Training Your Dog With a Clicker: What It’s All About

Rottweiler puppy playing with a ball
Clicker training is a specific form of positive dog training that has grown significantly in popularity over the past decade. While it was initially only used on domestic pets to teach them new tricks, it is now used even to train police dogs because of its effectiveness when implemented properly. This article will introduce clicker training as a method for dog training in Queensland focus on when it can and cannot be used.

What is a clicker?

A clicker is contraption small enough to fit in your palm or in your pocket that generates a sonorous “clicking” sound at the press of a button. As we will see in a few sentences, this is of paramount importance to dog trainers in Queensland.

Why Use It?

Clickers are used as a substitute to frequent treats, or to signal to the dog that it has done something right. The instant your dog does something right, you click the clicker. Over time, your dog will learn to associate the click with success. It is more effective than treats for the following reason:

Unlike humans, dogs have a very short attention span. If your dog does something right and you give it a treat twenty seconds later, the dog may not associate the act with the treat at all. In fact, it has been shown that in such incidents, dogs actually associate the success with the act of them looking up at their owner. This is where the clicker comes in handy. It is a two-step process where in the dog learns to associate success with the clicker and the clicker with a reward.

Here’s how you do it – you give the dog an order and when it follows it, you use the clicker and give it a treat. After repeating this process over a considerable period of time, you proceed to use the clicker without the treat, but the dog responds with equal alacrity. To keep the process going, treats are required at fixed intervals of time, usually measured by the number of clicks between subsequent treats.

Why it is Good

The key upside of clicker training is that it incorporates positive reinforcement without actually overloading your pet with treats. The clicker comes with no health complications and is easy to use and implement. On the other side, the remarkable lack of punishment or other forms of negative reinforcement implies that the dog’s emotional growth will be healthy, thereby leading to it living a long and happy life.

Potential downsides

A key potential downside of clicker training that is often highlighted by the advocates of negative reinforcement is that dogs often refuse to obey just the clicker once the treats are made scarce. Moreover, clicker training takes more time than negative reinforcement and is often discouraged where a time constraint is involved in the training.

In a nutshell, clicker training in Queensland is one of the most advanced and well-rounded approaches to dog training that is as effective as any conventional method in spite of being devoid of violence.

That is one perspective – NOT one I agree with but posted for you to think about perhaps-I prefer tactile reward and or click of fingers that engender physical contact in order to strengthen and maintain a bond between handler and canine.