Clicker

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For other uses, see Clicker (disambiguation).
Clicker-training clickers come in various shapes and forms.

A clicker is any device that makes a clicking sound, usually when deliberately activated by its user.

They usually consist of a piece of thin metal or plastic held in a casing so that the metal is slightly torqued; depressing one end of the metal causes it to pop out of alignment and releasing it causes it to pop back into alignment, each time making a sharp click.

With some clickers, the user depresses the metal directly with thumb or finger; with others, a button extends above the surface of the casing so that depressing the button makes the metal click.

Use in animal training[edit]

Main article: Clicker training

Clickers were first used by marine mammal trainer Karen Pryor as a way of communicating with their animals. Dolphins and whales communicate underwater through a series of clicks and whistles known as echolocation, and the clicker allowed a trainer to produce signals they were more likely to understand.

Nowadays, clickers are used to train all kinds of animals, most commonly dogs. When associated with a treat, a click allows the owner to mark the precise moment the desired behavior is executed.

Other use[edit]

  • In contemporary society, clickers are often used by pet owners (particularly dogs and Gambian pouched rats) as a behavioral tool.
  • Clickers are used to provide audible feedback for human students learning using a method called TAGteach.
  • In World War II Clickers were used by Allied paratroopers preceding and during Operation Overlord as a way of covertly identifying friend from foe. A soldier would click once and if two clicks were received in return from an unidentifiable soldier then his identification was confirmed.
  • Clickers are also used as a handheld counting device, sometimes digital but more commonly mechanical, used to keep a count of the numbers of people entering a venue. It is often used by nightclub doorstaff to make sure fire limits are not exceeded.
  • A Clicker is a device used on recurve bows to signal to the archer that correct draw length has been achieved, thus aiding consistency.
  • Some board games designed after game shows come with clickers that are meant to emulate the buzzers common on such shows.