How to train a dog with clicker
Do you know the clicker training ? Well, keep reading because you are going to discover a method that has become very popular to educate and reinforce your training. The clicker is causing real havoc among professionals who use it to teach their dogs certain skills or actions and, in addition, can be considered a tool that facilitates communication with your pet. That's why we're going to tell you everything you need to know about training with this sonorous box, because although it has many followers, it does not work with all dogs. In .com we tell you how to train your dog with clicker .
The clicker is a button that emits a sound, that is, a small box with a button that, when pressed, emits a click. A mechanism that although it seems very rudimentary is used a lot for dogs to do certain things: like sitting, jumping or even typical skills of therapy dogs and assistance.
The goal is that each time your child hears that sound, understand that he has done well. This contraption helps in two ways: first, being a substitute for sweets and on the other, because it provides the possibility of rewarding a spontaneous attitude of your pet.
We pose a situation: imagine that you are on the street with your dog and it is loose a few meters away from you. Suddenly, a dog appears that begins to disturb your dog that was so calm, but he remains quiet and patient. If you liked his behavior, you can indicate it with the clicker.
In this other article we discovered how to teach my dog to walk without a leash.
To train a dog with clicker you should know that this method can be used for dogs of all ages and to do a huge amount of exercises since it is a positive method that never implies punishment and reinforces much better than the voice. It is a very intuitive training technique and, being so fun, reinforces the relationship between the master and the dog.
Any behavior that is learned with clicker is very persistent over time. When the dog has understood the sound game of the clicker, the improvements are much faster. It is very stimulating for your pet and for the educator because you have to find ways to communicate and invent new exercises every day.
In the case that you have a newborn dog, we recommend you read this other article on how to train a puppy.
It is recommended to do short training sessions because if you lengthen it a lot it will be repetitive and boring. There are three ways to train:
For attraction the primary reinforcer, that is, food is used. To guide the dog to different poses, by clicking at the moment when it is achieved. After several repetitions, the dog will do the planned following the hand without any food.
Shaping: molded by constant approach
Shaping is the other way to train. It is used to teach a complicated behavior sum of many singles. You have to keep in mind what you want, and click as you approach the final. The reinforcement in this case is more selective and not in the initial phases.
Targeting: setting targets
Targeting training is a very special way of training that involves training the dog to touch something with its legs or nose. The target object is simply something that points. We will have to teach the dog to touch the other part of his body (bullseye) with the snout; use any object as a target: pencil, wand ... whatever you can think of.
For this training with clicker you must work without distractions so the target object has to be rubbed with food so that your dog feels attracted. Put the target in front of your snout and you must wait; if he approaches, you must let him sniff him and touch him. If you do, you must click. You will have to repeat the exercise until you learn that this has a reward.
The next step is to have your pet follow the cane or target with each movement. If it does, you must reward with a click. After this, move the target while you see that you want to touch it and click to motivate it. Once you have taught your but to follow a cane, you can have it pick up things, move around different places, etc.
So you can train a dog with clicker you have to ensure that from the beginning the clicker is associated with a positive stimulus, which is normal food. Dedicate the necessary time because of this association will depend on the functionality of the mechanism. Prepare a portion of an appetizing and easy to swallow meal and when the dog is in a quiet area you must click and immediately give your prize.
Repeat this operation several times with a sufficient amount of time and once you create a certain expectation, we will give you one last time, your reward, but first making the click sound. With this, we are getting the dog to associate the sound of the click with the food and thus will be ready to start learning.