If you’re interested in making the most of your puppy training classes, consider learning how to use a dog clicker. A clicker is an inexpensive device that makes a clicking sound and is used as positive reinforcement during training. By using one, you can dramatically improve the speed and efficiency of your training.
What exactly is a clicker? It’s usually a small piece of plastic that makes a consistent and predictable click when pressed. There are specific dog clickers, or you can make use of something else you have lying around that makes a consistent and predictable sound as needed, like a cap that pops, or a retractable pen.
The reason why clickers work is that they give a consistent signal to your puppy that they did a good job. When your dog does the behavior you just asked of him, you can let him know immediately with a click and really tie his performance with your praise. Verbal praise may be delayed for a few seconds, and your dog might not get the message that what they did was correct.
When you use your voice, not only can the timing of your praise vary, but so can your tone and the words that you are speaking. If you use a clicker, though, you are giving a clean indication that is consistent day after day.
To begin with, you want to let your dog see that the clicker represents positive feedback. The way you do this is by associating it with what he already sees as positive, namely verbal praise, petting, and treats. Provide some attention and a treat to your dog and make a click. Wait a few moments, then repeat. Pretty soon he will associate the clicker with your approval.
Next, you’ll want to incorporate the clicker into your training. When you give your puppy a command and he performs it, give a click right away, accompanied by praise or a treat so he knows he did well.
Too many treats during training can lead to your dog becoming overweight. In order to prevent this very real problem, keep the size of your treats very small. A good rule of thumb is to keep your treats to about half the size of your thumbnail.
You only have to use the clicker during the training process until your puppy has learned the behavior you are trying to teach. Once a particular command is mastered, using the clicker for it is not necessary.
So, to really get the most out of your puppy training classes, start using a clicker, and watch your dog learn faster than you thought would be possible.
categories: dog clickers,clicker training,puppy training classes,puppy training,dog training,dogs,puppies,pets,animals,home