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  • Clicker Training Defined Clicker training is a dog training method based on behavioral psychology that relies on marking desirable behavior and rewarding it.

    How It Works The trainer uses a noise-making "clicker" and produces a click at the exact moment the desired behavior occurs. A reward is followed immediately after the click. With repetition, the dog relates the click sound with rewards. The dog "learns to learn" and begins to offer behavior for rewards instead of being coerced or lured.

    Click Versus a Word The click is a very distinctive sound and can be delivered quickly and consistently. It is believed that it is registered in the part of the brain, the amygdala, that is responsible in the processing and memory of emotional reactions. The click always sounds the same, unlike the tonal and emotional deviations in the spoken word. The clicker is used only when the dog is learning each behavior. Once a behavior is established the clicker can be faded away with only an occasional revisit if a behavior starts to get sloppy.

    Benefits of Clicker Training:

    • No need for tools to control the dog – dog learns to create behavior on its own
    • Improves communication between the handler and the dog
    • Improved attitude towards training
    • Very forgiving method – tolerates handler error
    • Focuses on what is right rather than what is wrong
    • Can use at any age – even very young puppies
    • Removes the by-products of aversive training – fearful dogs
    • A proven scientific method that works The clicker can be used with any of the training guidelines in this library. When your dog is doing a desired behavior, say stepping into his crate during crate training, click and then give a treat. Anytime giving a treat is part of the training process, you may use the clicker just before giving the treat. Remember, the clicker tells the dog he is doing the right thing at exactly that moment. It may be an extra step for you but will accelerate the dog’s learning ability.

    Janine Allen

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