To Click or Not to Click, that is the Question…
You’ve heard about clicker training, but hesitate to add a piece of plastic to hands already encumbered by leash and treats. Is the clicker really necessary? First, the facts: Clicker training is a cross- species, science-based way of teaching and learning. It refers to only one, of a variety of tools used, under the heading of “Mark and Reward” training. This training is the method of choice used in zoos and aquariums; and is even finding its way into search and rescue, and gun dog training. Fish or fowl; horse or human, mark and reward training works!
As a cross-over trainer (one who began training over 30 years ago using methods that included negative reinforcement and punishment) I’ve experienced the advancement of training methods and the ease with which clicker training allows us to communicate across species and without force. For this reason, I recommend, but don’t require, the use of the clicker. Here are some points to keep in mind: