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The Advantages of Clicker Dog Training

Clicker dog training is a method of positive reinforcement conditioning that uses a small “clicker” or other noisemaker to precisely mark a desired behavior. This type of operant conditioning was first used to train pigeons for military operations during World War II, and has since been used to successfully train more than 140 species of animals including lions, whales, dolphins, cats, dogs, and even humans. So, what makes clicker training so effective? Here are three advantages of using clicker dog training.

Marker Accuracy

One of the most challenging aspects of training your dog is being able to catch the exact moment the dog has performed a desired action. Traditional verbal praise and rewards can be hard to deliver at the precise moment your dog completes a desired behavior. When you use a specific, unvarying sound like the one used in clicker dog training, you have the ability to accurately mark the correct behavior. Studies have shown that this type of dog training greatly decreases learning time and increases behavior retention better than other methods of training.

Training Consistency

The constant presence of your voice during a training session, combined with slight variations in your tone or speech, makes the use of verbal markers much less precise and consistent than a clicker tool. Clicker dog training eliminates these variations in sound and provides your pet consistent positive feedback using a single, precise sound. This allows you to clearly communicate to your dog exactly which behavior is being reinforced, so you can teach your dog even complex tasks without the use of punishment or force.

Learning Retention

Research into positive reinforcement techniques has shown that animals trained with a clicker retain the tasks they have been taught years after the training, even with no additional practice. This retention in learning is seen not only with clicker dog training, but also with most other types of positive reinforcement training. Animals trained using a clicker tool and positive reinforcement develop a “joy” response to the sound of the clicker, are more self-confident and perform their tasks enthusiastically even after the clicker has been phased out.

Other types of behavior markers can be used besides a clicker tool if necessary. The key to successful training is to make sure the marker used is brief and consistent. Other types of markers used in positive reinforcement training include flashes of light or whistles. There are even vibrating collars available to assist in the training of deaf dogs. The type of marker you choose is entirely up to you, just make sure you use the same marker each time. There are a wide variety of clicker dog training tools available today, and since they all work pretty much the same way all you have to do is choose one that appeals to you and your dog.

Source: Internet

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