Positive Reinforcement Dog Training with a Clicker Really Works

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Positive Reinforcement Dog Training with a Clicker Really Works

by Jon Leger


Positive reinforcement has long been accepted as the most effective method to train children. Instead of disciplining for bad behavior, reward for good behavior. This is also true with most trainable animals, including dogs.

One popular method of using positive reinforcement to train a dog is to use a clicker. In case you were wondering, a click is not your TV remote control. A clicker is exactly what it sounds like: a device that makes a clicking sound.

Establishing clicker training is simple. First, bring your dog into a fairly closed in area so he can't wander off too far. Then click the clicker and give your dog a small treat. After giving your dog the treat, praise him and pet him extensively.

Then repeat the process. Click the clicker, give a treat, and praise your dog.

After doing this for about 15 minutes, walk to another area of the room. If your dog does not follow you, click the clicker and wait. When your dog makes even a small movement toward you, click the clicker, give a treat, and praise your dog.

When your dog moves away from you, do not click the clicker. Stay quite and wait. As soon as your dog makes another move toward you, click the clicker, give a treat and praise your dog. If he comes all the way to you, make a real fuss over him and give him two treats. Show that you are really happy with him.

Once your dog has connecting coming to you with getting a treat (which may take a few practice sessions), start using the phrase "Rex, come here!", with your dog's name substituted for "Rex", of course. Then click the clicker and give a treat if he comes to you.

Are you starting to see the pattern here? Begin first by clicking the clicker and rewarding any step made toward the goal--in this case coming to you. Once that goal is associated with a treat, start associating the goal with the words (such as "Rex, come here!"). In time the clicker will not be necessary, as the dog will associate the words with the desired action.

This method can be repeated with virtually any other commands that you want to teach your dog.

Teach yourself to train your dog using Jonathan Leger's free proven dog training lessons.



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