How long does it take to load the click?

Discussion in 'Dog Training Forum' started by GlassOnion, Mar 18, 2010.

  1. GlassOnion

    GlassOnion Thanks, and Gig 'em.

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    Nikki is progressing OK in her training, and I think clicker training would rock with her, but I don't think she's getting the idea. I spent about five days just giving treats and clicking at the same time to associate the tone with 'reward', but sometimes it's like she just ignores it completely, so I don't know if she fully has the idea yet or if the other thing is just more tempting.

    Earlier today she chose to lay down over getting a food reward, and that's what befuddled me. She is very food motivated and for her to ignore the click and instead just lie down, well that makes me think she doesn't have the click associated.

    Further confusing me is that she's obviously making progress, but I don't know what she's taking as the reward. The click, the actual treat, or the 'good girls' and rubdowns? At this point I think the actual click is completely irrelevant to her and thus I was wondering how long I should've spent associating the two, because she's obviously not correlated them yet.


    Oh also when you give the reward, should you click each time as a reinforcer, even though you've already clicked for the behavior?
     
  2. Zoom

    Zoom Twin 2.0

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    You need to be clicking for something, instead of just randomly...I start off with eye contact. I will hold a treat and the second their eyes meet mine, click/treat. Then wait for them to do it again. Repeat. When your dog is staring at you so hard you can feel her brain starting to smoke because she's waiting for the click, then you know you've got the clicker loaded.
     
  3. Dekka

    Dekka Just try me..

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    Start with high value rewards. Click rubdown isn't generally terribly useful, unless your dog has a history of being very neglected and starved for attn.

    Eye conact is good. But my first usually a hand touch. Make sure the food is NOT in the hand you want to the dog to touch. Hold out your hand and c/t for looking at or sniffing the hand and go from there. I don't say good girl etc or talk when the dog is trying to figure it out. If you are are trying to work your way through a particularly difficult math equation do you want someone prattling on to you?

    The other thing is you may want to check your timing. Have someone watch. If thats not possible check and see if you can click a bouncing ball. Ie try to click when it hits the floor (or wall that works too).
     
  4. GlassOnion

    GlassOnion Thanks, and Gig 'em.

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    I don't think I was very clear. I'm not clicking randomly, I only did it at first when loading the click with a reward. I click as soon as she does the action I want.

    She's got shake and high five down pat, but I trained those without a clicker. When doing things like 'come', 'up', 'lay' and what not, she doesn't seem to associate the click appropriately, which makes me think it's not been correlated correctly. I'll click soon as she hits the ground when laying down or sitting (up is a bit harder) but she doesn't seem to get the idea.


    It's not click-rubdown/good girl, it's click treat. The rubdown is just after I give the treat. It's as much for my benefit (she has soft fur) as hers.
     
  5. Tsume'sMom

    Tsume'sMom New Member

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    It sounds more likely that the behavior is not trained and she doesn't get it.

    If you click with out your dogs attention does the dog look to you for a reward. If not, then your right, the dog has no idea that the click is ment to mark the reward.

    If the dog does look, then she does get the marker but not what your expecting her to do to get it.

    You listed off 3 commands that she is learning, and I'm sure you are useing more than that that she is expected to "know" just because you clicked them. Work one command a week and build on them slowly. Tossing 3-5-7 command around and everyone earns a click and reward, it is no wonder the dog would be confused.

    Slow is fast. One behavior/command at a time untill the dog is getting it, THEN you can ad more.
     
  6. Dekka

    Dekka Just try me..

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    Just as an experiment I would try to keep it 'cleaner' and less distracting. be very aware of what she does. And train one thing her training session (ie stop for at least 10 min between behaviours). Treat it a bit like a science project :D See if she is getting distracted. I generally don't talk AT ALL when doing a dog's first shaping etc with the clicker. Or when doing something new and tricky. Words are pretty much all for our benefit. Dogs learn to like our talking to them, but its not innately useful.
     
  7. GlassOnion

    GlassOnion Thanks, and Gig 'em.

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    So y'all are saying to train only one command at once? I usually run her through a gauntlet of commands so she doesn't get bored of just doing the same command over and over again.
     
