Available in the pet market in different versions of style and size, the dresser clicker is, today, one of the most used and efficient tools for training animals. Popular with professional trainers and pet owners who practice the most basic teaching techniques for dogs, the product has proven efficiency in the dog's learning process.
Currently, the dressage clicker it is used both in the process of teaching commands and rules for pets, as well as for training animals that are preparing to participate in competitions in the canine world, such as the Canine Freestyle - which consists of presentations of dogs with their owners, with dance combinations and tricks.
Used to give instructions and accurately indicate good behaviors, the clicker is fundamental in the training process of many more distracted dogs that, with its help, can capture commands in a simpler and more practical way.
Although many still opt for other noise-making products to help train dogs, the clicker it still remains as the most popular instrument in this respect; since, with its use, the risks of scaring animals during training are almost zero, or that their hearing is impaired by very loud noises.
Below, learn a little more about the operation and the advantages that the clicker for training can bring, and understand why this small and simple instrument can help so much in the learning processes of the most diverse types of animals.
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What is the clicker and how does it work?
Made of plastic, the dressage clicker it is a small, rectangular device with a button that, when activated, produces the sound of a “click”. Those who read this isolated description may find that the tool is too simple to make a difference; however, this product is, today, one of the most used and most efficient for training and teaching dogs (it can also help in the training of other animals, such as cats and even birds).
Used to show the dog some specific factor - which can include everything from good behavior to the right time to jump or turn in training - the clicker is seen in the training process as a substitute for the teacher's voice, emitting its characteristic sound each time the wearer presses its button.
It is important to emphasize that the use of this tool is indicated for all types of smart dressage and that involves rewards, since the main advantage of the clicker is to indicate specifically what type of behavior the dog is being rewarded for - an action that gets much more complicated through speech; since, hardly, a pet owner who is not a professional trainer will be able to have the timing exact to indicate the correct execution of a specific command.
In a training process for a dog to learn to sit, for example, the clicker must be activated at the exact moment when the pet obeys the command that was proposed, showing the dog that the noise of the "click" means that he successfully accomplished what was asked for.
Paying attention to the correct moment when the animal performed what was commanded is the most important factor for the use of the clicker be effective, because if the tool holder activates it after the dog has obeyed the command, any effort to teach it can go down the drain.
To exemplify this misconception, we can use the same scenario described above, where a person tries to teach a dog to sit. If the command is given and the dog sits down, but the clicker is activated only when the dog is starting to get up, he will understand that the correct thing is for him to stand, because the click sound was heard when he was staying in this position. position, and not when sitting (right time to press the little button on the device).
Through the use of this technique combined with rewards (which can be affectionate or the offering of a snack that the pet likes), the dog comes to understand that, when doing what was asked, he will hear that characteristic little noise and, when that happens, is a sign that a nice reward is on the way - encouraging you to assimilate rules and associate the noise of the dressage clicker to something positive and pleasurable.
For those who choose snacks as a way to please, it is important to remember that the delicacies chosen must be small and easy to eat; since, when receiving more complicated food to chew, the dog may end up diverting his attention from what is proposed in the training, making the process difficult due to very long interruptions.
How to associate the clicker sound to a reward?
To make the animal understand the clicker noise like the promise of a reward, get his attention when giving the snack or the caresses and activate the noise of the tool, giving him the gift afterwards. This must be done repeatedly until the dog can understand and associate what you want to say and, from that point on, he will already know that the "click" is something positive, he is encouraged to hear the noise during training and facing the search by sound as a challenge to be rewarded.
It is important that, when performing this process - also known to many as the act of "loading the clicker" - the clicks are random and spaced, since the only objective in this activity is to make the dog understand that that sound is a synonym of reward. That done, just start practicing the training techniques with the tool, because the dog will already know how positive the noise is.
When the clicker doesn't work
In some very rare cases, dogs may be terrified of any kind of strange or slightly loud clicker can scare the animal instead of helping you learn, it will get in the way.
It is always good for the owner of the pet who showed aversion to the tool to investigate if the cause of this is due to the loud noise produced or the sound itself, because, if the first option is the correct one, just change your clicker for one that does less. noise and continue with the dressage process. In the case of phobias of dogs to the type of sound, the solution is to discover another teaching technique for the animal.
The advantages of the clicker
In addition to the low price (which normally ranges between R $ 15 and R $ 30), dressage clicker brings a number of advantages for those who use it. Its sound can reach up to 15 meters away, and this makes training a lot easier, since the dog will not always be very close when obeying a command and, with the device, it is possible to mark his good behavior at a distance.
By improving and facilitating communication between man and animal, the clicker can also greatly reduce the learning time, allowing more commands, rules and tricks to be taught to canine pets in a reduced time. In addition, by producing a characteristic and unique sound, the use of the clicker allows the training process to be carried out by anyone in the family; action hindered in other types of training, where the voice of the owner (or whoever applies the teachings) ends up being assimilated as the only means of incentive.
Another great clicker advantage is that, after some time of use, it can become the animal's own reward - which already feels gifted when hearing the sound of the tool - dispensing snacks and toys so that the learning process can be continuous and without interruptions.
In addition, the use of the clicker as a reward also resolves another very common issue among dogs. Because they are very “self-serving”, the techniques that involve snacks can cause some dogs to lose concentration on what they are doing when they see the food in the owner's hand, disrupting the training. With the clicker, the dog already knows that he will be rewarded in some way later, and that reassures him, making him search for the sound that indicates a prize instead of chasing after the pestiscos.
Pet owners also benefit from clicker advantages and, in addition to being able to have more behaved and obedient dogs, they also learn to deal with the animal in a different way, without ever using violence or aggression to teach the pet.
It is very wrong to think that, when starting the process of teaching dogs with the clicker, the owner will have to walk with the device for the rest of his life for the pet to obey him; since, when learning a command clearly, the animal will no longer need clicks to execute it, needing only many caresses as a form of reward after having obeyed it.
- Dog Activities, Dog Behavior, Cat Activities, Cat Behavior
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