If you are new to pet ownership, or you are looking to train your dog a few new tricks, you might consider looking into some dog training tools. Clickers and whistles can be very helpful in easing the training process, and they are easy to use. Read on and discover which method is best for you and your dog.
The Significance of Dog Clickers as Dog Training Tools
Clickers are a great way to begin training with any new pet. In essence, clicker training is a method that uses positive reinforcement. The sound of the clicker reinforces the fact that your command was followed correctly.
Clickers are great for animals because the recognizable sound that the clicker makes allows the pet to understand correctly that they did right. After they get used to the clicker, they should have no issues following future commands when they hear the familiar sound.
These dog training tools are not to be used on their own. The sound of the clicker must be accompanied by an edible treat. The two must be offered in unison, so the dog knows that when he hears the clicker, he has done well, and a treat is on the way.
On the flip side, if your dog did not correctly complete the command, it would not get a treat. The dog then learns the difference between desirable and undesirable results.
There are a few approaches that new pet owners can take to maximize the effects of clicker training, including:
The act of capturing involves catching your dog in the act of positive behavior, such as laying down or sitting.
When the owner sees this, they should immediately use the clicker while presenting the treat so that the dog realizes that what he just did was desired, and it will further associate this act with getting a treat.
This is a clicking technique that can be used for dogs that are a more hesitant to learning a new trick.
Shaping is effectively the method of training your dog through baby steps while clicking and offering treats after each successful step is completed. This continues until the dog can complete the task in one fluid movement.
If you are attempting to train your dog to sit or lay in a particular place then luring is your best option.
Luring involves using the clicker and treat like a magnet of sorts, luring the dog to follow the reward to the desired location. If this training method is successful, the dog should eventually arrive at the desired location when the clicker is clicked.
Using Clicker Training for More Complex Tips
If you want to use clicker training for more complicated tricks, you might try the shaping method while teaching the behavior in several steps.
For instance, if you wanted to train your dog to beg, you would take your time and use the clicker and treats to reward any milestones that occur during the process of learning the complete trick.
If the dog has learned to sit, give him a click and a treat when he sits. Next, you’ll take the time to move through the process by holding the treat in front of the dog’s nose while giving the command to “beg.”
When your dog raises his nose to try and get to the treat, you should give a click and a treat. Repeat this process until the dog lifts his nose every time the treat is presented.
You’ll continue this training until the dog begins to lift a paw off of the ground, then every time the dog gets closer to the full begging position. Once the training is complete, you should only give the click and treat when the dog completes the behavior in its entirety.
Sticking to training sessions of around five minutes is important. Keeping these sessions quick is paramount because most dogs can learn more in a shorter period of time and may tire if the training continues for too long.
The Significance of Dog Whistles as Dog Training Tools
Whistles, or silent whistles, are another great way to train your dog to do everything from simple tricks such as to sit or lay to more advanced skills from a further distance.
For those unfamiliar with these dog training tools, these inexpensive whistles present a frequency in the ultrasonic range, so the sound is barely audible to humans but is very clear and distinct to dogs, cats, and other animals.
In addition to successful training, there are numerous other advantages to training with a whistle. For one, humans hear no more than a hiss when it is played, so you can train your dog without bothering others.
You can also customize your whistle to a frequency that is different than that of other whistles so that your dog won’t get confused when he hears another whistle in the vicinity.
While whistles are often used to direct and positively reinforce your animal, they can also be used as a form of aversive to punish a dog if it is not following your commands.
Getting Your Dog to Respond to Long Range Whistle Commands
While a clicker is ideal for close-proximity tricks and behaviors, a whistle is ideal for teaching routines outdoors in large parks, fields, etc. One of the most important commands to instill in the dog is for him to return to you once the whistle is blown.
Start off indoors within a room with few distractions and let the dog meander around. Make sure you have your whistle and some treats in your pockets.
When the dog is not paying much attention, give your whistle a short blast. If this piques the dog’s interest and it comes over to investigate, show your appreciation and give your pet a treat.
Repeat these same steps until the dog starts to recognize the connection between the whistle and the rewards. Once you are confident in your results, head outside and apply the same principals. The dog should run to you every time.
Dog Training Tools Make the Difference
Many tricks and behaviors can be taught with clickers and whistles.
While these dog training tools are not an absolute requirement, they are helpful because having your pet associate a sound with getting a treat will make the training process that much simpler.
More than anything, patience and understanding are needed to create that human-to-dog bond that will ensure easier training in the future.