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The Difference Between Clicker Trainers and Trainers Who Just Use Clickers


Clicker trainers use a clicker to shape a behavior – that is to say, they use the clicker to help and encourage a dog to work his own way through a behavior to the desired effect. This makes the dog responsible for his own learning. Other trainers use the clicker, but they do a lot of luring – using food or another object that the dog will follow to “walk” the dog through the behavior to the desired effect, thereby removing the need or incentive for the dog to fully engage their brain and work through the behavior themself – and just use the clicker to mark the behavior.

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Topics: Dog Training, Well-behaved Dogs, Shaping Behavior, Behavior & Training, Clicker Training, Dog Trainers, Dogs, Clickers

An Introduction to Clicker Training


Good dog trainers often use a small box called a clicker. The clicker makes a distinctive clicking sound when you press on it. This sound tells your dog “Yes, that is what I want you to do,” and it promises her a reward for a job well done. The clicker marks the exact moment she has done what you like. If you don’t like using gadgets, your dog is afraid of the clicker or you can’t use a clicker for some other reason, you can use a marker word, like “YES” instead of the clicker. You can also use a hand signal or the flash of a penlight if your dog is deaf. I will assume you are using a clicker below, but if you are using something else to mark the behavior, just use it in the places where I say to click.

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Topics: Dog Training, Shaping Behavior, Behavior & Training, Clicker Training, Puppies, Dogs, Luring Behavior, Targeting, Capturing Behavior

Photo Credit: Preventive Vet

Please do not ask emergency or other specific medical questions about your pets in the blog comments. As an online informational resource, Preventive Vet is unable to and does not provide specific medical advice or counseling. A thorough physical exam, patient history, and an established veterinary-patient-client relationship is required to provide specific medical advice. If you are worried that your pet is having an emergency or if you have specific medical questions related to your pet’s current or chronic medical conditions, please contact or visit your veterinarian, an animal-specific poison control hotline, or your local emergency veterinary care center.

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