What is Clicker Training?

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What is Clicker Training?

Clicker Training is a respectful, scientific and yet fun method of training your dog (or any animal). It uses a positive approach by rewarding the behaviours you want rather than punishing the unwanted ones. It is based on the science of Operant Conditioning used in training marine mammals like dolphins. Karen Pryor, a marine mammal trainer, popularized the technique and the term Clicker Training and brought it to the world of dogs, cats, horses, birds and other small animals!

Clicker Training is Fast, Easy and Fun! Whether for the average pet owner or for those who want more precision in their training, this might be the answer for you!

If you have been looking for a method of training that doesn’t use punishment or force, this might be the answer for you!

We have Trainers who can either work with good manners for pets or use the clicker to perfect the Obedience Commands! Maybe you’d like to teach your dog tricks? Or just find a way to have some quality fun time with your pooch.

Start now with Puppy Training! A combination of clicker & TTouch – there’s no better way to start your puppy’s learning!  

Please click here for a list of Puppy Classes run by our TTouch Practitioners.

How to do Clicker Training?

Trainers use a toy clicker with a unique sound to mark the behaviour that they like. After they “click”, the dog receives a reward. This can be anything that the dog likes, from food to fetch to a walk. Food is a staple part of Clicker training, as it’s easy to dispense and nearly always rewarding for the dog. (Don’t worry, there are many tips for dogs who don’t seem to be food motivated)

Clicker Training relies on Positive Reinforcement to make it more likely the dog will repeat the desired behaviour in the future. 
It is unique in that:

  • There is a step-by-step recipe to getting any behaviour and the tools used to get these behaviours are vast.
  • The clicker is used as a marker signal for the animal to know when he has done something right. Rather like a camera taking a picture, marking the exact moment.

Basically it’s

  • Get the Behaviour
  • Mark the Behaviour
  • Reward or Reinforce the Behaviour

An example is if you want to teach your dog to sit. When he sits, you click. Then you give him a bit of a yummy treat. The click means, ”That behaviour is exactly what I want”! If you Click & Treat every time the dog sits, he quickly will understand that sitting is a very good thing indeed. You can then start to add the cue word “Sit” before your dog sits so that the association starts to develop between the word and the behaviour. 

We at Tellington TTouch, South Africa believe that Clicker Training is eminently compatible with TTouch as both modalities are based on working with the animals with Respect, Co-operation and Understanding. They both are working towards getting the animals to Think for themselves and Communication on the highest level.

There are a variety of ways to experience Clicker Training: