Why Clicker Train?

September 6, 2018

Holiday season will be here before we know it, and we all know that puppies are a common gift for families during the holidays. Nothing can compare to the joy and love a brand new puppy can bring. That is until he starts nipping your toes or stealing your shoes!

As your pup adapts to life in her new home, it is important to provide her with the proper training and tools to set her up for a life of happiness and success. First, it is important to note that at the end of the day, dogs will be dogs. Some behaviors are just natural dog behaviors and are not being done on purpose or to be malicious. For example, dogs are going to bark – it’s what they do. Dogs are also going to dig and roll around in your back yard. That’s what dogs do! Other normal dog behaviors include jumping up, chewing, and leash pulling. Dog’s aren’t born knowing not to do these things or that you particularly don’t like these things.

It is up to you to effectively train your dog so you both know what behaviors are and are not desirable. As training begins, we want to remind you why clicker training and positive reinforcement are better and more effective learning experiences than punishment-based training.

First off, punishment-based training utilizes tools (such as shock collars, choke chains, etc.) that build a relationship where the dog expects something bad to happen. He becomes stressed out and afraid trying to figure out how to avoid being punished. Clicker-trained dogs, on the other hand, spend training time expecting good things to happen. They are fully engaged as they figure out how to make that clicker go off and get a treat. Punishment-based training can also cause retaliatory behavior toward the owner or others in the environment or avoidance of said people.

Here are some other facts about punishment-based training:

  • The trainer must be strong, old, or young enough to physically handle the dog
  • Only works with animals that can be physically controlled
  • Can create emotional problems for the dog
  • Seeks to suppress behavior
  • The trainer tells the animal what to do

Clicker training, on the other hand:

  • Is fun for the learner and trainer
  • Anyone can do it. Age or strength aren’t a factor
  • The dog actively participates
  • Works on all animals (cats, dogs, birds, fish, humans, etc.)
  • No undesirable side effects
  • Seeks to encourage behavior
  • Trainer allows animal to offer behavior

Which one of these seems more fun, effective, and fulfilling to you? If you’re ready to begin training with your dog, contact us to get started!