A very simple and awesome explanation of Clicker Training

June 25, 2012 at 5:21 pm 13 comments

A while ago, I came across this article: Why Clicker Training on TV would be a ratings disaster.The reasoning is that the process of clicker training  can appear repetitive and boring (click treat click treat click treat… no resistance from dog) compared to the technique of “dominating” a dog to make it do what you want, like on the Dog Whisperer Show. The theory is that a “battle of wills” makes for more interesting TV.

Well, I actually disagree that clicker training on TV would be a ratings disaster. If the trainer is a charismatic presenter, it could totally work. Zak George is a great example.

While I agree that an explanation of Clicker Training (Operant Conditioning) that uses lots of scientific/technical jargon (and presented like a science-lab process) could make audiences glaze over,  I believe it is possible to teach the SCIENCE in a clear, fun way that makes it easier for people to TALK about Clicker Training with normal everyday kid-level conversational language instead of having to use words like “quadrants”. Just my two cents. I am working on it.

Edit to add: Reward-based training without using treats

Entry filed under: Articles, links, Training.

Boogie, the demo dog The Put Your Toys Away challenge

13 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Kristine  |  June 25, 2012 at 6:50 pm

    I love Zak George. His videos are often so much fun to watch and I think he breaks down training in a really easy to understand kind of way. I miss his old show and wish his new one was available on Canadian television.

  • 2. raeganw  |  June 25, 2012 at 7:05 pm

    Zak George did have a TV show for a short time. It was called Superfetch and it was on Animal Planet. It was mostly about training tricks, some of the episodes included teaching a dog to retrieve a beer from the fridge, teaching a Bernese Mountain Dog to flush a toilet, and an ACD learned to ride a bike.

    • 3. lili  |  June 25, 2012 at 8:10 pm

      Yes, I love Superfetch! Last time I checked, it’s on instant netflix!

  • 4. Doggy's Style  |  June 25, 2012 at 7:18 pm

    When I got my dog I’ve never heard of click training, yes I’ve heard the click noise but never got inquisitive as to what it was. Then once doggy was home I starte to look for training methods and stumble upon clicke training, at first it seemed impossible but I decided to give it shot, best thing I’ve ever done, it has worked wonders. And once you get into the groove of it, the timming, it’s fairly easy. However, just as important as the timing is to find a good treat otherwise the dog loses interest.

    • 5. lili  |  June 25, 2012 at 8:11 pm

      I agree. When I started clicker training Boogie I was blown away by how quickly he learned! (I had crossed over from using a prong collar which was what our trainer at the time insisted on) Most importantly, Boogie was HAPPY during training!

  • 6. Georgia Little Pea  |  June 25, 2012 at 8:31 pm

    I click with my mouth/tongue. I started doing it after reading about it on some blogs. It helped a lot with Georgia and got her attention in a lot of situations including most importantly, walking by C.A.T.S! She can actually look at me for a very long time. Definitely longer than 2 seconds. In fact, until I release her. I feel like a proud mama! 😉

    • 7. lili  |  June 26, 2012 at 6:07 am


  • 8. thegraceofdog  |  June 26, 2012 at 1:41 am


  • 9. Cindy Ludwig, M.A., KPA-CTP  |  June 26, 2012 at 6:01 am

    Cool graphic! Where did you get that – or did you make it yourself? As a certified professional clicker trainer, I agree with you. I don’t think a show featuring a clicker trainer would be a disaster either!

  • 12. lili  |  June 26, 2012 at 6:31 am

    Yep, that’s me! 🙂

  • […] “I believe it s possible to teach the SCIENCE in a clear, fun way that makes it easier for people to TALK about Clicker Training with normal everyday kid-level conversational language instead of having to use words like “quadrants”. – Boogie’s Blog […]


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