Dogs trained using a clicker can be taught alternate behaviors to replace the unwanted ones. Trainers using OC principles often devise very creative ways to change undesirable behaviors. I have personally used a clicker to solve a number of serious behavior and aggression problems.
Most Common Misconceptions Regarding Positive & Clicker Training
Behaviors taught using the clicker aren’t as reliable as behaviors taught using force.
While the desire to avoid pain is strong, the desire to gain pleasant consequences is stronger. Think about the last time you got a speeding ticket – did it stop you from speeding? Much of your dog’s behavior is based on habit. Once a dog has learned something (good or bad) it tends to repeat […]
Clicker trained dogs won’t work without food.
Again, in the beginning stages of training, food is used liberally. However, a good clicker trainer learns how to go from continuous to variable schedules of reinforcement and to learn to use other types of reinforcers (see item #14 above under the homework section)
Clicker training is too difficult because you must always have the clicker with you.
While most clicker trainers would probably admit to having clickers stashed everywhere, they are not necessary every time you work with your dog. Clickers are most important in the learning stages of training. They can be phased out once the behavior is well learned.
In training, a dog should never be given a choice.
Clicker trainers believe that they can set up the situation so that their dogs make the desired choices. Dogs always have behavioral choices, even when trained with punishment. To think they do not is an illusion that many correction based trainers cling to.
Training using positive reinforcement takes much longer than traditional punishment based training.
In the beginning stages, it may seem to take longer. However, once you and your dog catch on, clicker training leads to much faster results. Dogs very quickly learn to perform the desired behaviors in order to make you click! In addition, behaviors learned through operant conditioning and associative learning tend to stay with the […]
The scientific principles behind clicker training are too difficult for the average person to learn and understand.
This is absolutely not true. While there is a lot of technical information, many people have learned to use it in training, just by following my instructions. If you want to know more about Operant Conditioning (OC), I can refer you to supplementary books that I highly recommend.
The clicker is a fad or gimmick.
Actually, using a conditioned reinforcer (such as a clicker) is a training method based on sound, scientifically proven psychological principles. Extensive research has been conducted on the effectiveness of conditioned reinforcers in training.