What is Clicker Training?Clicker training simply uses a clicker to mark good behaviors in your dog. It is very similar to when you tell your dog, “Good dog,” when it sits, then you give your dog a treat. Instead of verbally praising the dog we use a clicker to mark the exact instance that your dog performs the good behavior (i.e. click when your dog’s bottom hits the ground). Then we always follow the click with a small, soft food treat.
The clicker is very effective because it is a unique noise that is new to your dog. The sound of the clicker quickly begins to mean something to your dog. Before long your dog will start thinking, “What did I do to get my owner to click.” The dog will soon learn to repeat the behaviors that earned it a click.
Clicker training can be a very fast and effective means of communicating with your dog because it relies on positive reinforcement rather than punishment or coercion. It creates a thinking dog that is eager to work for rewards. Clicker training works well with almost all dogs of all ages. It can also be a very effective means of working with shy, fearful or easily distracted dogs.