog clicker today to unlock all the benefits!
Here is a nice video that demonstrates what clicker training is all about...
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