Clicker Training for Obedience
Many dog owners and trainers decide to do clicker training for obedience, but what exactly does that entail? Clicker training involves marking appropriate behavior with a consistent sound like that made by a clicker, which is a small handheld device that makes a clicking sound when pressed.
Obedience training typically involves teaching dogs to obey certain commands, like "sit" or "roll over." Although clicker training does not necessarily have to be a part of obedience training, it can be used as part of obedience training in order to make the process go a little more smoothly.
Here's how clicker training for obedience works:
1. Dogs are trained in obedience so that they will perform the desired behavior upon command. Humans have been training dogs for generations, although it has been formalized within the last several decades, and now even police and the military use obedience methods to train their dogs to perform. To start the process, decide which behavior and / or command you want to work on first.
2. You will likely want to purchase a clicker from the local pet store to assist with clicker training for obedience. The clicker will be the source of consistent sound that will indicate the type of behavior you are looking for. You will pair the sound of the clicker with the verbal command you are attempting to train.
3. Start by "loading the clicker." Click the device and then reward with a treat. Do this several times until your dog learns that the sound of the clicker means he will get a treat. Test your dog's progress on learning this association by waiting until he is distracted and then clicking to see if you get his attention in expectation of a treat. .
4. Next, start working on the command you desire to teach. For example, you may wish to teach your dog to "sit." Say the word "sit" and then physically help him get into the sitting position. A good way to do this subtly is to put your hand under his chin and raise it straight up. This naturally brings a dog into a sitting position without forcing his bottom to the ground.
5. As soon as his bottom hits the ground, click and then reward with a treat. Be sure to use small training treats that can be consumed almost instantly. Your dog will then begin to associate the sound of the word you are teaching with the action, and the completed action with the sound of the clicker, and the clicker with the sound of a reward.
Clicker training for obedience has become very popular in recent years because it helps bring consistency to the training experience. One of the greatest causes of failure in training is inconsistency, which is a human trait, after all. So the more we can do to lessen this problem, the more successful the training will be.