Clicker training for reactive dogs

There are many types of positive reinforcement training, but we will discuss the type that emphasis on praise and treats, commonly called clicker training.

While there are several forms of dog training, the clicker training method is one of the most popular.  Many dog trainers nowadays recommend this method of training.

This type of training is a simple and easy way to train a dog based on the science of operant conditioning.  Basically, the dog is taught to perform the desired action because it receives a reward.  If the dog does not perform the action that we want, then the reward is not given.  The dog soon learns that any action is better than no action.  How does this method of training work?  Let's take an example of training a dog to sit.  Because the dog is rewarded, the dog will sit.  If you click the clicker at the exact moment that the dog sits, you are reinforcing the behavior that you want.  Eventually, the dog will sit whenever you click the clicker.  This is your dog learning to sit.

The next example is a dog that will automatically outgo of itself.  The trainer may want the dog to sit or down.  So what would the dog do if it felt it was the owner?  In this case, the dog will continue to pull on the leash and go in the direction of what it wants.  The dog is actually learning not to do what it is told. When you reward the dog for doing something, he will repeat the behavior.  So, when you tell the dog to sit and he does it, you have reinforced the behavior.

Clicker training is also a great way to train a dog for almost any service task.  For example, dogs can be trained to help doctors find cancer in humans by sniffing out the cancer.  Dogs trained with the clicker method can also be trained to assist the disabled to become mobile again.

The concept of clicker training is easy to understand.  You give the dog a treat, and when they perform the required task you use the clicker to click it and then give them a treat.  Soon the dog associates the clicker, the reward, and the behavior with the task and then learns to perform the behavior with the clicker.

With the clicker method of training, it is easy to train almost any animal with an even basic obedience class.  You will reinforce the behavior that you want and your dog will repeat the behavior.  In this case, to sit.  You can actually train your dog to sit with the clicker method very easily, in a few minutes, two or three times, and then give them a treat.  From there, they will get an idea of what to expect when they hear the clicker.

If you want to try out a clicker method with your dog, be sure to practice the timing of the clicker.  That will make it easier to time the clicks.  You will also want to practice with your dog in a wide variety of situations.  That way, the dog will learn to be responsive to the clicker and not just react to the occasional behavior.  It is also very important to actively reward your dog when they repeat behaviors.  That way, they will know that they are doing well and will continue to do well to receive more rewards.

With the timing of the clicker, you may find that it is easier to train your dog than you previously thought.  That is definitely saying something because the clicker method of training has been used for over 100 years and great results have been accomplished.  If you are looking for a different way of training your dog, you may want to give the clicker a go.  You can find the clicker in any pet store and it is also available online.  The timing of the clicker is clicker timing and your dog will know what they are supposed to be doing when they hear the clicker.

When used properly, the clicker method of training is really quite amazing.  It allows you to give high-quality commands to your canine with very little or no voice commands.  Once the dog has learned the behavior that you desire, then the clicker method is very good to reinforce that behavior.  That is why so many professional trainers and breeders use the clicker method to train their pets.

Hopefully, you will now have a better idea of the clicker as well as how it works.  We all want to train our dogs to do the right thing, and the clicker certainly allows you to do so.