The clicker training technique that Jenny teaches has proved to be one of the quickest, kindest and most efficient methods of training.
The clicker clearly communicates to the dog at the point he earned the reward. Some breeds are bouncier than others — using more conventional training methods with these individuals may well hinder your dogs progress — but because the clicker is so precise, progress can be accelerated, and the best bit of all, its great fun for the dog and the owner. The whole family can participate, in Jenny's experience children, in particular, do very well. It is important that your dog responds to all members of the household, not forgetting that respect is a two-way thing.
In clicker training the behaviour is taught first, and then the command — after all dogs don't understand English or any other language, except dog.
Here are some of the most common questions that Jenny is asked:
A. Nowadays clickers come in many different shapes and sizes, when pressed, it makes a distinctive click sound. Whichever one you choose, ensure that when you first introduce it to your dog that you muffle the sound by putting it in your pocket before pressing. This is to make sure your dog is not sound sensitive. If your dog reacts fearfully to the click or you struggle to use it, then you can use a verbal marker instead.
A. No, the clicker is only a tool used to teach a new behaviour. Once your dog understands what you are asking, you will gradually phase out the click and treat every time, and then begin to make him work harder.
A. No, when you are really pleased with your dog's response, click once and then give a jackpot! This is more than one food treat.
A. No, not if you measure his daily food allowance out and use part of this for clicker training at home. You will probably need to feed a tastier treat when working your dog in distracting places like the park. If you are concerned about his weight, reduce some of his daily allowance to even the balance out. Coachies make a "lick stick" which provides the treat without the calories. You can also have a chat with your vet if you are really concerned about weight gain.