Here is how you can tell if you have built a truly powerful cue which will always work for you and your dog.
In this breakthrough book, Morgan Spector shows you how and why to use clicker training, the technology of operant conditioning and positive reinforcement, to train your dog. Whether you're starting off with a new puppy or headed for the Obedience ring, these step-by-step instructions will work for you. Morgan answers all the familiar questions about clicker training: "Why can't I just use my voice?" "What if the dog doesn't obey?" "When can I get rid of the food?"
Morgan Spector is a practicing attorney and respected obedience competitor, trainer and teacher in Southern California. In 1993 he came in contact with Karen Pryor and had been a dedicated clicker trainer since. He is well known in dog-training circles as an advocate and expositor of operant conditioning techniques through his participation on clicker e-mail lists and his regular columns in the NADOI News and the Clicker Journal. His own competition dogs are Shetland Sheepdogs, but his students come with all breeds, including many"non-obedience breeds" such as Weimaraners, Boxers, Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs, Miniature Pinschers, Wheaten Terriers and Caucasian Ovtcharkas.
From Chapter 2 of Clicker Training for Obedience. Many trainers who dip their toes into the waters of operant conditioning still reserve for themselves the option of "making" the dog do an exercise at some point in the training process. The theory, expressed in different ways, boils down to the notion that "the dog must know that it doesn't have any choice but to obey when I give a command." In response, I pose two questions: