Positive reinforcement, rewards, and patient observation of the response patterns constitute an important part of the clicker dog training process.
Clicker dog training is based on the rudiments of Edward Thorndike's theory of 'connection-ism,' which was the result of a study into animal behavior and learning. In the process, the dog is first made to understand the meaning of the click by providing immediate rewards so as to give them the idea that obeying the clicker means getting rewards that they find it enjoyable. Moreover, once the dog adapts to the sound of the clicker, they learn to be responsive and obedient to other basic commands.
A simple training process, clicker dog training initially needs to be repeated over a number of times. Positive reinforcement of clicker training has proven to be an effective training method not only for dogs but also for species such as pigeons, whales, bears, and lions etc. As you begin with your clicker training, it calls for exercising a lot of restrain and patience so as not to make the whole process seem like forced or confrontational.
Your dog should not be made to do anything by force but to guide them until the desired behavioral outcomes that you as a dog trainer desire. Once you have understood the basics of the clicker training, it will not only prove to be an effective instrument for training dogs, but may also lend you insights into human psychology that we as humans need to know.
As the dogs are presented with the opportunity to have control over the consequences of their actions, they become excited because they know that doing something for you will be followed by rewards that are pleasurable for them.
Clicker dog training may initially be frustrating and you may end up whacking your dogs as result. However, be advised not to resort to punishment or unpleasant actions for unwanted response and behaviors. Although punishments are known to decrease unwanted behaviors in dogs, it is found to be counterproductive, as it produces other unwanted behaviors. Besides, dogs find it difficult to associate clicker with the consequence of punishment, as punishment for animals are random and meaningless.
As opposed to inappropriate negative stimulation, many people involved in clicker dog training also find, that focusing on positive reinforcement yields better and rewarding human-to-animals relationships which, of course is necessary for making the dog obedient.
For your clicker dog training to be effective, use treats that your dog really loves, and as you progress you may follow up teaching them basic commands for less delectable ones. Try to make the training session as interesting and short as possible. More can be learned in short sessions than through long and tedious sessions. Respond to unwanted behavior by clicking for good behavior. Avoid shouting at them for barking at visitors but tell them to be quiet by clicking for silence. Trick your dog into a movement or position for spontaneous outcome, but don't drag them into doing something to 'teach.'