The clicker is used as a type of optimistic reinforcement coaching; this kind of coaching is most well-liked by most canine coaching consultants as a result of it’s simply that: optimistic. A clicker is a small, handheld gadget that makes a definite clicking sound when pressed. With clicker coaching, a click on is used to speak “good job” together with your canine on the actual second that he has executed one thing proper.
Clickers are particularly useful throughout sure behaviors that may in any other case be troublesome to mark with a deal with. Think about making an attempt to show your canine to go to his mattress. Utilizing treats as a reward, your canine would possibly briefly crouch within the mattress and spring again as much as return to you for a deal with. However with a clicker, you possibly can click on when your canine is absolutely settled down within the mattress after which carry the deal with to him.
Some issues to know earlier than getting began:
- Solely click on as soon as for any desired habits; don’t double-click or provide just a few additional clicks since you’re pleased with your pup (however be happy to supply additional treats!).
- All the time observe the press with a reward. It will preserve the “power” of the press.
- Rewards will also be verbal reward, pets, and many others.
- Clickers are used for optimistic reinforcement coaching. This implies we’re solely specializing in the actions your canine will get proper. Ignore undesirable habits and by no means scold throughout clicker coaching classes to keep away from confusion.
Step 1: Charging the clicker
With out having ever seen a clicker earlier than, the clicker and the sound it makes doesn’t imply something to your canine. Step one in clicker coaching is to develop the affiliation between the clicker and rewards.
- You’ll want your clicker and 10-15 simply accessible, high-value treats. These ought to be about pea-sized so your canine doesn’t replenish too rapidly.
- With the clicker in a single hand, get your canine’s consideration. (This shouldn’t be too laborious if he can scent the treats!)
- Click on as soon as and provides your canine a deal with instantly after. Repeat this 10-15 instances.
If the clicker is initially too scary in your canine (in any case, it’s a loud, jarring sound), you possibly can maintain it behind your again or muffle it with a towel till your canine will get used to it.
Step 2: Practising clicker timing
The timing of the press is essential with clicker coaching since you’re speaking the precise second when your canine did one thing proper. For the deal with that follows, the timing doesn’t have to be as actual.
- Apply your timing with the clicker on a fundamental coaching command that your canine already is aware of, like sit.
- Command your canine to take a seat. The moment his backside touches the bottom, click on.
- Provide a deal with.
Step 3: Placing the clicker to make use of
Now that you simply’ve acquired the cling of utilizing the clicker in a coaching scenario and your canine understands the clicker’s which means, you can begin to make use of it to coach new instructions. Attempt instructing your canine “contact” the place he faucets his nostril to your hand or to “give paw”/shake.
The clicker is a useful instrument when instructing complicated methods as a result of you possibly can set smaller targets to assist your canine work as much as the ultimate trick.
Instance: When instructing your canine “roll over,” set smaller targets of laying down, enjoyable to the facet, rolling onto his again, and at last, the whole rollover. Proceed to follow a objective till your canine is persistently profitable earlier than transferring on to the subsequent objective.
Fixing unhealthy habits
The clicker can be utilized to repair unhealthy habits by clicking for good habits. Click on when your pet goes potty within the desired space. Click on when your canine provides a sit so you possibly can put his leash on. In case your canine will get overly enthusiastic about meal instances, click on when he sits to attend for his bowl.
“Catch” cute behaviors
You need to use the clicker to coach your canine to do cute behaviors on command, like head tilting, tail chasing, or shaking off. Merely click on when your canine does the habits after which provide a deal with. This will imply conserving your clicker in your pocket always, so you possibly can anticipate the habits. After your canine repeats the habits just a few instances in hopes of a reward, you possibly can add a verbal command and proceed practising.
Notice: Rather than a clicking sound, you possibly can substitute a verbal “sure” or “good” as a marker, as long as you’re constant in the way in which you say it.