The clicker is a means to MARK a desired behavior in a way your animal is taught to understand. The Click tells him "YES" that is what I asked you to do.
Rewards in the form of food are very motivating. Treats are used regularly when introducing your animal to the clicker, and when introducing something new.
As specific behaviors are mastered, food rewards are given less frequently. Eventually the words "GOOD" or "YES" and a friendly rub or scratch can be used in place of the Clicks and treats, but I prefer to continue with them.
Teaching them to understand the CLICK is often done by using a target or by asking for a behavior they already know. That behavior, when marked and then rewarded, causes the animal to want to repeat that behavior.
The desire to work (or play) can be further developed to a point where their ability to learn is greatly expanded. Learning new things is easier and faster when they are willing to try and are allowed to make mistakes.
It is important that MINOR episodes of undesirable behavior are ignored when introducing Clicker Training. Punishment will quickly stop your animal from trying.
Many of the behaviors you want repeated are things your animal already knows how to do. You just need to learn how to ask him to do them upon request.
Timing of the CLICK sound changes as the desired behavior is learned. At first you will click when you see the slightest try. Later you Click when the behavior is happening and last, as the behavior is continued, repeated or combined with other things.
When you master the CLICK/TREAT method of training, wonderful things will happen.
1) You become more aware of your animal's desire to please you.
2) You learn to recognize and reward their smallest try. . . . . . . . .
3) You learn to introduce new behaviors in small steps. . . . . . . . .
4) You develop respect and strong bonds by being fair, gentle and consistent.
Clicker Training can be used with,
and accelerates any other training program.