Charging the Clicker

12 Jul

Charging the clicker is when you condition your pet that the “click” means a treat is coming. The “click” then marks the exact moment that your cat or dog (or any pet for that matter) does the right thing and earns a treat.

When you are working with dogs this is very easy. Most dogs will stand on their heads for a treat if they could. This is not quite the same with a cat. The first two weeks Shira was with me I just let her settle in. I was also trying to figure out what she even liked to eat. At the shelter she did not eat well. They told me that the first week she was there they had a hard time getting her to eat anything.

Shira was not keen on treats. I tried freeze-dried chicken and salmon. I also tried jerky treats, crunchy treats and dried food. She didn’t seem very thrilled with anything.

After a couple of weeks Shira was finally on a schedule. It turns out she is a poultry and beef kind of cat. She is not a big fan of fish. Shira is also not big on dried food. So her diet consists of a variety of canned and premade frozen raw foods.

So finally it was time to charge the clicker. This was now easily done by using her breakfast as her training treats. This was easily done by using a spoon. I would just put a little bit at the end of the spoon.

To charge the clicker you simply “click” and then offer the treat. Your cat does not have to do anything but eat the food. You only do this as long as you have their attention. For Shira she would stick around for about 8 clicks and then she was off. At this point I would simply put the rest of her breakfast in her bowl.

By the third day she would come running when she saw me get the clicker and spoon out. This also turned out to be a great bonding experience as well. At this point she was ready to train!

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