No Stinkin' Leashes Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: SF Bay Area
The most basic way of clicker training is using it as a marker - the click marks the exact moment of behavior that you're rewarding. You can just reward without marking, but by the time you deliver it, your dog may be doing something else. For example, if your dog sits and you give her a reward she may have also cocked an ear, turned her head, shifted onto one hip.....any number of things. But if the second her butt hit the floor you used the clicker and then rewarded her, she would understand that it was the sit that's being rewarded. Of course in order for her to make this association she'd have to know that the click = a reward will follow. You can also use a voice marker (usually "yes!") in addition to or instead of a clicker.
If you're shaping behavior you're going to break it down into tiny increments, so being able to mark very quickly and specifically is important.
Keefer 8/25/05-4/24/19 ~ The sweetest boy
Halo 11/9/08-6/17/18 ~ You left pawprints on our hearts
Dena 9/12/04-10/4/08 ~ Forever would have been too short