Clicker training, in my eyes, is the fastest, most effective and most elegant way of training. It is geared towards the dog achieving full understanding and comprehension of what we want him to do, and to communicate it in a fast and throughout manner.
Do I Need A Clicker?
I cannot count how many times I hear “Can I do this without a clicker?”
The answer is that yes, you can.
Can you do it as quickly and efficiently as if you had a clicker though? Probably no.
The clicker is a tool for taking a snapshot of your dog’s current behavior. It links the behavior to a reward. In the beginning stages of training, our dogs might only “be right” for a very short amount of time. They might only sit for a second before getting up again. They might only walk on a loose leash for a quick moment before pulling it taunt. They might only be able to exercise self control for a brief time before they have to give in to their desire to jump up on a visitor.
All these behaviors however are great, we only need to be able to mark them and tell our dog that we need more of them – a lot more!
You will be able to capture your dog’s correct behavior many more times if you use a clicker. And this means more rewards – more reinforcement mileage – better long-term learning.