Clicker Training vs. Lure-Based Training

Benefits: Clicker training has wide application that easily branches out from teaching simple training behaviors like sit and down to more complex behaviors like picking up a fallen item and returning it to the hander, in the case of a service dog. Clicker training is also extremely helpful in aiding aggressive or fearful animals, because the immediate and precise sound catches the smallest changes in body posture that the voice cannot as easily single out. The use of clicker training can be easily applied to other animals, with the same principles working for a wide variety of species, including alligators, dolphins, cats, horses and birds.


Drawbacks: Many owners are reluctant to use the clicker because it’s another training tool they need to carry around with them. However, clickers are not needed once the behavior is learned, but only for teaching new behavior. Other pet owners are hesitant to use the clicker because they don't really understand how it works. They try to use the clicker as a magic way to get their dog to come by simply clicking it and expecting the dog to run to them, or they assume that the clicker is a way to punish the dog. In many cases, dogs learn to tune out the clicker because owners click over and over without giving any reward. For clicker training to be successful, owners need to be educated, either through a dog training class or by reading up on clicker training. Finally, in some cases, dogs may be sensitive to sharp noises and may be afraid of the clicker; this can be remedied by using a quieter clicker, such as the Clik-R, or masking the sound by covering the clicker with duct tape or using a ballpoint pen instead.

Both lure training and clicker training are effective, fun ways to teach your dog new behaviors. While each method has its own benefits and drawbacks, dog trainers can agree that both training styles, when used correctly, can produce well-behaved canines.

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