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What is Clicker Training?

Clicker Training is a slang term used by dog trainers for operant conditioning using a marker. Dogs, in fact all animals humans included, learn by operant conditioning.


Conventional training had the trainer giving the subject an order - a word it did not understand and then making it carry out that order usually by using some degree of force or punishment. With Clicker Training, the required behaviour is obtained before adding the cue, an altogether more humane method of training. Instead of correcting the subject for doing something wrong by using punishment, clicker trainers reward the subject for doing something correct whether occurring naturally or by being induced.

Dogs can be started on clicker training at a very early age. Some breeders are starting to work with their puppies at four weeks of age. Because the program is reward oriented there is little stress.