Clicker Training Your Dog: Benefits of Reward-Based Dog Training - Today's Mama

Clicker Training Your Dog: Benefits of Reward-Based Dog Training

Clicker Training Your Dog: Benefits of Reward-Based Dog Training
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Dog training methods have changed substantially over the past several years, and clicker-based positive training is rapidly becoming the most popular method of dog training. Many people wonder how something as simple as clicking a training clicker and giving a dog a treat can end complex behaviors like aggression and chewing. But reward-based training, like clicker training your dog, works on simple principles that can produce a lifetime of good behavior, and it is vastly superior to older training methods.

Clicker Training Your Dog Works

The most obvious benefit of reward-based training is that it works! Clicker training uses principles of classical conditioning. Classical conditioning has repeatedly been demonstrated to be one of the most effective methods for altering a variety of behaviors, and it works even with animals that aren’t very intelligent. Factor in the intelligence and desire to please of the average dog, and reward-based training is an absolute recipe for training success. Reward-based training is highly effective because it doesn’t require any special knowledge of dog behavior, and your dog doesn’t have to be a genius to master the simple concept of good behavior equals reward. The only requirements of reward-based training are consistency and repetition. The more often you train and the more consistently you reward your dog, the quicker the technique will work.

Clicker Training Your Dog is Humane

Dog-training techniques of the past often required punishment and harsh corrections such as the use of electro-shock collars. While these techniques worked with some dogs, they could spark fear-based behavior problems in others. In some cases, these techniques were dangerous. Shocking a small dog could cause heart problems or seizures, and choke chains and other punishment collars have injured or even killed dogs. Even worse, punishment-based techniques made training miserable for both dogs and their owners. Dogs learn best when training sessions are fun. When a dog knows training is going to mean punishment, he’ll do anything to avoid it. Loving owners also dread doling out punishments, which makes it difficult for either a dog or her owner to stick with punishment-based methods for very long.

Clicker Training Your Dog is Fun

What dog owner doesn’t love seeing her dog’s tail wag? When training is fun, owners are more likely to stick with it. Even better, a dog who looks forward to training sessions is a dog who is ready, willing and eager to learn. Reward-based training techniques give you an easy, rewarding activity to do with your dog — an activity that, it’s worth noting, doesn’t require much effort from overworked and exhausted dog owners. Several studies have shown that people can benefit from spending time with their dogs, and playing with a dog can even reduce depression! Reward-based training techniques give you a great opportunity to reap all of the benefits of playing with your dog, without the stress of trying to decipher your dog’s behavior or punish her.

You Don’t Have to Be a Dog Psychologist To Train Your Dog

Previous dog training methods required that you first figure out the reason for your dog’s behavior before treating it. This left people debating whether their dogs were dominant, submissive, undersocialized, fearful, smart or stupid.

Reward-based training works regardless of the reason your dog behaves the way he does. This means that you never have to worry that you misinterpreted your dog’s behavior, and don’t have to become a dog psychologist to train your dog. You just have to click and treat your way toward better behavior.

About the Author: Jane Warren is a freelance writer providing valuable tips and advice for pet owners looking for the best ways to care for and pamper their pets. Her articles on her site,, cover topics ranging from the best dog crate bedding to complex dog training issues.