Clicker training is operant conditioning using an event marker (the Click).
"Clicker training" is the name given to a technology introduced and spearheaded by Karen Pryor, behavioral biologist and author of numerous articles and books including the bestseller Don’t Shoot the Dog and her latest book, Reaching the Animal Mind.
BENEFITS OF CLICKER TRAINING
Enables long-term recall; creates a thinking dog that enjoys learning.
Is totally forgiving of mistakes.
Because of its great clarity of communication, develops an extremely close and loving bond between dog and owner.
Enables the creation of complex behavior chains.
HOW IS CLICKER TRAINING DIFFERENT FROM TRADITIONAL TRAINING?
It's a clear way of communicating with your animal.
It's a clear way of teaching the animal that the behavior should be repeated and continued.
It's a force-free method as opposed to dominance training, and a way to develop a confident, reliable, interested and happy dog.
It's a science-proven method of communicating with your animal in a friendly, non-threatening way in order to achieve desired results.
It gives the animal GOOD NEWS.
Learning is accelerated. Since the click occurs during behavior, animals seem to learn faster because the “good news” comes as the animal is doing the behavior, and therefore the behavior is immediately reinforced. It is the fastest way to let the animal know that he did what you requested.
It instills joy and conquers your animal’s fears. (The science is in….animals do experience joy!)
Once the animal learns a few behaviors, he starts to offer behaviors to get THAT CLICK!—and becomes a learning partner.
For people on the go, or anybody, it’s convenient since you only have to train two to three minutes at a time, and you can do it whenever you are with your dog. In fact, Jay recommends that these ongoing brief training sessions become part of your daily routine and thus part of your relationship with your animal so that he becomes a willing partner in learning.