Here comes a favorite repeat that is about the THINKING behind our training and is one of the foundations of clicker training. Sometimes it can be VERY DIFFICULT to understand how it works to be a reward-based trainer who doesn’t use punishments that the dog experiences as unpleasant.
Have you also seen that humorous picture on social media where a dog is gnawing on a person’s leg and the owner stands next to them and says something like “no worries, I’ll click when he lets go”? Depending on our mood when we see that picture, we either feel tired and lethargic or chuckle a bit and roll our eyes. 😉
Because it really is a stereotype that is soooo tiresome: that clicker trainers let the dog do anything and then just click for the right behavior. OF COURSE WE DON’T DO THAT, THAT WOULD BE SO DAMN STUPID IT DOESN’T EXIST! But with that said, there are bad trainers within every training philosophy and of course, there are less good clicker trainers. And also those who have misunderstood how to work to teach the dog the right things, simply put.
We have a motto, that you can read more about in our book, which we call TRAIN PREVENT INTERRUPT. And we cannot stress enough about interrupting. Because you can’t reasonably let a gun dog run around and chase seagulls like crazy on the beach and then demand that it doesn’t follow birds that fly away on a hunt. Dogs constantly self-reward themselves if they get the chance. If you want to train based on clicker thinking, you need to be able to plan your training, prevent the dog from doing the wrong things (and learning the wrong things) and INTERRUPT it when it is about to self-reward with completely wrong activities.
We have written column miles about this and one of our latest posts was when Lena wrote about this: What do I do if I can’t say “no” to my dog?
How do you explain to someone who doesn’t really understand the point of clicker training? Or if you are new to this training method – what do you think is difficult? Tell us in the comment section!
And with this, we want to give you a tip! We have been blogging for 10 years at retrievingforalloccasions.com and there is a lot of material to browse through there. Completely free! 🙂 Likewise, there are some videos on our YouTube channel completely open and you can check them out too. On the blog, you can also search for what you want to read about by looking through the different categories that exist, and if, for example, you want to read about reverse luring, you enter it in the search box (magnifying glass) on the blog. So! Enjoy!