Clicker training is probably one of the most useful and interesting techniques I have been introduced to in all my time as a professional trainer. Not only have I found it a valuable tool to have in your training toolbox , but it also teaches the trainer so much about animal behaviour and conditioning.
I once gave a presentation to a group of dog trainers/handlers; my opening remarks gave rise to some strange looks indeed:
"The age of Dog Training is dead! The usefulness of a dog trainer is over!"
As you can appreciate these statements were a little unexpected from a trainer to a group of trainers. But I went on to explain:
We no longer need to teach our dogs with the
"Do as I say and you will get a reward; Don't do as I say and you will get rebuked"
system that has been the basis of dog training for many years. Now we have an alternative in behaviour conditioning, the simplest system is "Clicker Training".
Although the principles I have learnt through Clicker Training I now use in all my training systems as much as possible.
Stimuli; Response; Reward
I now adopt training that involves the dog teaching himself what behaviour is required to get a reward. Whilst the training can be slower and you do need patience, especially in the early stages , the rewards are worth it. I have found that the dogs are a lot more stable in the response to a given stimulus, because they understand why they are carrying out an action, they do it 100% of the time and with speed.
Tell me I will hear; Show me I will see; Let me and I will understand