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The pros and cons of clicker training

Clicker and Grain Free Poultry Treats

The pros and cons of clicker training

The clicker training technique is one of the most widely used dog training methods in the world.

As with all training techniques, there are some limitations to the method. With so many different explanations and techniques by dog trainers and experts for using a clicker, it’s no wonder that it can sometimes be confusing for beginners just starting to use a clicker.

In the majority of cases, it’s the human factor and the way the clicker is being used that leads to problems and complications when training your dog.

Make sure you understand why you are clicking

Only once you know and understand why you are clicking will your dog begin to understand your command and be able to conclude what behaviour is being rewarded.

Be aware of your environment

All animals, and dogs, in particular, are very sensitive to the environment they are in. To get the most out of clicker training, it’s important to limit the environmental impact on your dog by carefully managing and arranging the area you conduct your training. As with most correctional training, if used incorrectly, unsuccessful clicker training can cause your dog to have unintended behaviours.

The pros and cons of clicker training for your dog

If carried out correctly, the benefits of clicker training can be substantial and include:

  • Clicker training helps your dog learn commands faster as the click provides instant positive feedback for your dog. The click explains in clear terms what was expected and which behaviour is being reinforced and your dog is being rewarded for.
  • Clicker training is reward based. Small grain free training treats can allow for much longer sessions than training that does not reinforce desired behaviour with a reward.
  • Clicker training is widely regarded as the best training technique for helping to build a strong bond and relationship between the dog and the trainer.
  • You can command your dog to complete numerous repetitions of the same activity without a slide in interest or motivation.

The cons and most common complications and limitations of clicker training:

  • If clicker training is not conducted correctly, particularly the phase when you transition from continuous clicker reward to inconsistent and then random reward reinforcement, or if your dog has a low interest in the reward being offered, then the desired behaviour being reinforced is more likely to be forgotten without the prolonged use of the reward.
  • Clicker training is based on a reward for the desired behaviour. If your dog has a low interest in food or treats and you can’t find a reward that your dog values enough, you may encounter some difficulty when using clicker training.

Find out More with the FREE ‘Dog Clicker Training’ ebook

If you think clicker training might be for you have a look at Bounce and Bella’s Dog Clickers – they all come with a free ‘dog clicker training’ ebook.

Clicker and Grain Free Poultry Treats
Clicker and Grain Free Poultry Treats and FREE ebook ‘Dog Clicker Training’

‘Dog Clicker Training’ eBook Sample:

How to Use a Dog Clicker

Using a dog clicker is simple, but you need to be clear to follow the simple steps carefully so that the message is clear for your dog. If you are uncertain and use the clicker inappropriately then you will find that your dog is confused. Remember that your dog can only learn from what you teach them and try to be consistent with your use at all times. This will make it far easier for your dog to understand and follow your training.

Teach Your Dog to Associate a Click With a Reward

The first step in using a clicker to train a dog is in teaching them to associate a click with a reward. You can do this very simply by taking a handful of treats in one hand and the clicker in the other. The dog does not need to do anything at this stage to ‘earn’ a reward. Click the dog clicker and give your dog one treat. You should then wait for a short period and then do the same again. Within 10 clicks your dog should be made aware that a click results in a reward. Wait for a few minutes and repeat the process. Your dog then should be certain what is meant by a click. Once this is done you will be ready to begin clicker training with your dog as it will now associate clicking with reward.

You can watch this in action here with Pam’s Dog Academy:

Click During the Action, Not Afterwards

The most important element in the use of a dog clicker is to click DURING the desired behaviour and not once it has been completed. The timing of the click is important because it reinforces the behaviour as a reward. The click is a congratulation for carrying out a behaviour that is good.

When you are click training your dog it will be common for your dog to stop a behaviour when you click at first. This is not uncommon and should not be alarming because the click will stop the behaviour so that they can get a treat. You can give the treat once the behaviour has stopped because it is the timing of the click that matters, not the timing of the treat. Remember that it is the click that counts as praise. The treat is simply used to reinforce this.

Always Follow a Click with a Treat

While the timing of the treat is not important in itself, it is important that you always follow a click with a treat. The click is a congratulatory sound that your dog will associate with a treat and this will keep them filled with a desire to please you. If you withdraw the treats then the reward will be diminished and the training will be lessened. If you run out of treats then you should stop using the clicker until you can get some more Bounce and Bella treats because the click must always be associated with a treat.

Remember that click training is a specific process that should be carried out for a short period of time only. It is not an ongoing process to be used at all times. If you are engaging in click training then use the clicker and give the treats. If you are not engaging in click training then don’t use the clicker at all. You can still reward good behaviour with treats when you are not using the clicker, but you should never use the clicker outside of training.

