Clicker training is a way of training animals by using a marker and then giving the animal a reinforcer. A marker tells the animal, “You have done the right thing; a reinforcer (reward) is coming!” The marker pinpoints the exact behaviour the animal is reinforced for.
The marker can be a clicker, a short word like ‘yes’ or a whistle. You will often see whistles in dolphin or whale training. For our pets, we mostly use a clicker or the verbal marker ‘yes’.
There is nothing magic about clickers or markers, but it helps the animal to understand better what we want.
The marker always needs to be followed with a (primary) reinforcer, such as food/treats. The clicker does NOT replace the reinforcer and is not a cue.
Yes, any animal can be trained with a clicker!
The most well know organisation promoting clicker training is Karen Prior Clicker Training, the leader in positive reinforcement training at https://www.clickertraining.com/
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