Yes, it is clicking for calm behavior. And keep the reward a bit calmer than usual too. Do you have Control Unleashed? It goes thru some great techniques to try for over anxious, overly driven, and excitable dogs.
Working on focus, building drive to work for you, and some cool tricks to keep your dog more interested in you than other things.
With panser I click and rewarded before we got to shaping first. Click and reward while laying calmly in the living room. I practically had a clicker in my pocket for a few weeks b/c shes not normally calm at all. I had to really wait out the moments. Now she knows she needs to offer a calming signal before we start a new lesson. We've also worked on default positions to offer when ready. Rather than the crazy nipping and lunging, she has to be in a down (not just any down either, a relaxed position)
It does take some working on it at first, but you can get them offering this in the middle of an agility class or crazy weight pull class with other dogs screaching, and she'll down comfortable, patiently waiting her turn. We still need lots of work, dont' get me wrong, shes far from outing easily, but its much easier and I'm less worried it'll be some kids hands next time. Maybe just mine! We have associations now too, as in she can't play tug of war with other people, she will look at them anxious while they wave a toy, but she minds it now. After a while she calms down, and I offer the tug game.
In an easy review however, click for a comfortable, calm behavior, and reward it with the ball. Its like practicing the switch, and turning it on and off. Or reward with the tug or food. Whichever works. Panser now knows that calmness, and being easy for amounts of time, allows her to be crazy for a few seconds at the end. But the crazy should be with you, not the object, to avoid confusion. Kinda like working obedience to get the bite. There needs to be some form of control before you allow drive to overbear. You're marking behaviors you'll use anywhere. Once calm, they hear, and communicate better, and it allows focus. And the craziness isn't the toy or the object, but you! This should help shape different offerings down the road.
Its been a crazy day and I"m babbling right now but I'll try to sum more of it up for you in the morning. Think of all the body signals your dog gives, blinking, settling, one hip to another, etc. Once you see what is calm in your dog, begin shaping around that. Once you have a routine, have him offer a calming exercise before each lesson. Only a brief one.
Ryder - Rescue APBT
Panser on a Roll - APBT (American Bully?)
Gretchen - the red headed cat that thinks shes a dog
Prudence - the new cat on the block to put the dogs in their place!
Punchlines Better Than Lojac - APBT (RIP)