Even though dog clicker training has only recently become very popular (thanks to the Internet), it is not a new training method. In fact, it has been around since the 1940's and is based on science.
Unlike the traditional command-based training, training your dog to stay with a clicker is easier. The clicker itself is nothing special, just a small plastic box with a piece of metal inside it.
Once you push down on the clicker, it makes a clicking noise (this is where the name comes from). As simple as it sounds, the clicker really shows it's worth when training a Chihuahua puppy.
The idea behind dog clicker training is that you use positive reinforcement. This means that instead of punishing bad behavior, which we often do, we reward good behavior instead. The way a clicker helps to train a puppy, is by acting as what we call a condition reinforcer. This is just a fancy way of saying that you teach your dog that whenever it hears the sound of a clicker, something great is about to happen!
For example, we often expect our dog to understand English – although of course, dogs do not speak English.
Therefore, the phrase "good boy!" or "bad dog!" does not mean anything to the dog. However, when training a Chihuahua puppy, the dog learns to associate a particular phrase with either a reward, or with being punished.
So in short, when you are using dog clicker training, the click is just a quicker, more effective way of you telling the dog "great job – you are about to be rewarded for what you just did!".
Why would you want to start learning more about free dog clicker training instead of keeping with the traditional "good dog!" techniques? One of the reasons is that you are constantly communicating with your dog. Your dog has more of an interest in how you say things as opposed to what you are saying.
If you are tired, distracted, angry, or otherwise preoccupied what you say may not be consistent with how you say it. Unfortunately, one of the ways how to train a puppy to not listen to what you are saying is by being inconsistent. The clicker however, never changes, nor does it have a different tone.
Secondly, dog clicker training is short and to the point. When we are giving verbal praise, we often do so elaborately. For example when you are training your dog to stay, you may give it praise, the dog might run over towards you while you are still praising it and as a result, ends up confused. Training with a clicker accurately pinpoints what behavior earned your dog its praise.
The best thing about learning how to train a puppy with free dog clicker training is that a clicker costs you next to nothing, the information you need is readily available for free, and you should start seeing results quickly.
You need to make sure that a click from the clicker is associated with something the dog likes. Reward your dog each time you hit the clicker. The most practical way of rewarding your dog is to give it a small treat, but you could also give your dog its favorite toy or if they have a particular area they like to be petted, you could do that. Anything that makes the dog excited about a reward once your dog hears that click will work.
With some time and practice, your dog will realize what it was doing the moment the clicker went off. With a simple clicker and some patience, you could easily train your dog.
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