• Dana VanSickle, KPA CTP

Top 5 Reasons to Clicker Train with your Dog

If there’s one thing I regret about my career training dogs, it is that I didn’t find Clicker Training sooner. When I first started learning about dog behavior more than 15 years ago, I had no idea that communicating and learning could be so easy. Instead, I spent my early years as a dog trainer and dog mom taking the long road to obedience. These days, however, I enjoy life in the fast *dog training* lane with the help of a clicker.


Full disclosure, you are reading the words of a certified clicker trainer. That’s right, I’m drinking the Clicker Kool-Aid and proud of it. But I didn’t always feel this way. For years, I laughed at the idea of using food to teach my dog how to act. My narrow-mindedness left me in the dark for many years. If there’s one thing I wish for you, dear reader, it is that you will find the clicker training way sooner than I did.

What is Clicker Training?

Clicker Training is a way of teaching and learning that is accessible to any kind of animal. It works by positively reinforcing behavior. For instance, clicking the moment your clicker-savvy dog sits is bound to teach your dog that sitting is very rewarding. Of course, dogs aren’t born knowing what the click means, but they can learn this very quickly. Charging the Clicker teaches the animal that the sound of the click marks the moment in time they got something right and that a reward is on the way. It is so simple and easy that Clicker Training has been used to teach very complex behaviors to everything from dolphins to tigers to children, oh my!


What I love about Clicker Training!

Clicker training has a variety of benefits, the most important (in my opinion) being the way in which is inspires participants. When done well, I have seen Clicker Training transform aggression into trust and indifference into eagerness. Thanks to Clicker Training, I have yet to meet a dog that cannot be taught to behave well or to love to learn. Perhaps that is because this approach to teaching puts the learner in the driver's seat. It gives the learner, be they a dog, human or otherwise, the ability to influence their environment for rewarding experiences. Who doesn’t love an environment where the opportunities to discover and grow are both safe and endless?


I could give you a million and one reasons to switch to clicker training TODAY. In the interest of time, here are my Top 5 Reasons to Clicker Train:


5. Clicker Training is efficient. Yes, there is more than one way to get to your favorite restaurant. But wouldn’t you rather take the fastest and safest route there?


4. Cues and behaviors learned through Clicker Training are extremely reliable long-term. Isn’t that the point of training? To be as effective as possible.


3. Clicker Training builds trust. You may think you have a good relationship with your dog, but you really have no idea how deeply bonded you can be until you start clicker training.


2. Creativity abounds in Clicker Training! They say that creativity is intelligence having fun. Creative dogs are not only better learners, they are also smarter, and more fun to live with.


1. Clicker training is more FUN! That’s what learning is all about. I mean, yes it’s about learning. But when learning is fun, there are no limits to what you can do.




 

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