Wednesday, July 27, 2011

In clicker training dogs, a low quality reinforcement or reward drastically affects the efficiency and speed of training

If you are a clicker dog trainer then you know how important the timing of the click or the rate of reinforcement parameters are to get the maximum out of your dog in less time, but did you know how crucial the quality of reinforcement or reward is? I have some easy to remember points about the quality of reinforcement and the wonders it can do in your clicker training venture.

  1. By choosing better toys or a high quality treat, you can drastically improve the efficiency of your training.
  2. Along with the timing, criteria, and rate of reinforcement, the quality of reinforcement can make or break your training efforts. So higher the quality of reinforcement, more efficient the training.
  3. Did you know if your dog likes toys, balls or tugs or treats, half the job is done and it will be super easy to train such dogs - that has a high drive for such things. No dog is more intelligent or less intelligent or easily trainable or non-trainable; it is the drive for rewards that decides the dog’s trainability.
  4. If you are a dog trainer or planning to train dogs for assistance, search and rescue or other demanding jobs where the dog has to work for a long time without any rewards, then you must choose a dog that has a massive reward drive. You can easily train such dogs and your training sessions will be more fun and a lot more efficient.
  5. During the initial days of your training the focus must be on the rate of reinforcement. The higher the rate of reinforcement the better. When the training demands the dog to work longer without rewards, you must increase the quality of reinforcement.
  6. It is highly essential that you play different kind of games using toys, balls, tugs, kongs etc with your dog right from a young age which will greatly help in developing an interest in different kind of rewards in the dog and will make the whole training process lot more faster and efficient.
  7. A high quality reward or reinforcement will keep the dog highly motivated in different situations where there are a lot of distractions.
  8. If you feel that you are getting unsatisfactory results with your training or the dog is getting unnecessarily distracted then you must first check for the quality of reward or reinforcer.
  9. By using a good quality reward you can cut short the number of repetitions by 20 or 30%.
So if you see your friend or other clicker dog trainers getting almost magical results from their training then you can conclude that, they are using the right blend of timing, criteria, rate of reinforcement along with the best quality reinforcement in their training to get those results.

1 comment:

  1. The point taht you have made in your post are really good !!
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