Educating your dog in a gentle and positive way is possible thanks to the method of clicker training which opposes coercive training.
The concept developed by Karen Pryor in the USA is revolutionary in the dog world from the 70s. Indeed, clicker training conditions the animal to behave well in order to obtain a reward.
Here's how to train your dog over time and without using force with a click and sweets.
Train your dog with the click, how it works ?
The click is a plastic case equipped with a metal tab, a central button and a spiral strap to slip it on the wrist. When the dog obeys the command given, the center button is pressed to trigger the "click" (soft and always the same sound) and the dog is rewarded immediately. The timing is essential !
With practice, your companion understands that the click is followed by a taste reward if his behavior is what is expected of him. Therefore, the click allows the acquisition of learning and the change of bad behavior without using force or coercion.
How to train the dog to click ?
By conditioning it:
The first step is to condition the dog to the clicker. For this, you must take into account that your companion learns by repetition and association of ideas and that his ability to concentrate does not exceed 10 minutes. Therefore, work sessions should be short and repeated until your dog fully understands it.
- Take your pet to a quiet place so they can pay attention. Then click while dropping a treat on the ground simultaneously in front of your dog. And repeat the operation 10 to 20 times. When your dog begins to turn his head for the treat, he has associated the click with the reward.
The 3 ways to work with the click
In the case of the decoy, you must use the treat to get your dog to perform the desired order.
- If you want your dog to sit in a sitting position, arrange the treat over his head and as soon as he sits up click and simultaneously feed him the treat.
- Do the same for all other learning (recall, stop, bed, etc.). For more demanding orders, help your dog understand what to expect from him by accompanying the click with the appropriate gestures and order.
Order + gesture + click + immediate reward for good behavior.
You have to be quick to get a good result.
With the capturing, you reinforce good behavior that the dog performs naturally.
- For example, if you see your dog going to bed in his basket, click and reward him. He will understand that this attitude is paying off for him.
For the shaping, the treat is only used to reward dog actions that make you happy. It’s the dog who proposes and it’s you who choose to click and reward.
- You see your animal walking towards his toy. To encourage him to go get it, you click and present him a treat if he does.
For these three methods, the end goal is to gradually replace the treat with a caress or congratulations.
Either way, your dog's good behavior should be encouraged and failures ignored.
To captivate your dog, the treats should be very palatable, of high quality, and very small. You have to combine taste pleasure and speed of ingestion to succeed in educating your dog with theclicker training.