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Recently I was getting gas at my local Shell station, and I saw a message on the pump display that caught my eye. It’s the photo you can see here on my blog.
It’s actually for a campaign run by Shell Canada to support environmental projects and organizations selected by voters (Shell will grant a total of $2 million annually to projects that improve and restore Canada’s environment — yea Shell!). And it made me think — if a huge gas company can see the benefit of how one “click” at a time can change the world — maybe it’s time pet owners see the benefits of the “click” too?
The “click” I’m referring to here is the power of “clicker training” — a behavioural science-based method of learning used by modern trainers (and savvy pet owners), like myself, to communicate and teach animals.
This force-free method of training is so simple, it can often seem almost too easy. How in the world can a tiny, hand-held clicker make such a difference in teaching dogs and other animals new behaviours? Well, when you follow a “click” immediately with a treat — EVERY TIME — it takes less than a minute for most opportunistic dogs to realize the “click” is the promise of awesome yummies. The next dog thought is…how can I make my human “click” (& therefore give me more yummies?)! And that, my friends, is when the fun really begins. Your dog starts to really THINK! And when they start offering you a behaviour you are looking for (like making eye contact, or lying on a mat, etc.) you will be hooked! There must be magic in that clicker!
It’s time people, to hold your clickers proudly! Say goodbye to old-fashioned, traditional training methods, leash corrections, intimidation techniques and stupid dominance “theories” when training our family pets.
Let’s change the world, one CLICK at a time!
At Smart Paws, we use positive reinforcement training techniques to teach you and your dog the skills needed for a happy, co-operative life together.