Dog trainers have caught on to the methods that marine mammal trainers have employed for years.  Using a simple signal or event marker (the click of a clicker, a whistle, or a verbal sound like Yes! or Dip!), they can tell their dogs exactly why they are receiving reinforcers!  It's a wonderful way to train and it makes it easy for them to understand.  It builds a partnership between you and your dog and creates a great training relationship - one built on trust and cooperation, not fear.

 

Clicker trainers set their dogs up so that they can be successful. This might mean setting small, easily achieveable goals at each training session.  Put all of these training sessions together, and there is little room for error! 

 

Traditionally, dog trainers waited for their dogs to make mistakes to correct. Clicker trainers ask themselves why their dogs are not mastering tasks; and the answers usually lie in mis-communication or mis-management of the training method. 

 

Becoming proficient in clicker training takes some practice.  There are some basic handling skills, and you must be a good observer with a clear plan of action.  Good trainers think about what they want their dogs to do and they plan out how they are going to train it.  Step by step the final behaviors come together. 

 

There is a clear advantage to using clicker training when working with behavior problems.  Because the message of the clicker is so clear and that it never varies, the training is faster and in the opinion of Happy Tails Family Dog Training, more permanent.  You can clicker train for obedience, manners, grooming, Rally-O, agility, conformation, and Freestyle.  The training is fun, fast, and very effective!

 

 

 

Mike learns to trim his own nails! Photo by DManheim. All rights reserved.

Further Reading