What is Clicker Training?
Clicker training is a science-based system for teaching behavior with positive reinforcement. You use a marker signal (the sound of a toy clicker) to tell the animal when it’s doing the action that will pay off. The system was first widely used by dolphin trainers who needed a way to teach behavior without using physical force. In clicker training you watch for the behavior you like, mark the instant it happens with a click, and pay off with a treat. The treat may be food, a pat, praise, or anything else the learner enjoys. If the learner makes a mistake all you do is wait and let them try again. I like to use food in my training as well but I like us to use our voices, it is something that is always with us.
Clicker training is a simple and effective method of training based on a positive reinforcement reward system. The clicker itself is a simple plastic box with a metal tongue. When compressed it emits a double ‘click’ sound. The clicker is used to reward a specific behaviour and works on most dog’s willingness to want to please their owners and earn their prize. The beauty of the clicker is that it is specific to the behaviour your dog is exhibiting at the time that you want to reward. Praise such as “who has been a good boy then!” is not going to be as effective in teaching your dog what is going to get it a reward and so it will take longer for it to learn. As the click is sounded as the behaviour is occurring there can be no doubt about what the dog is being rewarded for. Clicker training uses your dogs own natural desire to learn and obtain a reward without having to use any force or punishment. If your dog does not do what you are trying to train it will not get a click reward and
Clicker training is both a training technique and a training philosophy. The term “clicker training” was coined by Karen Pryor, who helped bring clicker training to the world of dog training. Clicker training, the training technique, is based on the learning theories described in BF Skinner’s theory of Operant Conditioning. In clicker training, trainers use an event marker — usually a noisemaker such as a clicker — to identify behaviors that they like. Then, after they mark the behavior, they reinforce the behavior, usually with a food treat. The theory of Operant Conditioning says that reinforced (rewarded) behaviors are more likely to be repeated behaviors. A practical example: A trainer wants to teach his dog to sit. When the dog sits, the trainer clicks and gives the dog a treat. The click means “That behavior right there — that’s what I want!” and “A reward is coming.” If the trainer clicks and treats every time the dog sits, the dog will soon figure out that sitting earns a tr
Clicker Training. Clicker training was originally developed by marine dolphin trainers. The early dolphin trainers were faced with the dilemma of trying to work with an animal that couldn’t be restrained or forced into working. All the traditional animal training methods that had been developed over thousands of years of working with horses, elephants, and dogs didn’t apply to an animal that could just swim away. They couldn’t food deprive them, and they couldn’t punish them, so the dolphin trainers tried a different approach. They used a positive food reward. People have used food rewards in training before, but what the dolphin trainers added was a bridging signal. A high frequency whistle was used to mark correct responses. The dolphins learned that the sound of the whistle meant food or a favorite toy was coming. They also learned that they could “make” their trainers blow the whistle by performing certain behaviors. Dolphin trainers combined this with the principle of shaping thro
It is training using almost entirely positive reinforcement – teaching your dog to learn… using no physical compulsion or corrections whatsoever. Sounds a bit unbelievable, but works incredibly well. Instead of yanking dogs around, shoving them into place, giving some praise, and hoping the dog will make the connection, dogs are taught using the scientific methods of classical & operant conditioning. Anyone questioning how reliable a dog taught this way can be should take a trip to Sea World. There, the Orcas, dolphins, etc., are taught using these same methods. After all… you can’t slip a choke chain around a whale’s neck & give a jerk! And yet, these lovely creatures perform flawlessly for audience after audience. And have a blast doing it. The whole enjoyment feature is what really turned me on to positive training. I love my dogs, and although I want them to be responsive to me I dislike hurting them! With clicker training I don’t have to. This training works for every dog, fro