By Gloria J. White, used with her permission.
Before you begin your training, it is important to establish a “cue” to let your pet know that what it is doing is the appropriate behavior. You may decide to use a clicker or perhaps you will choose to use a word (yes). We will discuss both of these as part of our lesson and then it is up to you to decide which you will use to help with your training.
The typical clicker is a small plastic box that you can use to make a clicking sound. The sound is a way of communicating with you pet that it has accomplished a behavior that you like. It is like taking a picture with a camera. You press the button when you see the best “pose”.
Here are some advantages of a clicker:
#The sound is a clear, consistent signal that always sounds the same no matter who is using it.
#The sound can be heard from a distance.
#Clickers or some version of clicker (whistle, light beams, bells, etc. have been used successfully by trainers of dolphins, killer whales, movie star dogs, etc.) since the mid-50’s.
Some other important information about clickers:
#No, you don’t have to use a clicker forever to train your dog. You use it to help your dog learn new behaviors and then you can transition to a word or other cue.
#Children have been successful using clickers because it gives the same “power” as an adult.
#Clickers come in small sizes that make a softer sound if your pet is sound sensitive.
The Yes Word
The word yes is obviously with you at all times. It does sound differently depending upon the person who is saying it and can often carry erroneous signals. You can work into the word from the clicker and I strongly recommend doing so.
Regardless of which cue you decide to use, there is timing involved in both.
“A Click or “Yes”?© Gloria J. White CPDT, goldens2 at roadrunner.com. Used with her permission.