The newest dog training craze is clicker dog training. A clicker is a small rectangular plastic box with a metal button on top that clicks, hence the name clicker. It’s the type of training that the dog decides whether or not it suits him. There have been a lot of success stories with clickers, but with my dog he just didn’t want to know!
Researchers in dog studies believe that the clicker promotes enforced training, without punishment! As we all know when we do something good and get rewarded for it we are going to do the same again, a dog thinks the same way. Dogs learn through consequences, if they do something and it earns them a treat and praise they are going to want to do it again because they like this consequence. If they do something that you don’t like and they get ignored or said no to in a strict voice they know that they aren’t going to get any treats so are not going to do it again.
Clicker dog training works in such a way it reinforces good behaviour. If your dog sits, click and give him a treat. The next time he sits do the same but don’t say anything to him. He will soon realise that when he sits he will get a treat and hear a click, so when you eventually come to click before he sits he knows to sit. Its not all that confusing when you think about it.
Punishment is not used with clicker dog training as researchers believe that although punishment does stop some bad behaviour it may also create another unwanted behaviour. Punishment is almost always carried out after the dog has done something wrong so dogs see punishment as a random consequence therefore punishment doesn’t really solve anything.
Clicker dog training is not only used or dogs! It is widely used for other animals such as dolphins and horses. It is a widely practiced training method and does produce results; if carried out properly.