Published at Thursday, 23 May 2019. Dog Training. By Sennet Baron.
Clicker Dog Training – While widely unknown to many dog parents, arguably one of the best dog training aids that works well with any breed of dog is the ”clicker.” If you have never heard of the term ”clicker training” before, you have most likely witnessed or heard of examples of this type of training. Skateboarding bulldogs, beer fetching retrievers, Babe the Pig, Beethoven. Sound familiar? Check any of these animal antics out, and you've been amazed by the effects of powerful clicker training and the best obedience training methods in action. The clicker is a small mechanical noisemaker that was developed in response to lead behaviorists' demands for more effective training methods. Aside from its effectiveness, unlike a number of other dog training aids, this form of dog obedience training is very gentle and offers a ”hands off” approach to pet training. What your dog actually learns is to associate the strong, sharp sound of the clicker, which can be heard as far as 20 yards away, with your given command.
Communicate composure. Be still. Whether you are working on a stationary exercise (such as a sit-stay), or a moving exercise (such as heeling, or a recall), focus on keeping your body language ”quiet”. Don't bury your cue in a gush of confusing, meaningless gestures or activity. Allow your dog to focus on your words and any intended hand or body signals; don't put him in a position to have to sort the wheat from the chaff, so to speak. Once your dog is more advanced in his training, you may wish to teach him to respond to verbal cues despite unrelated body language. But for now – first things first. Walk before you run!
Although some owners don't like reward training because they think dogs trained this way follow their commands simply because they want a treat and not out of a sense of obedience or respect, there's no question that reward training is effective. And, even if you accept the premise that dogs learn from reward training strictly because they're being ”bribed,” isn't that better than obeying out of a fear of punishment? Not only that, but treats aren't the only type of reward that can be used as positive reinforcement. Praising your dog with an excited, happy tone of voice, giving him toys, and giving him lots of physical affection can all be just as motivating as giving him treats or food.
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