A fairly new process being used for dog training is “clicker training”. This type of training is very different from conventional training, since it does not use any punishment for bad behavior. Instead, the concept of clicker training relies entirely on the use of positive reinforcement for good behavior, which is incited by a stimulating noise. This noise usually comes from a small “clicker”, a tool that emits a low-pitched click when a button is pressed. Though this type of training is still fairly new, it is greatly increasing in popularity. Many pet experts can attest to the long-term behavioral problems that are sometimes caused by training programs that use negative reinforcement to punish bad behavior. Clicker training is becoming very useful tool in pet care, and has so far had a very high success rate. If you are looking into clicker training your dog, it may be worthwhile for you to test out this training method.
In order to clicker train your dog, you will need two things – A clicking tool (which is usually available at pet supply stores) and a small bag of bite-sized treats. It is best if you make these treats yourself, and each treat should be approximately the size of a pea. Since these treats are going to be an integral part of your training, it is very important not to over-feed your dog. You can cut up small bits of cheese, salami or other food products in order to create a bag of treats.
Once you have both of these items, it’s time to start the training process with your dog. The primary key to a successful clicker training program is the timing of the clicks. It is very important to press the button on the clicker precisely when your dog engages in good behavior, and follow the clicking noise immediately with a bite-sized treat reward. In addition to this, you can also use the clicker to reinforce other types of positive behavior, such as interacting well with another dog. If you are trying to train your dog with complicated commands, clicker training can be very useful (if used properly).
In regards to pet dog care, a common question among many dog owners is the proper procedure for dealing with situations in which a dog engages in bad behavior. Many dog owners are very tempted to use negative reinforcement (yelling, spanking, etc) to discipline their dog when this occurs. However, it is very important that you refrain from this behavior when engaging in clicker training. Instead, when your dog does something bad, ignore them completely. If necessary, walk into a different room, and refuse to interact with your dog at all. Eventually, your dog will realize that engaging in bad behavior results in being ignored. It may take a bit of time, but your dog will realize that bad behavior is not rewarded with a click and a treat. This training method has proven to be extremely effective, and is used by many pet behavioral experts as part of an exemplary training program.