Using A Clicker vs Adopting The Flawed Clicker Training Methodology

There are two points you must recognize:

1.) You CAN train a dog using a traditional approach AND use the clicker. It depends on your style, but yes… I’ve had very good results using the clicker as an event marker, and for getting the dog to understand a new behavior… especially a more complex behavior. However, THIS IS ONLY USED DURING THE FIRST PHASE OF TRAINING … the “learning phase.” Once you move into the reinforcement and proofing phase, the clicker loses it’s benefits.

2.) The idea that “some methods work better for some dogs,” is a falsehood. It stems from people who are not completely competent in working with dogs. Here’s where the misperception comes in: TRUTH: Some dogs are very soft. These dogs you will emphasize more praise and build them up. Use of corrections are minimal, and depending upon the dog’s temperament, may just be just a verbal correction to be motivational.

MYTH: These dogs never need to be told when they do something wrong, therefore a “different method” (i.e. clicker training) should be used. This is complete bunk. Recognize that using a clicker as an event marker is not the “clicker training approach.” The clicker training approach requires that you keep your dog confined at all times that you are not following him around this house with a clicker to reward the right behavior. This is why it works so well with dolphins: Because they’re confined in a small pool when they’re not being trained. In any event… I’m off on a tangent. Using the clicker as ONE tool in your arsenal is fine. But using it to the exclusion of all the other tools at your disposal and you’re being blind.