About Clicker Training

What is Clicker Training?

Clicker Training is the use of a marker using Positive Reinforcement training. You mark desirable behaviors with a visual or auditory marker and follow up with a reward. The animal learns to associate the marker with the reward.

Clicker training can be used for any aspect of dog training including obedience and behavior modification. You can use the Clicker Training to teach your dog their obedience behaviors (sit, stay, down, come, etc.), behavior modification (not jumping on people, not pulling on the leash, not barking, etc.) and teaching tricks.

Clicker training is a fun, safe, reliable way of training animals and is commonly used to train animals in zoos and aquariums.

What is a clicker?

The clicker is a small plastic box that has a metal tongue inside that makes a clear, distinctive two-toned clicking sound when pressed and released. It is used to mark desire behaviors in animal training. The clicker is a secondary reinforcer with the treat, toy (or whatever else you use to reward your animal) being the primary reinforcer.

Using the clicker allows you to be very precise in what you reinforce. If you wanted to teach your pet to touch his paw to an object, you would click the instant he touches his paw to that object, then reward. If you clicked too early or too late, your pet would move his paw to the object, but not touch it. Another example is teaching your dog “bubbles” – to exhale through their nose in a bowl of water, creating bubbles. When teaching this, if you didn’t click as your dog exhales, you would be teaching them to put their nose into the water. Timing is very important.

You can also use a verbal marker such as “Yes” or “Yep” or a whistle or flick with your fingers. Condition it the same way you would a clicker and use it the same way you’d use a clicker.

This is a clicker.










Charging the clicker”

The phrase “charging the clicker” means building meaning to the sound. To do this, click and follow with a treat. After several repetitions, your pet will make the connection between the click and treat and will expect a treat after hearing the click.

Why clicker train your pet?

Clicker Training builds a special bond with your pet. Training engages their brain and teaches them that doing things for you is fun and rewarding. Using positive methods, such as Clicker Training, pairs you with reinforcement, so your pet will be more likely to pick you over the environment, this is especially helpful when teaching your pet a recall or to work in distractions.


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One Response to “About Clicker Training”

  1. Mrs Knopik says:

    Great job with your pup. Do you recommend any books for trick ideas? I have a five month old that I want to teach but I have no imagination when it comes to what to teach her.

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