The Clicker Game

(It is recommended that you read the Shaping article before reading this one)

The clicker game is a great method to learn how to use the clicker and to understand the method of clicker training. All you need is a clicker and a minimum of 2 people. This game can be a great icebreaker in social gatherings and parties.

Choose one person to be the ‘dog’ (the trainee) and one person to be the trainer. The trainee leaves the room and the people in the room decide on a behavior the trainee will need to perform (i.e. standing on one leg, opening a window, writing something on the board, etc.). After the decision is made, the trainee comes back to the room. From that point onward, there is no talking, just the trainee’s behaviors and the trainer’s clicker that marks behaviors.

The trainer needs to start clicking behaviors that approximate the desired behavior (just like training through shaping). For example, if we decided that the behavior is opening the window, the trainer will click the first motion towards the window, then another step, and another, and putting the hand on the window, putting the hand on the handle, and finally opening the window. The trainee should avoid thinking too much and just act according to the clicks. The more spontaneous the trainee is, the better the learning that takes place.

The object of the game is getting to the final behavior in the shortest duration. This is important – shortest duration, not the lowest amount of clicks. Usually, it is many early clicks that will deliver the final behavior in the shortest duration.

Have fun.

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