Dog Training

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Click And Treat Training For Dogs

The first major improvement in dog training since choke chainsand spiked collars, click and treat has quickly establishingitself in becoming a big hit in the world of dog training.Currently, there are over 10,000 trainers who are using thistraining method everyday.

One advantage to using this form of training at home is it’seasy to learn for both the dog and his trainer!

Originally used to train marine mammals, click and treat breaksdown the process into two separate steps, information andmotivation. The click is the information, the treat is themotivation. While other trainers still work on these two steps,they try to teach them all at once, which can confuse the animaland slow down results.

Most trainers will verbally praise a dog for good behavior,while at the same time motivating the dog to repeat hisactions. This can be a good method, however it takes longer forthe dog to understand which behaviors and actions caused thepraise from the trainer.

With the click and treat method, the processes are easilytaught. In normal training, a person would say “good boy” whena welcomed action occurs and proceed with giving a treat. Theclicker becomes a substitute for verbal praise and can actuallycatch the “good boy” behavior quicker than saying it, lettingthe dog know exactly which behavior he is being rewarded for.

Another way to look at click and treat training is viewing itas a secondary reinforcement, while food, water, physicalaffection and play (things the dog wants) become primaryreinforcement. When you take a dog for a walk, the leash worksas a secondary reinforcement. It is obvious to the dog that theleash is not taking him for a walk; the owner is, however, ittriggers a reaction in the dog, telling him that the leash willlet him know where he will go and where he will not. And if hereacts to the leash with good behavior, his reward will be anice leisurely walk.

Click and treat works the same way. When a dog hears theclicker, he will know that he performed a good behavior and aslong as he keeps hearing a click, there is a treat coming hisway. So, the clicker works as a secondary reinforcement,teaching him boundaries and appropriate behavior.

A couple advantages of the click and treat method include;

1) Faster response than verbal praise. The clicker can identifythe exact behavior at the time it happens.

2) It takes the place of treats. While motivating the dog tohear clicks, it will also teach him to work without theexpectations of having treats given to him each time he doessomething good.

3) If the trainer is working at a distance from the dog, theclicker will still work, without having to be right next him.

Are you ready to try clicker training?

The first thing you’ll need to do is go to your favorite petsupply store and invest in a clicker. The clicker is nothingfancy and should just cost you under five dollars. While you’rethere grab some pocket treats, little bits of dried liver workwell.

A good method to use when getting started with click and treatis to stand in front of the animal. Click the clicker and givea treat. Continue doing this for 20-30 minutes, or until thedog becomes startled by the sound of the click. This willfamiliarize him to the clicking sound, while teaching him thatevery time he hears it, he has done something good. After hegets the hang of it, begin by adding commands, such as “sit”and “stay.”

Click and treat has proven to be a simple, yet consistenttraining method with quick results. So for the trainers outthere who are looking for a new and innovative way to motivateand praise their animals, get out there, buy a clickerand…!

About The Author: As an avid dog lover, Anne Doyle understandsthe benefits of owning a well-trained dog. There is no nicercompliment than "Wow, your dog listens well, how did you trainhim?" Having a well-behaved dog is easy when you know a fewsecrets, Ann shares some at


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