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January 10, 2021

The Pros and Cons of Clicker Training for Your Dog

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Having a well-trained dog can eliminate problems like antisocial behavior, jumping up on people and chasing other animals. Consistent training with positive reinforcement, or reward training, is often useful for most breed types. Clicker training is one such avenue, where you use a clicking tool to let your dog know when he has done well. While this method of training has proven effective, there are a few pros and cons you may want to know about before you begin.

Pro: It Creates a Strong Bond

Clicker training is an interactive type of obedience learning for dogs where they learn to respond to the clicker with a certain behavior and then earn a treat. The positive reinforcement can help your dog understand that when they respond to the click, they earn a food reward. Clicker training works well with puppies that are learning basic obedience commands and then later for more complicated tricks and actions.

One of the most rewarding benefits of clicker training is the bond it creates between master and pet. Along with a food reward, the dog starts to understand responding correctly to the click also means praise and affection, and this type of interaction can create a positive relationship and deepen the ties you already have with your pet.

Con: Not All Dogs Respond Well

While using click training can work well with many dogs, not all respond favorably. Some may not like the sound, while others simply do not have the food drive needed to employ the training. You may have to find a food that your dog truly enjoys and will perform for.

As you use a Click-R training Tool, remember to begin gradually and give your dog plenty of time to adjust to the sound. If you feel like your pet is not responding as he should, try different treats until you get a positive response. With so many varieties of treats available, you are sure to find one he enjoys.

Pro: Eliminates Inflection Issues

When you use voice commands, the inflection you use can affect the way your pet understands you. Using different inflections can confuse your dog and make it difficult for him to know your intent. Click training eliminates the problems caused by voice commands, as the clicking sound is consistent each time. This can be especially useful if more than one person is training your animal.

If you decide to add a vocal component to your click training, try to use the same volume and infection each time. When employed correctly, this can enhance your dog’s training and make praise even more rewarding.

Con: Incomplete Training May Hinder Results

While clicker training can offer highly effective results, incomplete or inconsistent use of the clicker tool might result in confusion for your dog and frustration for you. Switching from the clicker to vocal commands or allowing another trainer to use vocal cues may cause your dog to become uninterested and he may start to ignore the cue.

If you find your dog lagging in clicker training because you forget to use the clicking tool, start fresh and remind him that he receives a reward for responding. Refrain from adding voice commands until your pet becomes reaccustomed to the clicker training.

Pro: Click Training Is Simple

The concept of clicker training is so simple that even young children can use the device. This means you can make click training a family activity, especially when you have a puppy to train. You can demonstrate how the clicker works and teach your kids to use it so your dog responds to each family member. This can also help you teach your kids simple positive concepts, such as responsible pet ownership.

If you do decide to include your kids in clicker training for the family pet, set aside the same time each day so there are no misunderstandings about when it will take place. Remind them that training a pet is a commitment and that your dog depends on each member of the family to teach him right from wrong.

Con: Clicking May Cause Conditioning

Some dogs become so enamored of clicker training that they will not perform a certain command without hearing the click first. This means you will have to carry your clicker tool with you when you leave the house with your dog and during every training session.

You can prevent conditioning by taking the time to graduate your pet from the clicker to voice commands as he grows older. Clicker weaning can take time, but since voice commands should eventually make up the bulk of your dog’s training eventually, it is usually well worth the effort.

Pro: Train Larger Dogs Faster

If you recently brought home a large-breed puppy, such as a Great Dane or a German Shepherd, clicker training can provide you with the means to train these big puppies more quickly. This can prevent a variety of problems including housebreaking issues and unwanted contact, such as these large puppies jumping, mouthing and nipping. Using the clicker to encourage good behavior can nip these issues in the bud before your dog gets any bigger and these behaviors accidentally harm someone or another animal.

Keep in mind that while clicker training can be highly effective for puppies, consistency is usually key and that eventually, you will need to implement voice commands as well for a complete training experience that will create a lasting bond between you and your dog.

Your dog’s personality and food drive may play a role in how he responds to clicker training. You can ask your veterinarian for further advice about whether your dog is well suited for this type of obedience learning.

 

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This entry was posted by Rachel.

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