When it comes to dog training, the biggest issue people have is realizing that a dog only needs consistency and patience when learning. Dogs are capable of learning a plethora of tricks, and simply need the careful guidance of a patient trainer to help them along the way. Fortunately there are a multitude of training techniques but none nearly as effective as clicker training.
What is Clicker Training?
Clicker training is a type of dog training that uses the same method and sound to signal a dog when they are doing something good. The sound, a click, is produced by a small hand clicker held by the trainer and truly is a foolproof way for even the most novice of dog trainers to teach their pet a trick.
The best part about these clickers is that they work on a multitude of pets – birds, cats, rats, and even pigs can learn with clicker training! Additionally, larger animals such as elephants have also learned from effective clicker training from their handlers!
Why Clicker Training Works So Well
The clicker essentially creates a signal to the animal that teaches it the concept of clicks equates to treats. When a dog does something right, the trainer clicks, and the dog receives a treat.
Once the dog or other animal associates the click with a reward, it can then be taught to associate certain behaviors as being rewarding. This makes it quite simple to have the trainer teach the dog to sit, shake, lay down, or even speak! The use of the clicker for each of these actions in conjunction with the verbal command really ensures a quick learning process for almost any trick.
To begin associating an action with a command, the trainer simply needs to begin using the verbal command in conjunction with the clicker before giving the treat. This then means that the dog will associate the verbal command with the action and can then use that knowledge to understand what to do when commanded later.
Ways To Shape Animal’s Behavior
After spending about a half hour or so dedicated to teaching your pet that the sound of a click equates to a treat, you can then begin using various methods to shape your pets behavior and use the clicker. This is fairly simple, but it takes a bit of time to ensure that the training really sticks.
Catching – If you catch your dog laying down, rolling around, or even barking, use the verbal cues and the clicker to reward him! This is a great method and really teaches a dog in an effective manner. Keep your clicker about at all times for this though.
Shaping – Click and reward as your dog gets closer and closer to the behavior. This means that if you are trying to get your dog to bark on command, when it grows in frustration you click. Then later ask a bit more of your pet by pushing it further until he finally performs the trick!
Luring – use a treat to guide your dog into the position you want. Once there use the verbal command or hand gesture followed by the click to give your dog a treat. This takes a bit of patience, but is a proven method.
Unfortunately not everyone has the extensive time needed to train their dogs which is why many consider a dog training service. Many dog training services use certain methods, and some even use click training. If you are looking for Los Angeles dog training, then make sure to speak with them on their methods and see if click training is an option!