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Thread: What is clicker training

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Armidale, NSW

    Default What is clicker training

    I've read a bit here and there about clicker training but I'm not sure if I fully grasp it. What I understand is that it is a tool to mark certain desired behaviours - the click shows approval as it is associated with a treat.

    Can anyone tell me a bit more about it? Is it a good idea for general training/a few tricks? Is it easy to learn how to do it? I've only had my puppy for a week, but I have only done general voice commands, would I be able to teach her clicker training if I so choose? How do you teach it? Can I use voice commands and clicker training, or only one or the other?

    Finally, my puppy isn't reliably keen on liver treats or playing, is there an irresistible treat I could use?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2009


    There is no universal uber dog treat - but raw minced beef is close for most dogs.

    Pay attention to what distracts your dog away from you and holds its attention - all those things (if they're safe) can be used as rewards. Ie you get the dog to work for you then you send it to go do what it wants like sniff...

    I can't explain it any better than this.
    Clicker Training

    I tend to use the word "yes" instead of a clicker because I don't like the sound of the clicker and stuffed if I can manage a lead and treats and signals and puppy and clicker with only two hands.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2011


    I tried clicker training for the first time when I got my current rescue dog a few months ago and I loved it. It is definitely a good idea for general training and trick training. And I found it quite easy to learn. I think for me, it just also helped me get my head round the mechanism of training. I found it made it easier to be consistent and calm.

    My dog's not particularly fussy about food, but some of the high value treats that I've used are cooked liver (I just microwave it for 5 mins and cut it in little cubes), cooked chicken, ham pieces and frankfurts. The last two are too salty though, so I try to now avoid them. I met someone recently who used raw chicken for dog training as she said it was the only thing her dog would work for. I am glad that was not me though!

    You still use voice commands - also called cues - when you do clicker training. Though in some cases you might start rewarding the desired behaviour first before you add a cue when the dog offers the behaviour voluntarily.

    And finally, you can replace the clicker with a voice marker. I now use a high-pitched "yay" instead of the clicker most of the time.

    I think it would be best to read it explained by an expert and I hope some of the others will be able to guide you to a good resource. I cannot remember what I read at all. I do have a book called "Click for joy" which is very basic and explains the principles pretty well.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Southern NSW


    And just to confuse you.....I have always used "yessss" and click at the same time alternatively. If I don't have my clicker I say "yesss". My dogs know, they get it. I like the clicker, because it carries furhter. I like "yesssss", because it can be soft and almost inaudible.

    I also think of the clicker as a battery. I can do a couple of clicks without feeding, but it requires recharging, because if you do to many clicks with out a reward, it discharges and looses its own positive reward feeling for the dog.

    I now only use the clicker when i am teaching something new, or when it is something complicated, which has several steps, that i click and at the end of the chain of event i reward with a jackpot.......

    I hardly use food reward now, Like I said only for new stuff. Verbal reward and a pet are it now. But I surprise my dog and will suddenly click and treat after something particularly well done. Even a nice lie-down quietly in front of the telly.

    Don't forget to reward the dog when it is doing something you like, when you have not asked for it......Just good behaviour, capture it........Say yes/click and reward. So many people forget to reward spontaneous good behaviour. Example..........Puppy is lying quietly on his mat, go over and say "good quiet" or "good settle", softly and reward (quietly no excitement).

    And Google will give you a million people telling you how to......But in my eyes Karen Prior is the best

    Karen Pryor Clickertraining I am a member and you get weekly info from her site

    Enjoy your puppy
    Pets are forever

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