Clicker training is a positive reinforcement training technique that uses a clicker to signal the dog when it has performed the desired behaviour. You make your dog learn by providing both physical and verbal rewards for good behaviour. By triggering a dog clicker, you help the dog associate the positive reward with a simple sound, allowing him or her to learn faster and repeat positive behaviours in the future.
What is a dog clicker?
A dog clicker is a device that makes a clicking sound. This sound is usually deliberate, and it’s typically used to reinforce training or behaviour. Clickers are particularly useful for reinforcing learning in dogs, as they make the process of earning rewards (such as food) much more fun for the dog.
How to use dog clicker?
To get started, you need to understand that the clicker is used to mark the exact moment when your dog completes the task. Firstly, you must teach the dog what the marker means. Train your dog to associate the clicker sound with a pleasant reward, such as a tasty treat. After that, use the clicker when the dog completes a desired behaviour and provide a reward right after the click. With regular practice, you can help your dog learn hundreds of commands!
‘Marker’ has not been mentioned previously … what is it?
How to clicker train a dog?
In this video, Rhona Nasson, uses a toy and a key word to mark the desired behaviour.
The advantage of using a clicker, is that the trainer is able to reward a desired behaviour rapidly and this increases the chance that the dog will associate the click with something nice happening. (usually food).
The click and reward event is repeated until the dog has made the association. You may be surprised how quickly this happens. Once established the response to the ‘click’ can be maintained and strengthened via a variable or intermittent reinforcement, i.e., food does not follow after every click.
Clicker training is a wonderful way to train dogs. Letting the dogs use their brains to offer you the behaviour that you are looking for. There really isn’t a limit to what you can train your dog to do.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do the clickers actually work for dogs?
There is some controversy around clicker training. We as professionals do use clickers for training dogs because it makes the experience more fun and enjoyable for us and the dog. The latest ‘Clicker Efficiency’ studies carried out in 2021 state that there are no significant differences between any reinforcement training method.
Which is better: a dog whistle or a clicker?
Actually, neither is better than the other one. They both serve different purposes, so there is no way to determine which is better.
A dog whistle is used to give your dog cues and commands. And a dog clicker is being used to mark an event that you liked and then reinforce it with food.
So it’s best to use both in tandem.
What is the best dog clicker?
Many choices exist, but the correct answer depends solely on your needs and preferences. Here at Royvon, we give clickers away with our programmes. This training aid is ergonomically designed to fit comfortably in your hand, making it easy to hold and click the button while simultaneously managing the lead and treating the pet.
If you think that’s too much hassle, bring your dog to Royvon!
At Royvon, we know that every dog and family’s circumstances are different! That’s why we’re dedicated to helping as many dog owners as possible. If you’d like tailored support with your new puppy or dog, please don’t hesitate to book a training session with us!