Clicker dog training is a style of dog training that combines a small, noise-making clicker with the reward of a treat. It is said to be beneficial in training and can significantly reduce overall training time when used effectively.
Although there are many dog training tools and advice, unsurprisingly clicker training can be useful in a variety of species outside of dogs, such as cats and horses.
This idea of dog training is a form of operand conditioning that uses positive reinforcement to shape canine behaviour. The clicker is used in conjunction with an edible treat, and after a certain period of time the dog will associate the sound of the click as a treat in and of itself.
For example, using click training with a puppy could include something as simple as going to the bathroom outside. When the puppy does his business in a proper fashion, he is immediately rewarded with a click, a treat, and positive vocal reinforcement (i.e. high-pitched voice and verbal praise).
When the treat is then removed, the animal still feels rewarded by the sound of the clicker. The same can be done for teaching your dog tricks. If your untrained dog sits without being prompted, immediately praise with clicker and small piece of food. This will teach him that you approve of this behaviour, and he will get your attention when he obeys.
The purpose of this type of training is to positively reinforce good behaviour, not negatively reinforce or punish for bad behaviour. It takes patience, perseverance, and dedication to the well-being of your furry best friend.
As such, it must be repeated unfailingly in order for the dog to maintain positive behaviour. While some may believe that the clicker can be removed and behaviour will remain consistent, this is not true. Continuous shaping and verbal reinforcement are crucial to using clicker dog training properly.