Dogs are frequently trained using the clicker method, which is intended to teach them new habits. It can strengthen your relationship with your pet, which is very beneficial and motivating for them. Additionally, it functions as a system of active communication between you and your pet. Additionally, clicker training helps your pet learn complicated behaviors and even improve already-present ones. It would be beneficial to divide more difficult habits into smaller, easier to handle steps. Additionally, it improves the dog’s inherent skills. When the activity is repeated numerous times, the dog will learn to spot patterns.
What is a Clicker?
A clicker, which is a miniature metal cricket noisemaker modified from a child’s toy, is used by the trainer during clicker training. Its sound is distinct and persistent, which can aid dogs in maintaining their attention while learning. There are various clickers available in the market, depending on your preference and most especially, your dog’s. One type of clicker is with a finger loop, which serves as our third hand when we have a lot of things to hold – leash, treats, and of course, the clicker itself! Also, clickers vary in its sound, you can choose from the loudest to the quietest clickers for your dogs.
Now that you know what a clicker, let’s go the part where we purchase the items needed alongside the clicker. Choosing the ideal clicker, treat, or treat pouch for your pet might be difficult because there are so many excellent options available in stores. But don’t worry; we’ve included the greatest products we could find that you might like.
1. Dog Treats
As an owner, when we see how well behaved or astounding our dog’s performance is, we frequently reward them. When using a clicker to train dogs, the clicker alerts the dog when they are performing an action correctly and when a treat is waiting. The type of dog treat you give your dog during training can have a significant impact on how well those sessions go. A dog can focus more readily in the presence of distractions with the aid of the proper dog training goodie. Set up a treat taste test for your dog to assist you in selecting the training treats that your dog will respond to and enjoy the most. Examine the contents of the treats to make sure your dog won’t be allergic or sensitive to anything. Based on the type of protein, texture, and convenience of distribution, you can choose a few different snacks for them to try.
2. Dog Treat Pouches
The majority of dog owners are aware of how helpful it is to always have goodies on available, especially while training or walking a stubborn puppy or hound. It is quite practical to have a portable treat bag to keep pet goodies fresh and available to give them as a reward for excellent behavior. Your needs as a pet owner should guide your choice of treat pouch. For quick-draw treat extraction, you might want to use a treat pouch that clips to your pants or fastens around your waist. Alternatively, you could choose a cross body bag with many pockets. Whatever features you like, you may find treat pouches that are reliable, practical, and excellently rated for you and your dog. Fortunately, there are several different treat pouches available in the market to help you encourage your dog’s desirable behavior.
How Clicker Training for Dogs Works
This type of instruction is similar to an extension of the typical dog training that most people carry out automatically. Here are some steps for the clicker training:
1. Charge the clicker
Your clicker needs to be “charged up” first. Grab a tiny, sweet treat, and then click the clicker. Use small pieces of cheese, dog treats, hot dogs, or whatever else your dog first enjoys. Your dog will likely become swiftly prepared for the upcoming activities. Continue the “charging up” until your dog starts to prickle her ears, startle, or suddenly look for the treat in response to the clicker. You can move on to the following step if your dog responds. Remember that timing is crucial, so attempt to maintain a random interval of one to five seconds between each click and treat time.
2. Capturing, luring, or shaping
This clicker training has three parts: capturing, luring, and shaping. Catch your pet doing a desirable action, like sitting or sleeping down. Your pet will ultimately pick up on the behavior repetition for treats. The second part is shaping, when your dog gradually develops a new behavior by being rewarded for each incremental step. The final part is luring, in which you can lure your pet with rewards into the desired position.
3. Add a clue word
When your dog consistently performs a trick, you can implement this advice by adding a cue. To the extent that you are able to anticipate what she will do next and when, you can do such step. Say “Wave,” for instance, if you see your dog poised to lift her paw. Say “Sit” when she is going to sit and repeatedly link this signal to that behavior before rewarding her. To prevent confusing your dog, try to refrain from saying the same command repeatedly, such as “sit, sit, sit.”
4. Test the Cue
By uttering the word, you can check the cue. If your dog obeys your commands, click once, then reward him with a very tasty goodie. Click to indicate when your dog performs something you appreciate, then reward them with better or more treats. If she doesn’t react, you might have been a little too hasty. So go back to Step 2 and spend some time working on it.
5. Ignore Un-cued Behaviors
You don’t need to click and treat if she consistently complies with the cue when you say it; just disregard the spontaneous behaviors. When she responds to your cue, you can go on clicking and treating.
6. Be a Variable Reward Giver
Before clicking and rewarding your dog, attempt to make him or her perform the trick two or three times. Saying “Good dog” to the dog will help him or her know that he or she is acting appropriately. “Putting the behavior on a varied reinforcement schedule” is what is meant by this activity. The dog will continue to attempt since he or she is unsure of when he or she will receive the significant reward.
7. Generalize It
It’s time to show your dog that this cue is universal. Try it in several spots around your house to do this. Additionally, you can test it outdoors, both with and without a leash, at a park, a car, or at the veterinarian. With the completion of this phase, your dog ought to be able to generalize the action and understand the significance of the cue word rather than the environment in which he or she finds himself or herself.
Because clicker training maintains a good attitude in both dog trainers and pet owners, it is a fun exercise for both sides. Additionally, it aids in simplifying challenging dog training into numerous smaller objectives that result in more successful tries. These training activities not only make it simpler for you to communicate with your pet dogs, but they also aid in the retention of those dogs’ cognitive abilities as they age.