The benefits of clicker training are many and totally worth it. Clicker training is a very easy and fun way to train your pet with positive methods. It is simple and you will learn as much (or more) as your furry best friend along the way.
A clicker is a metal sheet that when bended makes a "click" noise. It is a very simple device that Karen Pryor popularized to train dogs. It is the equivalent to the whistle in marina mammal training.
The first step is to click and immediately give your dog a treat. Many repetitions of this will teach your hound to expect a treat at the sound of the clicker and eventually the clicker becomes a treat itself.
Now, you have a very powerful tool to communicate with your dog, by clicking every-time your pet does something correctly, he will understand to repeat that behavior for more rewards. No yelling, no pushing around, no harming your dog in any way.
Click and treat! That is the recipe. No punishment, no harsh words.
When you train any animal using only positive reinforcement, they feel naturally confident. They are not afraid of making mistakes, because the worse that can happen is that they won't get a click! An animal that is not scared of making mistakes will try really hard to GET that click! And he will get it! Which means you will get perfect behaviors and a well mannered pet.
A confident dog is a happy dog.
Most aggression problems arise because dogs feel threaten in many situations. If you build confidence, you will help your pet be joyful in life!
The best of the benefits of clicker training is that is fun for both you and your furry friend. Why? because you will both be positively reinforced! Your dog will get clicks and treats and you will get an obedient and happy pet.
Seeing your canine companion "get-it" is a thrilling experience that you will want to repeat over and over. Getting a click and a treat will make your dog excited and he will work hard for it. A win-win situation!
You will not only be spending time with your canine friend while practicing commands and learning new tricks. You will be communicating with your dog! Did you ever imagine you would be able to talk to animals?
Your pooch will learn to trust you and this will expand to situations outside training sessions. This is a great advantage, a dog that follows his leader out of respect and trust will be a good dog.
I often hear dog parents say that they want their pet to obey them because _they are the masters_. Unfortunately, dogs don't just recognize you as a leader unless you show it.
Making your pooch do what you want through force and physical manipulations can be stressful and in many cases will not give you the most reliable responses. With clicker training, on the other hand, you will be teaching your dog to WANT to do what you ask. He will want to respond to your commands immediately because this is what gets him the reward! And he will feel happy the whole time!
You don't need to spend hours to get your furry best friend to learn something new. It takes only a few minutes a day. With short but frequent training sessions you can get a well behaved dog or an obedience competition champion!
Lindsay Wood performed a systematic study comparing the use of a Marker Word with a Clicker. She found that using a click instead of a spoken word makes learning go faster in the initial steps. Consequently less reinforcers were necessary to train a new behavior.
This study was only published online as far as I can tell, so it has not gone through a peer-review process. This raises a few questions about the quality of the study, but since it is the only one out there it's worth mentioning it as one of the benefits of clicker training.
This is an interesting outcome and one of the many benefits of clicker training. Your dog needs to try … and try… and try to get it right (and get the click!) and he is not afraid of making mistakes while trying. This combination will make him a creative animal, capable of solving problems better than other non-clicker trained dogs.
It also encourages your pet to take initiatives. There is nothing to loose if you try! You can only win a click and it's worth the effort.
Using traditional dog training methods in which choke chains and correction words are common and abundant also works….if used correctly!
We are all human and we all make mistakes. One of the most essential skills you will ever need in dog training is GREAT timing when delivering a reward OR a punishment.
If you use traditional methods, your mistakes will be physically and emotionally hurting your canine friend. If you use clicker training your mistakes will only be giving free treats to your dog!
It's your choice what you want to pick, but the answer is clear to me.
Clicker training rules!
Teaching your dog boundaries is necessary and recommended. You can do this with clicker training as well. It will be clear and efficient because your dog UNDERSTANDS click and treat!
The clicker will help YOU improve your timing as well as you observational skills.
You will be able to predict what your dog is about to do and either ignore it or click-it. When you reach this point you will be able to train your dog with precision (a perfect tuck sit, an amazing sphinx down, etc). You will also be able to train complex behaviors (bring me the remote control, turn the light off).