Clicker training is a valuable technique that allows you to train your dog without any form of punishment. It is based on B.F. Skinner's theory of "Operant Conditioning". Karen Pryor, author of the wonderful book "Don't Shoot the Dog", coined the phrase "clicker training" and brought it to the world of dog training.
"Linda is a gifted teacher...having the talent to train dogs is one of her qualities but her gift is how she weaves the owners into the training process through her gentleness. Also her humor is delightful! Thank you for a great class-keep bringing owners and dogs together!"
Posted by Lisa Smith and"Marley"
Click and treat your dog until he associates the sound of the clicker with a treat. You have now created what is called a "secondary reinforcer", or an "event", or "behavior marker". For example, if you want your dog to learn to sit, each time he sits, you click to "mark" the behavior, and then treat. Clicking is faster and more precise for your dog than praise alone can ever be. Clicker trained dogs love to learn, and I believe they are more creative and easier to train than dogs trained with more traditional methods. The clicker is both fun and user friendly for owners, and remains a potent training tool forever. Clicker training is also used for more complex training techniques such as shaping, working with aggression, fear, and many other behaviors. There are many excellent books available at your local bookstore on clicker training, should you want to learn more.
"I know that dogs are pack animals, but it is difficult to imagine a pack of standard poodles... and if there was such a thing as a pack of standard poodles, where would they rove to? Bloomingdale's?"
Clicker training is used to train service dogs, marine mammals, obedience competition dogs, agility dogs, and animals used in the film industry. In fact, you can train almost any animal using a clicker, or some other form of an "event" marker, such as a whistle, or other distinctive sound.
I have clicker trained my parrot "Albert", pet Koi in a pond, even my cats. And it can all be done without force, or physical punishment, truly a joy for both pet and owner. After all, how could you force a fish to do something anyway?
Even problem behaviors can be solved by emphasizing the positive. For example: Jumping up on people. Simply click and treat another behavior such as "four feet on the floor", or "sit to greet people", and your problem is solved.
Hope you have enjoyed this info on "clicker training", and I hope it opens you to the possiblity of dog training done in a positive manner.