Puppy Clicker Training – The Pros and Cons
The Pros and Cons of Puppy Clicker Training
Puppy clicker training has become very popular through the years for a variety of reasons. Almost anyone can do it with just about any dog, and it takes some of the guesswork out of training so that even amateurs can do it. However, not every dog can be trained easily with this type of training. Clicker training involves the use of a small handheld device that makes a clicking sound. The basic premise of clicker training is to give a command, mark the desired behavior with a click, and then reward with a treat. Here are both the good and the bad about clicker training.
What's Good About Puppy Clicker Training
First of all, clicker training for puppies makes it easy to communicate with your dog on a level she understands. Your dog may get the general idea of what you're saying, but nothing comes through more clearly than the sound of a clicker paired with a well-timed treat for desired behaviors. Clicker training is entirely based on rewards, so you'll be able to extend your training sessions for far longer than you would using methods that are not based on rewards. Clicker training also takes all of the guesswork out of training for both puppy and owner by creating a way for you to communicate with your dog in a way that she will always understand. When she hears the sound of the clicker, she knows that she's done a good job and will get a treat. It's as simple as that.
Now Let's See What's Bad About Puppy Clicker Training
Of course just like with anything else, puppy clicker training does have its drawbacks as well. Some dogs simply don't do well with rewards because there is nothing that really motivates them to obey your commands. This can make training some dogs very difficult if lack of interest in rewards is a major component of her personality. Also if you don't mark desired behaviors properly, you run the risk of allowing behaviors to become extinct Transitioning to different levels of reinforcement is very important in clicker training, so you must learn all that you can before trying this technique with your dog. Timing is everything when it comes to using the clicker, especially when you are working with more advanced commands. However, for the amateur looking for just basic obedience in their pet, clicker training is fairly simple.
Although clicker training typically involves the use of a clicker, it is possible to do marker training using the same techniques but a different sound or device to mark the desired behavior. Some dog owners find that using "yes" as a marker works better for their dog than a clicker. Your best bet is simply to try a few techniques to figure out which works best for you and your puppy.