Shown at right are some clicker training tools and popular treats that are used during clicker training.
Training Tip: Your treats should be cut up into small pieces as shown in the picture on the right; it should be no bigger than the end of a pencil eraser tip, or even smaller for small dogs. Treats should also be soft and easy to chew instead of crunchy, as crunch treats will take more time for your dog to chew, which can slow up the training process.
WHAT IS CLICKER TRAINING?
Clicker training has been used with marine mammals for years, and is a clear, effective way to communicate with your dog. A clicker is a small plastic box that makes a clicking sound when pressed. The click acts as a marker to let your dog know the exact moment he is doing what you want and is followed by something the dog finds rewarding, such as a high-value treat like a hot dog or piece of cheese.
WILL I NEED TO USE THE CLICKER FOR THE REST OF MY DOG'S LIFE?
No, you will not need to use the clicker for the rest of the dog's life. The clicker is a training tool for all NEW behaviors you teach your dog. Once your dog has the behavior on cue you can then drop the clicker.
WHY SHOULD I TRAIN WITH TREATS? ISN'T THAT BRIBING MY DOG?
CAN'T I JUST USE PRAISE?
Bribery implies both that the behavior being bribed for is wrong, and that the dog already knows how to do the behavior. This is a human training error not the dog.
If you do not have a relationship with your dog then using "just" praise might not be reinforcing for your dog.
I HAVE TRIED POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT TRAINING AND IT DIDN'T WORK!
Then it wasn't positive reinforcement training because the desired behavior you are reinforcing would increase.
CAN YOU USE YOUR VOICE INSTEAD OF THE CLICKER?
You can use your voice but the clicker is a more consistent sound than using our voices which may vary from time to time. The clicker is a communication tool which helps to speed up the process by marking the behavior the second it happens which sometimes our voices could be a second too late in the communication process.