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Using A Clicker To Train Your Dog

Dog Obedience Made Easy With A Clicker Why Clicker Training Works - The principle behind clicker training comes from operant conditioning. Operant conditioning is how we learn from the consequences of our actions. We tend to repeat actions that have positive outcomes and not repeat those that have negative ones. Psychologist B. F.

Skinner used lab rats to study operant conditioning. Skinner's lab rats were placed in boxes that contained a lever that would operate a trap door. When a rat accidentally pressed the lever, the trap door would open and a food reward would tumble into the box.

Skinner learned that the rats began associating the action of depressing the lever with food. Thus, this behavior was positively reinforced and the rats were trained through operant conditioning. Clicker training employs this same idea, by rewarding the dog with a treat when the click is heard, and the click is only heard when a positive behavior is being reinforced. Clicker training is most effective when done in short training sessions, rather than hour-long obedience "cram" sessions. When done properly, clicker training is an effective means of training both young puppies and older dogs, even those who have previously been trained by other means, such as voice commands.

Dogs are very responsive to clicker training; within a few weeks your dog should know all its basic commands such as sit, heel, stay and come. Getting Started with Clicker Training - The first step to beginning clicker training is to pair the click with a treat reward. Click and give your dog a treat until your dog begins to expect a treat when he hears the click. Next, wait patiently until your dog exhibits a behavior that you want to reinforce.

Click during this desired behavior, as the timing of the click is crucial. For Example, each time your dog begins to sit click and give him a treat. Overtime delay the click and treat reward until he is fully seated.

Once your dog associates the act of sitting with a reward, add the verbal cue "sit" before this desired behavior occurs. When your dog's response to the sit command becomes consistent, continue to use the clicker, but vary the food rewards. You will have the most obedient dog on the block! Copyright (c) 2008 Cheap Puppy Pads.

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