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Click and Treat

Click and Treat (C&T or C/T)

Your first step in using this type of training is to "pair" the click sound with a treat that the animal really likes. Click and treat a number of times until the dog begins to look for the treat when he hears the click. You are now ready to begin using the clicker to communicate with your dog.

In order to reinforce the desired behavior, you must first get the behavior. Some behaviors occur naturally, such as sitting, lying down, or barking. Not only do these behaviors occur naturally, but they are apt to occur at predictable times as well. You can place the animal in the situation where the behavior is most likely to happen and then wait patiently.

When you shape behavior, you reinforce closer and closer approximations of the actual behavior you are looking for. Simply put, if you are trying to teach your dog to "shake hands" you would click and treat at first if he simply raised his paw just a bit off the ground. As you progressed, you would stop reinforcing a slight raise of the paw. You would now require that the paw is raised higher, and then the paw would have to come towards you, etc. Breaking the behavior down into tiny steps allows progress to be made quickly.

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