Border Collie Clicker Training
If you want to learn how to use Border Collie clicker training to train your dog then the first thing you need to know is that it is a training method that is fun for both you and your dog. Clicker training is an effective yet simple way of teaching your dog almost anything. Border Collies respond well to clicker training because the clicker gives them instant feedback to know they are doing the correct behaviour. Border Collies naturally want to please their owner and this form of training assists them to learn more quickly and enjoy the experience.
How Does Border Collie Clicker Training Work?
Clicker training works by conditioning your Border Collie to know that when they hear the clear sharp sound of the clicker they are doing something correctly. They can hear the clicker from more than 20 yards away and the clicker is small enough to hold in your hand even while you hold something else like a leash.
Clicker training provides positive reinforcement to your Border Collie. It is a kind and enjoyable way of training your dog.
When you first get the clicker device you will need to condition your Border Collie to the clicker sound. This is done using treats. It is best to use small treats so you can continue training without your dog filling up on food. By associating the clicker with the treats, your dog learns that it is rewarded for good behaviour. A clicker is a better method to start with because verbal commands can be confusing to your Border Collie, especially if the command is delivered slightly differently each time when your dog is still learning what it is supposed to do.
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How to Use Border Collie Clicker Training
The first thing you should do is train your dog to associate the clicker with getting a treat. This training can be commenced from as young as 10 weeks of age. However, very young puppies do not have a long attention span so you’ll need to keep the training sessions short. Even with a slightly older dog it is best to keep the training sessions shorter but in greater frequency. Also remember to quit while you and your dog are still having fun. Don’t push your dog too hard beyond where he loses concentration.
Keep the treats handy, but not accessible to your Border Collie, and make sure it is something that your dog does not get every day. Keep the treats small, you don’t want your dog feeling like he’s had a full meal after the first couple of treats.
Once you have trained your dog to associate the clicker with getting a treat you can move on to the next stage in Border Collie clicker training. Encourage your dog to do the desired behaviour, start with something simple like giving you his paw or looking towards you. When you get them to do this behaviour you reward it with the clicker sound and a treat.
The advantage of using the clicker lies in the immediate reinforcement the dog receives. If you use a verbal command it takes longer for your dog to understand whether the behaviour was correct or not.
Keep repeating the process of getting your Border Collie to do the desired behaviour and then clicking and giving a treat. The more you repeat it the more it becomes reinforced in your dog’s mind. You don’t need to use treats all the time, you can replace the treat with praise. Eventually you can do away with the clicker as well.
Using Border Collie Clicker Training to Teach a Verbal Command
Once your dog has learned the behaviour well, you can introduce a verbal command. The process is, get the dog to do the desired behaviour, and just before using the clicker, say the verbal command, then click, followed by the praise or treat. Your Border Collie will become conditioned to the command along with the clicker and the reward.
Once the training is well established with your Border Collie he will respond to the command and praise for his behaviour without the need for the clicker or treats. This is because he will want to please you and he has learned that following the command achieves it.
Border Collie clicker training can be used in a variety of situations. It is applicable to many types of training and can be used wherever you need positive reinforcement to help train your dog.