Confused about the Clicker

Discussion in 'Dog Training Forum' started by StillandSilent, Aug 25, 2010.

  1. StillandSilent

    StillandSilent New Member

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    Grimm was previously trained, using force and a choke chain, before I got him. Since most of his issues were social, I never really got into using the clicker with him.

    Since his little behavior regression, we're going back to basics, this time with the clicker instead of force. He really seems to like it, but I'm confused about "stay"

    How do I click him? Do I do it before the release word, or after?
     
  2. CaliTerp07

    CaliTerp07 New Member

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    Before! At first, put him in a sit or a down, tell him to stay, and click after a few seconds (before he has a chance to get up and mess up). Add a few seconds each time. You always want to click while he is doing the behavior you're asking for. If you release him and then click, he's being rewarded for getting up, not staying.
     
  3. StillandSilent

    StillandSilent New Member

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    So I get the stay behavior solid and then add a release word? That does make sense.

    My new neighbor asked me yesterday if I ever heard strange clicking noises coming from the walls. She thought there was a wiring problem! We both cracked up when I had to admit that I was the one making that noise.
     
  4. CaliTerp07

    CaliTerp07 New Member

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    Yeah, I wouldn't work on a release until he understands that stay means "don't move".

    I actually taught stay to Lucy using her dinner, because she's crazy about her food bowl. I made her sit on her bed, told her "wait" and set her food dish down. If she moved, I picked the bowl back up, said "ah-ah", and put her back on her bed. It only took a couple days before she had that rock solid. Now, I can put her in a stay, set her food dish down, go do dishes and come back a few minutes later and she'll still be sitting there. When I say, "Okay!" she'll come FLYING across the room to get her food!

    For start line stays at agility, I reward like mad. It's waaaaaay harder for Lucy to sit still for 20 seconds with all the excitement than it is for her to take a jump. I'll put her in a stay, walk 2 feet away, come back and give her a treat. Repeat, repeat, repeat (going a little further sometimes). She actually gets less of a reward for starting the course when I tell her to, because that's so much easier for her. I'm working to make "stay" super exciting for her.
     
  5. Southpaw

    Southpaw orange iguanas.

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    And, when you're working on distance--don't click until you've already walked back up to him. I actually did it the opposite way with Juno (I'd click when I was however many feet away, and then walk back to her and give the reward) and it worked fine, but a lot of dogs would probably get up after hearing the click.

    I worked on the release word at the same time. I'd just clap my hands and walk away while telling her "okay!" I still don't think she really understand the concept of the release word lol but I still wanted her to get the idea that she needs to remain staying until given some form of further instruction.
     
  6. stardogs

    stardogs Behavior Nerd

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    Yes remember that the click generally means that the dog has met your criteria and is now free to get up and move.

    I do the same gradually extending time routine mentioned above but with two other parts added in: I don't add a separate stay cue since I want my dogs to have a sit or down stay implied when I give the sit or down cue *and* I will occasionally throw in an "easy" rep when the dog has been doing well with the increasing increments, just to keep things more interesting. :)
     
  7. Doberluv

    Doberluv Active Member

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    I would get that release word working right away. It is important that he regularly hears this release word just prior to getting up or breaking the stay. It's part and parcel of the deal. Break your stay down into three parts; duration, distance and distractions. When you're working on one part or criteria, relax the others. For instance, start out with durataion. No distance and no distractions. Go in a boring room and stand right smack in front of him. Have him sit for just a second, click/treat, release quickly. Get that release word in double quick before he screws it up. LOL....before he gets a chance to rise or break the stay. He'll get so it's habit for him to have getting up from the stay preceeded by the release word. It will help him learn to wait for the release word.

    Don't start using your verbal cue until he's getting this pretty regular. Just get the behavior. (even if he has learned it before. If he's not so good at it, you're liable to louse up the cue) So, save it till he's really getting onto the game so he doesn't miss the association between the cue and the behavior.

    Work on your duration gradually, only increasing it as he succeeds. Then work on distance and relax the duration. Step back a step and immediately return to him. Then two steps back and immediately return. When you come back to him, click/treat and release. Gradually add to the distance. If you forget to use your release word or don't get it in there quick enough and he breaks the stay, he just lost an opportunity for reinforcement. No punishment. Just start over.

    Then when he's getting onto that, you can then add the two together, starting out on easy street and gradually adding pressure.... or you can throw in some mild distractions and stay with duration or distance training only. It doesn't much matter what order you do it in, just as long as you make it easy for him to build reinforceable responses. So, if you decide to throw in some distractions, it's best to relax the other criteria (distance from you...and duration of the stay)for a bit.

    The click comes at the end of the behavior. So, as you build duration very gradually, you'll be clicking at the end of your pre-determined number of seconds. As he gets pretty decent at this stay business, you can start clicking NOT when you're right in front of him, but from a distance and rush in and give him the treat. You will want to mix things up so that stay doesn't just mean stay because you're standing right in front of him. You'll want to turn sideways, stand in different positions from what you usually do. You can sit in a chair and ask for a stay. You can squat and ask for a stay. Have him vary HIS positions too...sometimes lying down and staying, sitting, standing. Stop when you're just walking around the yard and ask quickly for a stay right where he is. Mix things up so the stay gets on stimulus control. Try to gradually start standing a little differently asap because once he gets it in his mind that you're always, always standing a certain way, that becomes part of the cue and you don't want that. You want stay to be singled out from everything else so it will mean stay no matter what else is going on.

    But imo, the sequence should be: Correct response (make it VERY easy to comply), click, treat and release. (gradually raise the part of the stay you're working on and then add the criteria together)Try to avoid exciteable wild praise, as this is likely to make him break the stay before you've gotten your release word in. You can save that for later. The click and treat is sufficient reinforcer.
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2010
  8. Maura

    Maura New Member

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    I use two different stays. One means stay put until I come back to you. The other means stay until I release you or give you another direction (I may be on the other side of the pasture.)
     
  9. Doberluv

    Doberluv Active Member

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    That's a good way Maura...to make two separate cues.

    With the Op, in the beginning, to really ensure really reliable, concrete stay, I recommend that you always return to your dog...almost always anyhow. Don't call your dog to come until he is absolutely rock solid, has been doing this for a long time..... and then only one out of twenty stays should you call him. What I did is: if I thought I might want to call my dog over to me after he stayed, I used a different cue...."wait." And saved "stay" for stay no matter what...until I come to you. In fact, with Lyric, I got him to stay by default so I didn't give him a noticeable cue. Wherever I left him, when I'd lead out with my right foot, he stayed automatically. But that took some time and some gradual fading of my cue. I don't do so much with my Chi's.
     
  10. Linds

    Linds Twin 2

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    I just wanted to say I think this right here is great advice! I mean, all of it was right on, but this is something I know I forget about a lot and have to remind myself to do. It's so easy to get in the habit of just standing there in front of them

    And if you ever want a stand stay I would work that in early, not to say you can't do it later on, just that I find that to be one of the harder ideas to get through to the dog. That standing is a position just like sit and you have to keep that position.
     
  11. Maura

    Maura New Member

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    I use "stay" and "wait" (which may be counterproductive because of the long A sound?) I train the wait with dinner, then with stairs. I want a dog to wait at the top of the stairs until I am at the bottom (imagine carrying a baby or using a cane and getting bumped). The stairs wait is very short and easy even for a hyperenergetic or young dog. You don't even need the clicker, most dogs, esp puppies, respond to your hand held out or a wave of the had. I also love the idea of a standing stay. Sometimes you don't want your dog to lie down on that broken glass, or because if he sits first his front paws might end up in a bad place. Also, some dogs have been trained so methodically that theywill not lie down or stay unless you put him into a sit first.
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2010
  12. Linds

    Linds Twin 2

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    I really like it too and I think the standing stay is a great way to really get through to them that this is also a position. I've been working really hard on stand stay the last two days and I can see it improving other parts of this training.

    Like having him focus while in a stand position helps get rid of that desire to sit or down when I say focus, and also helps for heeling and keeping focus. It's also made it so when he goes from a down or a sit into a stand there is less forward movement and he locks his legs. I've also noticed his entire stay is getting better, and he seems to really be getting that it means don't move from whatever position you are in or put in

    But anyways, sorry I was digressing :D
     
  13. Doberluv

    Doberluv Active Member

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    I had a little game I played with my Doberman, Lyric. We'd be walking in heel position and I'd have him "wait" while I kept on walking, looking straight ahead where I was going, not at him. Of course, at first, I had to pause a little to get him to wait. But gradually got it so I could keep walking without breaking my pace and have him wait. Then after about 10 ft or so, I'd make a little wrist motion and say, "heel" and he'd catch up with me and heel for a while. Then we'd do it again, over and over.

    The next phase was to get him to do the same thing, but in a sit position when he would wait and also in a down/wait....then catch up to me fast and heel along as we walked. I had to teach him to down quickly in various contexts and when I was in various positions relative to him.... and also had to gradually eliminate my having to pause to get him into those positions...to teach him to sit, stand or down quickly even if I weren't standing right in front of him, but walking along. So, that's another reason to practice sitting, staying or waiting (whatever) when you're not always, always in the same position or doing the same thing. It makes it easier for them to separate out the stay or wait from other coinciding behaviors.

    It was good brain exercise for him and fun. It is actually a "trick" used in police work, I think, so the dog learns when to hold back and when to come along...pretty much pointless for my pet dog, lol... except it was just a trick, fun and challenging.
     
  14. Maura

    Maura New Member

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    What a great trick! I do this with my collie, but it's more just to exercise his brain a little. I've seen film of schutzhund and noticed the dogs magicly just stop almost midstep while the handler keeps on going. It looks pretty cool.
     

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