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What are clickers? How do they work?

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I would recommend googling clicker training, there are TONS of articles and info out there that should make it pretty clear. But basically you are marking a specific behavior from the dog with the sound of the clicker and since the clicker is associated as being positive, usually since it is backed up with food, you can give an immediate link to a wanted behavior and the click. But I would google it, your time will be filled with articles and videos to watch for weeks.

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And for a fast response here . . .


A clicker is a training device - typically a small plastic box - that makes a "click-click" sound when you press on it.


It is paired with a primary reinforcer (typically food, especially in the beginning) to create a "secondary reinforcer". In other words, the click, which initially has no value to the dog, comes to mean "a reward is going to follow this sound - always and forever".


Once that is done, the click is used to mark behaviors and can be used in several different ways in many different training techniques. Basically, the click tells the dog that what he or she is doing is what you want and that a reward is coming.


Once behaviors are taught to fluency (competency), the click is "faded" and you no longer need to use it to give the dog information since the dog will know how to respond correctly to your cues.


That's the nutshell version!!

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