I have a question for those of you who do clicker training or know a lot about it. From what I understand, whenever the dog does something good (a trick) or reacts to a certain situation well, you click and treat. So is it basically the same as regular positive reinforcement training? Does the sound do something better than just a treat alone?
I'm sure there are other principles but the click is a marker..a mark of being good..It is the same mark all the time consistent..same sound, same tone ... thinking of using a "yes" as your marker..one time the yes is happy high pitched (when the dog does it the first time)..however when you are working and working on something and finally the dog gets it and your yes is more deep drawn out disgusted that it took so long to get it (okay maybe I'm exaggerating a little) but it sounds different then the last marker.
Also the click can be more immediate than just food..you can click immediately when you see the desired behavior..by the time you get food out get it to the dog..are you actually rewarding the behaviour that you wanted or has the dog gone on to the next behavior and you are actually rewarding that behavior whether you wanted to or not.
I didn't know very much about dog training or clickers when I got Ellie. I was afraid to use the clicker because I thought I would have to use it forever. Let me tell you, the clicker is magic. It tamed my wild rescue dog into the best dog ever. I am a big advocate. I think you can train a dog to do just about anything with a clicker.
And you don't have to use it forever. We haven't brought our clicker out in a very long time.
debjen is spot on - it is a mark. The dog recognizes it as a signal that they did something good.
There have been studies done - and of course I can't find them online - but they show that the clicker sound is processed in a different location in the brain and leads to a faster reaction than a verbal marker does.
The qlue about the sound the clicker makes, is that it is a consequent sound, something you personaly never could manage to do, to create a sound thats always the same, so the clicker does ...
And yes, if a dog does something good, -CLICK- .. -TREAT- ... That are realy the basics, but if you serious about clicker training, take a look for a dogschool in youre area who give such courses, because even with a clicker you can easily learn them bad behaviour if you use the clicker in a wrong way ...