Clicker training is one of the most popular methods used to train dogs. It has been proven effective in many cases. There are several different types of clicker training for different purposes such as obedience, tracking, therapy or even sport. Clicker training is very easy to learn and it does not require any special equipment except a clicker (a small metal bar with a spring inside). However, there are some drawbacks when using this method:
It takes time and patience.
You need to have a reliable dog.
The dog needs to be motivated.
There are other ways of training your dog besides clicker training. You can use treats, praise, physical contact etc.
as well as positive reinforcement methods like toys or food rewards. Clicker training is still considered one of the best methods for teaching your pet basic commands such as sit, down and stay.
When it comes to training your dog to fetch, there are several things that you need to consider before starting. Here are some tips:
1) Your dog’s age.
Some dogs will be able to catch the ball faster than others. If your dog is young, then you may want to start with a younger puppy first and gradually increase the difficulty level until your dog catches the ball easily.
Older dogs usually cannot catch the ball at all unless they practice a lot.
2) Your dog’s health condition.
Dogs with special needs, disabilities or lacking basic abilities will obviously need extra help and support. You can start training them from a young age since they will be able to learn much easier than older dogs.
3) Know your dog’s behavior.
Different dogs act in different ways. Some dogs may prefer chasing toys a lot more while others may prefer physical affection than toys.
As a pet owner, it is your job to understand what makes your dog happy.
4) Be a positive motivator.
If you give up or get frustrated too easily, then your dog will start to pick up on that as well. Always be patient and encouraging when training your dog.
5) Try different methods for teaching the fetch command.
There are many ways such as using the clicker training that was mentioned earlier or even the “no/yes”
Sources & references used in this article:
- Reaching the animal mind: clicker training and what it teaches us about all animals (K Pryor – 2009 – books.google.com)
- Robotic clicker training (F Kaplan, PY Oudeyer, E Kubinyi, A Miklósi – Robotics and Autonomous …, 2002 – Elsevier)
- The efficacy of a secondary reinforcer (clicker) during acquisition and extinction of an operant task in horses (JL Williams, TH Friend, CH Nevill, G Archer – Applied Animal Behaviour …, 2004 – Elsevier)