A clicker is a small device that makes a clear click-click sound when its button is depressed. It is a tool we use to teach your dog how to do ‘new stuff’ (learn a new skill) and once the ‘new stuff’ is learned, the clicker is put away. It is not something you must use for the life of your dog in order to get him/her to do things.
Your dog learns that the clicker is valuable to him/her because of its association with the arrival of a reward. We teach the dog about the association just by clicking and rewarding several/many times.
A cool thing about clicker training is that the dog quickly becomes a willing participant in the training process. It’s a two-way conversation and it’s awesome to watch.
We organize things (lure to get the behaviour/catch the behaviour when it occurs) so that we can click and reward. Meanwhile, the dog is actively trying to figure out how to make us click so they may get rewarded. They usually try to make that happen by repeating the last skill (eg..sit) that got them rewarded.
For more in-depth information about clicker training, I encourage you to check out www.clickertraining.com. There is a wealth of information there and some excellent video’s to see.