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  1. #1

    Clicker Training

    Does anyone here do clicker training? I'm thinking of training Kota by clicker because Kota's commands are not 100% yet and I think with the clicker she may respond better.

    If you do I'm just looking for experience, insight..whatever info you know.
    Blessed Be

    Salem Witch Child

  2. #2
    I had a dog once that had been clicker trained and I personally HATED it! Any sound that was similar to clicking (like clapping hands) he'd automatically sit. Anytime the car door opened (the "click" of latch releasing) he'd sit (and require a second click to get him up and in the car). He had been trained "click" to sit and then to wait for a second click before doing anything else. So it really got a little aggravating afterwhile. Maybe had I been told this before hand it could have been worked around (I would have known to have a clicker with me wherever we went). I tried to "un-clicker train" him but I think that just made things worse.

    I don't know though. He obviously had been trained well with the clicker and had he been transported and placed with someone more understanding of this method, perhaps things would have been better. But I'm not familiar with it and am not sure exactly how it works, I wasn't told he had been clicker trained and it seemed like the training method I've always used that worked best for me kinda worked against him with his prior clicker training. Needless to say, it was a mad house getting this dog to do ANYTHING with me.

    But his transport finally came, he left me and went on to his permanent family and is now clicker trained again and is actually a police narcotics dog (the last I heard). So I guess if you can figure it out and keep up with it and want to deal with it for however long it takes it could turn out to be a very good thing for you.

    For me though, I'd prefer to stay as far away from clickers as possible. Clickers and I just don't go hand in hand (no pun intended). hehe

  3. #3
    i've been studying clicker training and i'm not exactly driven to get stuck in.

    use your voice in training i think 'good dog well done' is better than 'click' use your voice relax your body and make good use of food rewards and you wont go wrong.
    www.irishretrieverrescue.com
    all dalmatian rescue 01255 220 649 (uk)

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by smiffy
    use your voice in training i think 'good dog well done' is better than 'click' use your voice relax your body and make good use of food rewards and you wont go wrong.
    I've been doing that and it's gotten us this far but she's not improving. So we need a plan B. :wink:
    Blessed Be

    Salem Witch Child

  5. #5
    I've seen it used and seen the horrors of it, like if you don't have the food pouch on your hip the dog absolutly refuses to work. They walk all over you. If your dog is an 'easy keeper' they start to have weight issues as its 'sit' click, treat. Those treats start to add up. I would be more apt to just do a couple of regular obediance lessons to refresh and renew the training you have already done. Its almost impossible to retrain a clicker trained dog once its done, and once its done they are 100% reliant on that clicker, its actually very scary when you think about it. What if your dog is running away from you, do you really think he'll hear that click? And the reason they say clickers instead of using your voice is the clicker is a faster reward, they believe your verbal good dog wont come fast enough.

    IMO if your using a verbal good dog, your doing traditional training, not clicker training, unless your still feeding them a ton of treats everytime. I was always very careful to only food reward ever three or four proper reasponses, not everyone, some were only voice rewarded, that way treat would be hidden in my pocket and my dog was always wondering, 'treat this time!?' and would always have their eyes right on me in hopes of food. It worked very well. That and having a trianer that worked with us and not against us.
    The reason dogs are great is they wag their tails, not their tongues.

  6. #6
    signing has been fantastic and i teach signs in my training - by using your body to communicate you are underlining what you are saying or want and as your dog learns your signs eventually it will be the slightest cue to tell your dog what you want.
    www.irishretrieverrescue.com
    all dalmatian rescue 01255 220 649 (uk)

  7. #7
    The clicker training helped us with Abby. We do not rely on it exclusively. In fact I almost never use it now. But when I feel she is not getting feedback from me that is accurate enough to keep her from confusion, I get out the clicker again.

    The first step is to get the dog to the point where the clicker means only good things to her. I found I could respond more quickly to her movements with the clicker, so that she was clear on the exact second that she was doing the desired behavior. Sometimes I use it without any treats. But she always knows that when she gets a click for a certain behavior, some major hugging or a nice treat will follow.

    The click is a substitute treat. It is not used to give the command, but to reward the correct behavior. The dog knows they are on the right track and the good stuff will come soon, love or treats, but the treats are gradually withdrawn to only occasional use.

    How to get the dog to know that the click means "you are an exceptional doggy for doing that behavior" is explained in "Clicker Training for Dogs" by Karen Pryor.

    We have alot more work to do with Abby, but there is no doubt that she knows whenever she gets a click, whatever she was doing at that split-second, was a good behavior.

