Dog Clicker Training or Shaping in Behavior
Clicker training is about shaping your dog's behavior. There are two basic types of shaping; prompted shaping and free shaping. Prompted shaping is when you lure or induce (e.g. with a target) your dog to perform an action and thenclick and reward him for completing it. Free shaping on the other hand is waiting for your dog to perform a desired action of his own free will and then clicking/rewarding him.One of the disadvantages to free shaping is that it takes much longer as all of the initiative is in the dog's court. For beginners this is usually too difficult both for the trainer and dog. Regardless of the type of shaping you use, maintaining detailed notes of every training session is very important for the trainer to be able to keep track of progress and any need work on areas. Why is the clicker necessary to the success of this training program? Why can't the trainer simply voice their approval when the dog performs the desired action? The answer lies in the clicker's unique sound. It is a sound that the dog is completely unfamiliar with (unlike your voice) and so forces him to take notice.