Clicker Dog Training vs. Compulsion Based Dog Training, Which Is Better?

Compulsion-based dog training primarily revolves around using corrections to get the dog to comply. It is very common to hear compulsion-based trainers tell their students that their dogs must learn that obedience is not an option, i.e. their dogs must learn to obey at all times. To achieve this, the dogs are constantly corrected for every wrong behavior until they finally comply. The use of choke chains, pinch collars, etc. are common with such dog training methods. Others may even resort to using the electronic collar. Food or treats, on the other hand, are used less frequently because some compulsion-based trainers believe that dogs trained with food or treats tend to be unreliable, that is, they obey only if food or treats are available. hand. Take away the food or treat and everything they learn starts to unravel.

Does food or treats have a place in dog training?

In our opinion, absolutely yes! But they must be managed in the right way. If you show a dog a treat, ask him to come to you and then reward him with the treat, you have just effectively turned the treat into a bribe. Without the treat, there’s a good chance your dog will ignore you and do what he wants, especially if there are distractions around.

Therefore, reward-based trainers are very careful to use food and treats as rewards for correct behaviors rather than bribes. As a general rule (except when it comes to enticement), food is never presented as a means of getting the dog’s attention before requesting a behavior. Instead, food is often out of sight initially and is presented only after the requested behavior is performed, as a reward. This way the dog is not linked in the snippet to perform. Instead, over time, he learns that even if the food is out of sight, it could be rewarded if he consistently performs as required.

Can reward-based training produce reliable results?

Definitely. In fact, many of today’s top obedience dogs around the world are clicker trained. And clicker training in its purest form uses 100% reward-based methods. The use of force or corrections have no place in clicker training. The fact that these excellent obedience dogs can perform reliably in obedience rings around the world is proof that clicker training works and that the use of force in dog training is not absolutely necessary.

Is clicker training superior to compulsion-based training?

It is our opinion that in the hands of the right trainer, both methods are effective and can produce excellent obedience dogs. However, when it comes to administering corrections, some trainers may go overboard and use higher and higher levels of corrections to train their dogs. For example, they can go from a buckle collar to a choke chain, a pinch collar, and eventually even an electronic collar. Some may even resort to using throwing chains to speed up their dog’s performance. While these methods work, they tend to produce dogs that perform not because they like to, but because it’s required. Reliable as they are, these dogs tend to come off as quite mechanical in the show ring. Problems can also arise if compulsion-trained dogs enter competitions too early. On the track, handlers cannot correct their dogs. If these dogs are not ready for the ring yet, they will invariably make mistakes in the ring and find that the ring does not correct their mistakes. The end result: a dog ringwise, that is, a dog that performs wonderfully well outside the ring, but once in the ring, everything falls apart.

Given the above, our preferred option is clicker training. Our dog, Rufus CDX, the 2009 Singapore Kennel Club Reserve Obedience Dog of the Year, is clicker trained. In our opinion, clicker training produces dogs that act because they choose to and not because they have to. As a result, they are very enthusiastic and it will show in their performance in the ring. Clicker training is also more humane, and more importantly, your dog will love it.

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