Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Dog Clicker Training
Clicker training is a slang term for operant conditioning which is a gentle way of allowing an animal to interact with and learn from its environment. In simple terms this involves the repetition of certain actions which have positive consequences, while not repeating those which come with negative consequences. Dog clicker training involves the use of a clicker which is a small plastic box with a metal strip that makes a sharp clicking sound when you press down on it and release.
The main emphasis of the clicker is that its unique sound will always stand out from all the other words you constantly tell your dog. Moreover, the clicker is a much faster response compared to having to say “good dog”. This is important because in order for your dog to connect your positive reinforcement with the behavior they have performed, the reinforcement must take place as the behavior is being performed and not after it is completed. That’s where the clicker comes in – as a way of immediately letting your dog know that they have done the right thing.
A clicker is a conditioned reinforcer which is anything that isn’t ordinarily something that your dog would work towards getting. An example of how a clicker works can be demonstrated when you are trying to teach you dog to “shake hands”. To do this, you will first need to click and give them a treat if they raise their paw off the floor, no matter how low they have done it. Gradually, you will stop reinforcing this behavior of slightly raising their paw off the floor. Instead, begin training them to raise their paw higher up off the ground, and then have them move their paw towards you.
During dog clicker training, it is important to break down the process into as small steps as possible in order for you to see results sooner.
This article should help you better understand how to use dog clicker training to train your dog