What is Clicker Dog Training?

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What is Clicker Dog Training?

Bericht van Danny op do 5 nov 2009 - 3:40

This is not a new training or anything real special. Though itís an old gentle method that has been proven to work for over centuries for training all kinds of animals not just dogs. The actual slang term is clicker training, but the scientific term is operant conditioning.


So what ever you want to call it, but we will continue to call it the slang term of clicker training and even more specific clicker dog training and we will dig deeper into giving you the full information of what it is and how it works.


Clicker dog training is a great way to train your dog through repeated actions. Though the best way to break down this idea of clicker dog training is that dogs will repeat actions that have a positive outcome, and will not or will have no desire to repeat actions that have a negative outcome. The idea behind clicker dog training is taking that natural behavior in dogs and giving positive outcomes to actions that you as the trainer want your dog to repeat. One very important aspect of this kind of training is that the dog needs to connect the positive outcome or reward for the action that he is doing. Sometimes the trainer will reinforce the behavior or action to late and the dog is not making the connection of what he is being rewarded for. So itís suggested to reward the dog as the action or behavior is going on.


While dog trainers are in need of giving a signal to the dog that he is doing the correct thing, so they can train or condition your dog with what is called a conditioned reinforcer. Now youíre asking what is a conditioned reinforcer and thatís a great question. A conditioned reinforcer is anything the dog will normally need to work to receive something. Then you have a primary reinforcer which is something the dog enjoys such as water or food. When you take a primary reinforcer and add a conditioned reinforcer this becomes important to your dog. This is where the clicker training comes into play and can be a conditioned reinforcer.


A clicker is actually a small box that is usually plastic with metal inside making a very loud and somewhat annoying clicking sound when pushed. The great thing about the clicker for the dogs is this unique sound will be distinct and will not be lost with other noises, words, or commands that we give to our dogs. This clicker is faster than offering your dog a command or praise. Through this, the clicker dog trainer is able to use the clicker right when the good behavior starts. Adding the clicker with something the dog already feels is reinforcing, and this is a great training tool to start shaping and changing your dogs behaviors.


Here is a good example of clicker dog training Say youíre trying to teach your dog to sit. At the early stages of teaching your dog to sit you might start to click when the dog starts motion towards sitting down. But, then over time you will not reinforce until the dog actually sits down and completes the behavior then itís reinforced.

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