What to consider to make sure you get the best dog clicker
When thinking about training a puppy or considering launching yourself as a full-time dog trainer be aware that many professionals swear by clickers. The claim is that a good clicker will enable you to train your mutt faster.
Clickers are small, hand-held devices with a button. As the name suggests, when you press the button, it makes a distinct, loud “click” sound.
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A clicker works in a quite simple way. Within the clicker is a metal strip. When the button is pressed, the strip bends. When the button is released, the metal strip pops up and makes the click sound.
What you need to consider is that when it comes to dog training, what is it you are trying to achieve.
Perhaps you want to train your dog to shake your hand. When your dog puts his paw in your hand, you could click the clicker, say “good” or “yes” or whatever phrase you’ve chosen and reward give your dog a treat as a reward for completing the task. The click sound is the marker.
It’s not that you have to use the clicker forever. Once a dog learns whatever you are teaching it the clicker won’t be required any longer.
Clicker training offers advantages in contracts to relying on a voice marker.
It’s more precise and quicker. Indeed, many people find it is much quicker to simply press a button when they require the dog to perform a task than having said a word.
Clickers also create a constant tone. A clicker sounds the same every time. The sound of a person’s voice changes.
The effectiveness of using clickers in dog training is hotly debated. There is research that indicates using clickers can significantly speed up the rate at which a dog can learn a new behavior. But, some studies appear to show using voice commands is equally effective.
Whatever, clickers are still effective training aids. Most professional dog trainers seem to prefer using clickers. They list precision as the top reason. They also find that when they are training many dogs each day, their voice becomes raspy and uncomfortable.
It’s possible to train a dog with no clicker. But clickers are inexpensive and effective. Clickers can be used for other things than training dogs. People also use them to train their cats, their horses, captive dolphins and elephants, and even their children!
But clickers most commonly get used by people when they are training their dogs. Having said that, when you need to train aaa dog to follow commands over a long distance it’s probably better and more effective to use a dog whistle instead. The sound a whistle creates is not only louder but it also carries further.