Dog training motivation, rate of reinforcement and timing.
In this article I am going to discuss clicker training and its use in training dogs. Most people have heard of clicker training but have no clue what it actually is, in this article I will discuss what clicker training is, how to start using it as well as just how powerful clicker training can be. Most dogs take to clicker training very easily and enjoy learning through the use of a clicker.
What Clicker Training Is
Clicker Training is a positive method of training a dog new behaviors. This means there is no correction for the dog getting anything wrong just reward for when it gets the new behavior right. Unlike some other dog training clicker training does not rely on baiting where the dog is simply bribed into performing a certain behavior. The problem with baiting is that its a very dependent on the owner and takes a lot time to become an independent behavior without many cues. As well as allowing you to teach your dog an independent behavior much quicker than with baiting or other conventional dog training it also allows your dog to learn at a fast rate because its being given much clearer instruction.
How Clicker Training Works
The principle behind clicker training is that the click noise given off by the clicker means correct. So the soon learns that the exact position its in or behavior its performing when the clicker goes off means that’s the correct position/behavior. When a dog is use to clicker training and is clear when its doing the correct behavior new behaviors are formed very quickly.
The main things to consider when clicker training are rate of reinforcement, timing and motivation. Rate of reinforcement is all about how often your reward and how much of a reward you give. When first starting you should reward often and always remember quickly. You need to reward as soon as the dog has performed the correct behavior this way the message that’s right is crystal clear. As your dogs understanding increases the rate of reinforcement can be decreased and your dog should be holding the correct behavior longer.
Timing is extremely important in any dog training you must use the clicker the millisecond your dog performs the correct behavior. Clicker training is all about timing the quicker you click and reward the faster the dog will learn the new behavior. The next major thing to consider is motivation without motivation you have nothing a dog must love to work. Unmotivated dogs have no go about them and they simply do not want to work. If a dog does not want to work then you have a serious problem its one hundred percent the training responsibility to make the dog love working.
There are many ways to motivate a dog these include treats, toys, fuss and just play in general. Always keep your training short and fun ten to fifteen minutes at a time is perfect any more than this and the dog will get fed up. Remember that you should always finish training when your dog is keen and enjoying the training, never finish when your dog is bored and unmotivated as this produces nothing except a dog who does not enjoy working.
How To Get Started Clicker Training
To get started clicker training all you need is a clicker, a reward and a willing dog. If you have these three things then you have everything you need to start clicker training. Experiment and have fun it’s the best way to learn about clicker training and training dogs in general. There’s no substitute to a good working relationship with your dog. When you have that great relationship you will find training so much easier because you already know exactly how your dog is going to react to everything you do.