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Discussion Starter #1
I've been reading some stuff on the clicker and I'm a little confused on how exactly it works. My understanding is that the clicker essentially takes the place of the treat?? The dog comes to associate the clicker with a treat so using the clicker is the equivalent of giving the dog a treat for the desired behavior. Is this the jist of it? Or am I missing something?
 

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No, the clicker marks what the dog is getting treated for. You still have to reward your dog, but the dog knows exactly what it is getting rewarded for.

Say you are teaching your dog to sit. The dog eventually sits and you reach for the treat. By the time the treat reaches the dog's mouth it could have stood up, looked over your shoulder, yawned, wagged its tail, and shifted its weight. What was it getting treated for? Yawning? Wagging its tail? The "click" let's the dog know the moment it does something right.

A verbal cue ("Good!") can do the same thing, but it is said that the clicker is much more distinct and precise.
 

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No, the clicker marks what the dog is getting treated for. You still have to reward your dog, but the dog knows exactly what it is getting rewarded for.

Say you are teaching your dog to sit. The dog eventually sits and you reach for the treat. By the time the treat reaches the dog's mouth it could have stood up, looked over your shoulder, yawned, wagged its tail, and shifted its weight. What was it getting treated for? Yawning? Wagging its tail? The "click" let's the dog know the moment it does something right.

A verbal cue ("Good!") can do the same thing, but it is said that the clicker is much more distinct and precise.
I see. That makes a lot of sense actually. Wouldn't a snap of the fingers or a click of the tongue work just as well? I'm the farthest thing from a professional animal trainer. (I probably wouldn't even qualify as an amateur one.) I'm looking for the best way to teach my cocker spaniel a few tricks and we need to work on some of the basics like "stay".
 

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I actually tried using my tongue, and it works just as well. Could snap the fingers, but it would be hard to make it consistant, as some snaps would be quieter than others. You can be pretty consistant with the tongue. I've done it when I forgot my clicker.
 

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I would like to be able to snap my fingers though and instantly get my dogs attention. I think I'm having a "my dog is my kid" moment right now.
 

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I would like to be able to snap my fingers though and instantly get my dogs attention. I think I'm having a "my dog is my kid" moment right now.
You can, but one of the things I like about clicker training is that my dogs are INSTANTLY up and watching if I even MOVE in case I might start walking towards the shelf where the clicker and my training gear lives. :p They LOVE it.
 

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You can, but one of the things I like about clicker training is that my dogs are INSTANTLY up and watching if I even MOVE in case I might start walking towards the shelf where the clicker and my training gear lives. :p They LOVE it.
Same with my girls. If I reach at all towards the clicker, all 3 are ready to go, lol.
 

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i don't use the clicker, myself, but on the aspect of using the snap of fingers....that could be a hard "mark" as a lot of people use the snap for the dog to come to them or something.....but the tongue i can see using well....i, jist simply use a yes....when i've tried the clicker they look at me like i'm weird, even after a few times of the treats....
 

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I see. That makes a lot of sense actually. Wouldn't a snap of the fingers or a click of the tongue work just as well? I'm the farthest thing from a professional animal trainer. (I probably wouldn't even qualify as an amateur one.) I'm looking for the best way to teach my cocker spaniel a few tricks and we need to work on some of the basics like "stay".
Yes, any uniform sound -- a sound that you can repeat over and over in almost the exact same way -- will work as a marker. Some people use a click, others use "yes!" and so on.

You can, but one of the things I like about clicker training is that my dogs are INSTANTLY up and watching if I even MOVE in case I might start walking towards the shelf where the clicker and my training gear lives. :p They LOVE it.
Same with mine!
 

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A cheap clicker is 99 cents. A more comfortable one is $2. Spring for the clicker and save your tongue and fingers ;)
 
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