What's the best way to start with clicker training?

asked 2015-08-26 16:20:30 -0500

I've been interested in using clicker training with my dogs for quite a long time; but the biggest inhibiting factor is knowing where to start.

Any suggestions on reading, video or course resources to learn how to start from the beginning?

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answered 2015-08-26 16:36:58 -0500

If you are looking to get into clicker training, I definitely recommend checking out the Karen Pryor Academy's Foundation Course. I was looking to become a positive reinforcement trainer and had Karen Pryor recommended to me by a certified trainer at the dog daycare I was working at. I took the course a couple months ago and have to say that it is phenomenal. It not only teaches the basics to clicker training but also to dog behavior. I felt like it was extremely easy to learn from. I liked it so much, I am sticking with the Karen Pryor Academy and starting the Professional Program in September.

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answered 2015-08-26 17:10:49 -0500

This isn't the best Zak George video, but it's a good intro to getting started with a clicker -https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HPDOrEEsAJ8

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answered 2015-08-27 10:23:16 -0500

Hi Erica!

First, we should get some background on why exactly a clicker is an efficient training tool. The clicker creates communication between a human and an animal. A trainer teaches the dog that every time they hear the clicking sound, they get a treat. Once the animal understands that clicks are always followed by treats, the click becomes a very powerful reward.

Here's how to introduce the clicker to your furry friend - - Spend some time teaching them that the click sound means “Treat!” (For the sake of simplicity, let’s assume that you’re going to clicker train a dog.) - Sit and watch TV or read a book with your dog in the room. Have a container of treats within reach. - Place one treat in your hand and the clicker in the other. - Click once and immediately open your hand to give your dog the treat. Put another treat in your closed hand and resume watching TV or reading. Ignore your dog. - Several minutes later, click again and offer another treat. - Continue to repeat the click-and-treat combination Make sure you vary the time so that your dog doesn’t know exactly when the next click is coming. - Eventually, your dog will turn towards you and look expectant when he hears the click—this means they understand that the sound of the clicker means a treat is coming their way!

Hope this helps!

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To add to this, make sure you click immediately when they've completed their task and then give the treat immediately as a reward for that task. For example, if you ask them to turn around, don't then make them sit before giving them the treat. You reward them for the task they were assigned.

Anne M.'s profile image Anne M.  ( 2015-08-27 11:03:15 -0500 ) edit

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