  8. #8
    Also, Smiffy, I love the signing technique, too. Many of the more advanced handlers and dogs at our class use it. It reminds me of a ballet. Hopefully,
    Abby and I will evolve to that level.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by JustAnotherDogLover
    Any sound that was similar to clicking (like clapping hands) he'd automatically sit. Anytime the car door opened (the "click" of latch releasing) he'd sit (and require a second click to get him up and in the car). He had been trained "click" to sit and then.....
    He obviously had been trained well with the clicker
    This seems to be an example of a very badly c. trained dog. Or perhaps, coming from a c/t home to you, he was just hopefully testing you out to see what worked. As this behaviour didn't work with you, it would have soon died out if he'd have stayed with you.

    The sound of a click is not a command, for sit or anything else. It is supposed to mean "whatever you were doing when it happened was Right". In addition, it is usually easily 'proofed' against the dog responding to other noises. It is actually easy to train more than one dog with a clicker, without confusion.

    Quote Originally Posted by celtechfarms
    I've seen it used and seen the horrors of it, like if you don't have the food pouch on your hip the dog absolutly refuses to work. They walk all over you. If your dog is an 'easy keeper' they start to have weight issues.... Its almost impossible to retrain a clicker trained dog once its done, and once its done they are 100% reliant on that clicker,....
    IMO if your using a verbal good dog, your doing traditional training, not clicker training, unless your still feeding them a ton of treats everytime. I was always very careful to only food reward ever three or four proper reasponses, not everyone, some were only voice rewarded, that way treat would be hidden in my pocket and my dog was always wondering, 'treat this time!?' and would always have their eyes right on me in hopes of food. It worked very well. That and having a trianer that worked with us and not against us.
    Again, the first paragraph describes very badly c. trained dogs and misconceptions about the method. The dog should not have to be 'bribed' with the sight of a treat pouch. The dog should not need to be treated every time. The positive reinforcement(+R) used does not have to be food, so there is no need to blame weigh issues on c/t. I don't get why you think it's impossible to retrain a c/t dog, and they definitely shouldn't be reliant on the clicker or a treat - this would just be rediculous & make training certain things impossible.

    In your second paragraph, what you call 'traditional training' is actually a good example of some c/t principles in action! So, IMO, it is only the misconceptions about c/t that you disagree with :wink: I find this to be the case with many *good* trainers - they disagree with what they've heard about c/t, or because of some terrible examples they've seen, but they don't realise they're using the very same principles. Come to think of it, the same applies to lables such as 'natural horsemanship' & the likes too.

    Clicker training is great. Make sure you pay attention to the PRINCIPLES of the method, don't get carried away with the specifics, such as using a clicker, treats, etc, which are often very helpful, but not necessary.

    The principles are behavioural psychology, or the 'laws of learning' in practice, which are sound facts which work for any animal. For eg. behaviour that is desired should be positively reinforced(rewarded) AT THE TIME of that behaviour in order to strengthen it. Any behaviour which is never reinforced will eventually become 'extinct'. After initial training, a behaviour should not be constantly reinforced the same way, but rather sporadically reinforced, in order to improve on and strengthen it. +R is not just food treats, but whatever is desireable to THAT animal at THAT time, that you wish to use. Reinforcement is not just positive(reward, Good Things) but can be negative(removal of Bad Stuff, pressure) as is regualrly used in horse training.

    The clicker(or voice signal, whatever) is not positive reinforcement. It is first associated with the +R & then used as a 'bridging signal' to 'mark' the behaviour, as it is often not possible to reinforce the dog in the instant. With a tool like this, you can precisely mark bits of behaviour, giving the animal clear feedback, which is often lacking with other methods of training.

    The other great thing about C/T is that it causes people to focus on the 'right'(positive, good) stuff an animal does, rather than the 'wrong' behaviour. Besides other good effects, this makes training fun all round, for animals and their humans.

    To learn more, visit www.clickertraining.com There are many other sites, books, vids, internet forums, etc to help you learn.

  10. #10
    Seen the clicker trained horse too. And all my gods what a mess, that horse litterally tried to kill anything walking without a treat pouch on. I still remember the bruise on the stable owners arm from the horse 'punching' her, and the way the horse would litterally attack the stall fork anytime she got close enough to get ahold of it. It was damned scary, luckly I've learned over the years body language, so on the few occasions I was left to look after the farm I was able to deal with her without getting hurt. But in the end they sold the horse because she was uncontrolable without knowing exactly how to communicate with her through sound and body language. It was a real shame, it tore her owner apart that she couldn't handle the horse and had to admit that she couldn't handle her. But it was the clicker training that caused her to ignore your verbal commands, no pouch, no obediance.

    And theres a big diffrence from a hundred pound dog not listening, and a thousand pound horse not listening.
    The reason dogs are great is they wag their tails, not their tongues.

 

 

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