Recently I picked up some new clickers, for no particular reason. Actually, I think I noticed that my dog trainer friend Sandi uses them, and then I was spending a lot of time on Karen Pryor’s website, which has sidebar advertisements for them. When I looked on Amazon I saw that I could get five of them for about $8, and since I have Prime it was free shipping. Why not?!
I’m so glad I tried these out because they. are. awesome. It seems like such a minor and silly thing to be in love with a clicker, but really this little doodad is fundamental to the success of our training. How well my clicker works and how well I use it will make or break my training success. Until now I had been using box style clickers, you know the ones with the thumb tab that you press down. I didn’t know what I was missing out on until I switched!
The i-Click is awesome for two main reasons.
- The button. I’m no longer limited to clicking with only my thumb in a very specific position; now I can use any finger, my palm, or whatever I happen to slap the button with from any angle. This has worked wonders for my timing! As it turns out my thumb isn’t my most reflexive finger, which has caused delays in my click or made me miss a click altogether. Apparently my brain and my thumb aren’t connected by a neurological super highway, but my ring and middle fingers are. Even if they weren’t, the button allows me to simply squeeze my hand and get a click, no need for precision finger work. Plus it allows me to click ambidextrously since I’m no longer limited to the thumb (I’m right handed, and my left thumb is definitely no more accurate than my right one).
- The curved body. This shape and size fit perfectly in my hand, which makes it much easier to handle a clicker, leash, treats, and whatever else all at once. Plus it just feels nicer. Now I can easily hold a target and the clicker in one hand while treating with the other.
It boils down to better clicking = better timing = faster behavior acquisition = YAY!