Teach Your Dog That Responding to You Earns Treats

The most basic skill to teach your dog with clicker training is that responding to you earns rewards. This is a hugely important skill to teach your dog because this gives you control. If your dog ignores a command then your dog is not under control, so you need to instill the understanding that listening to you is a good thing to do.

To do this you should use commands to communicate to your dog. When the dog responds to your command then you should click and give your dog a treat. If your dog does not respond to your command then you do not click and your dog does not get a treat. Your dog will very quickly learn to understand that listening to you is a good thing. The most important element here is to only click when the dog responds. Wait until the dog returns to you or obeys your command and click while the behaviour is being carried out. This will reinforce good behaviours and in doing so will stamp out bad behaviours.

More from the ebook …

  • Use the Clicker to Reinforce Behaviour
  • Clicker to Get Your Dog’s Attention
  • Clicker and Punishment
  • How to Develop New Behaviours
  • Teach in Small Steps
  • Replacing the Click
  • Never Stop Rewarding
  • Never Stop Training

If you think clicker training might be for you have a look at Bounce and Bella’s Dog Clickers – they all come with a free ‘dog clicker training’ ebook.

Clicker and Grain Free Poultry Treats
Clicker and Grain Free Poultry Treats and FREE ebook ‘Dog Clicker Training’

Dog Clicker
Dog Clicker and Grain Free Poultry Treats
Dog Clicker and Grain Free Fish Treats

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Grain free treats get a makeover!

What’s Happening to Grain Free Treats!?!Grain Free Treats from Bounce and Bella get a make over

Grain Free Treats are getting a Makeover!

– They’re getting a gorgeous new bag to hang out in.

When?

– Very soon! The next time you order they may already be in their lovely new outfit.

Is anything else changing?

– No

Have you changed the treats in any way at all?

– No

You’re keeping them exactly the same?

– Yes

Why?

– Because they’re already awesome!!!

– Dogs think they’re delicious and they’re healthy too!

– Only 5 Ingredients & junk-free (no grains, sugars or additives).

– They’re the perfect training size.

– Even the fussiest of dogs love them and we even offer a full money back guarantee!

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4 reasons why you should put your senior dog on a senior diet!

old-dog-2579885

4 reasons why you should put your senior dog on a senior diet

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Four ways to reduce flatulence in dogs

Gracie taught me the joy of rolling in the grass... by Bennilover CC 6.0

Four ways to reduce flatulence in dogs

Being the owner of a dog that passes a lot of gas can be embarrassing and unpleasant. Some breeds, like Boxers and Bulldogs, are naturally more flatulent than others, but if you think your dog’s flatulence is excessive, there may be some things you can do to help ease the problem…

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Why switch to grain-free food for your pooch this summer?

image by fstop186

Why switch to grain-free food for your pooch this summer?

The summer is well on its way and we couldn’t be more excited. For dog owners, this means lighter evenings and warmer days to take your pooch for a walk, which is a huge bonus. Not only that, but it also means it’s a great time to review your pet’s diet and ensure it’s the best and healthiest it can be.

As we head into the warmer months, your pet’s diet can have a huge impact on their behaviour and well-being, so it’s important to know what’s best for your dog. One way of doing this is to look at the benefits of grain-free treats…

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Top tips for when putting your dog on a diet

Top tips for when putting your dog on a diet

Are you concerned that your dog is overweight? Perhaps they have a pot belly or feel much heavier when you lift them up. If you are concerned, then the likelihood is that your dog is overweight. In most cases, the average household dog is 15% overweight! This is when you need to take action. Below we share some helpful tips when you need to put your dog on a diet…

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Photo: Dog by brugui licensed under Creative commons 2
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How to know if your dog needs a diet change

How to know if your dog needs a diet change

As a pet owner, you are most likely used to feeding your dog a specific routine diet, such as high-quality dry food for dogs, or a mix of raw foods and dry foods. However, have you ever wondered if your dog may need a change in their diet to help them stay happy and healthy?

To determine whether your dog needs a shift in their diet, there are a few things you should be looking out for. We discuss some of the signs below…

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The best healthy treats for your dog

The best healthy treats for your dog

We love to give our dogs a treat, they are our best friends after all. When it comes to giving your dog a treat, whether it’s for general love or for training, then it’s important that the treats you are giving them are healthy and appropriate for them. There are certain foods that dogs simply cannot be fed, these include chocolate, avocados, grapes and lots more. However, there are plenty of healthy dog treats for your furry friend. Keep reading to check out the best healthy dog treats to give your pet…

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How to Train a Dog with Treats

How to train a dog with treats

Whether you’ve brought a puppy into the family, adopted an adult dog from a shelter or you have an old family dog who’s up for learning new tricks, training your dog can be a confusing, chaotic and fun experience. Our pooches can be mischievous little bundles of joy sometimes, which makes training them all the more important. We’d recommend you buy some dog treats for training. It’s the best way to keep your pet interested! Find out more …

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