Dog Tip of The Day, August 9

I have been talking about reinforcers and conditioned reinforcement in dog training over the last few days. Yesterday, I started talking about “clickers”.  Clickers are neutral stimuli, they are only effective when paired with a positive reinforce. The clicking sound means nothing to a dog until it is paired with a treat.  People use the clicker to reinforce a specific behavior. For instance, if you are walking your dog and the desired behavior is for it to sit when you stop, you first teach it to sit on command. Then you give the command to sit, when you stop walking. When the dog sits, you give it a treat. Then start walking and stop. As soon as the dog’s butt hits the ground you click the clicker, then give it a treat.  Now as you are walking stop, click the clicker and it should reinforce the sit response. This is just one way to use the clicker. If you are interested in clicker training, there are books out there specifically on clicker training. I do not use clickers, and I am certainly not an expert on their use.

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