  8. Dekka

    Dekka Just try me..

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    Thats fine. And when I have cues my dog knows we will work on lots. But only ONE new cue (not under stimulus control) at a time.
     
  9. corgipower

    corgipower Tweleve Enthusiest

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    I wouldn't necessarily agree with this, although would love some input from more experienced clicker trainers.

    IME, it doesn't take long at all for the dog to get that the click means a reward is coming. What I also have found with the malis is that if I click and the dog doesn't look for the reward, then the reward I'm using isn't high value enough for that situation. When I switch from click/treat to click/toy, all of a sudden they're back in the game.
     
  10. Tsume'sMom

    Tsume'sMom New Member

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    If the reward is truely rewarding for the dog, and the click marks the behavior that earns the reward, the dog should be looking for the reward the moment they hear the click.

    That conditioning is the foundation of clicker training.
     
  11. adojrts

    adojrts New Member

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    Do it in different places within your home, then move to the back yard etc

    Kept the sessions very short and exciting.
     
  12. corgipower

    corgipower Tweleve Enthusiest

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    The bold part is the same as what I was saying...if the dog isn't looking for the reward, then it doesn't necessarily mean he doesn't understand the meaning of the click. It very well could mean the reward isn't motivational enough.
     
  13. Doberluv

    Doberluv Active Member

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    I disagree with that. You don't have to be clicking for anything in particular in order to charge or prime the clicker. All you're doing is getting her conditioned to pairing the click sound to a reward. You don't have to be teaching or reinforcing anything yet. Keeping it very random is what you need in order to not train in any undesireable behavior she may happen to be doing at the moment. So, random positions, random behaviors, never the same thing more than one or two times. If you inadvertantly train in something you didn't mean to, you can get rid of it later by not clicking for that or for clicking for an incompatible behavior and building that up instead. As long as you keep things mixed up, that isn't apt to happen.

    You get her first, in a room with little distractions when she's quieter and apt to be engaged with you more. Click and then right away, give the treat. (not that you click and treat simultaneously) Do it over and over. Don't always be standing in the same position or when she's doing the same thing unless you want that thing to be trained in. For example: if she does make the association and she happens to be scratching her ear and you click when she's doing that too many times, she may learn that scratching her ear is a behavior worth repeating. So, mix it up so she's not always in the same position, same location or doing the same things. Then do like it was said....mix things up more. Go in another room, in a different context, then outside.

    Use higher value treats on a hungry tummy if she's not really paying attention. It shouldn't take more than 10 minutes, give or take for most dogs to make the association between the click and the treat. The click does become rewardable even though it is not the primary reinforcer and has no inherent value in itself. That is why it is called a conditioned reinforcer....because the dog gets conditioned to tying that together with the fact that she's going to get a treat. It's like you getting a paycheck. The paper the check is written on doesn't have any value in itself. But what it represents...what's coming next does. And you get excited when you get your pay check. Never click without rewarding after or she'll lose the meaning of the click.

    Some people don't even charge the clicker at all. You can click for behaviors she already knows, like sit or down at first. Click just as she sits and then treat within a second or two. Eventually, she'll make the association between the sound of the click and getting a treat. And the clicker will be useful to identify new behaviors you're working on or parts of behaviors, as with shaping once it's primed.

    You can, after a bit, grab the clicker when she's not expecting it...when you haven't already been doing this just prior. Click it. (and get ready to treat her) You'll know she's made the association when she looks at you eagerly, like..."I heard that noise. Now where's my treat?" LOL.
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2010
  14. lizzybeth727

    lizzybeth727 New Member

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    One VERY important tidbit about clicker training that I don't think has been mentioned in this thread yet: Click THEN treat.

    When you're clicking with your dog, it is extremely important to keep your entire body still until AFTER you clicked. Dogs are much more attuned to our body language than they are to sounds, and if you're reaching for a treat the same time you're clicking, she's not going to listen for the click, she'll just watch for you reaching for the treat. So do not put treats in your hands, do not keep your hands in the treat container; just keep your hands still at your side, wait for the behavior you want, click it, pause, then reach for the treat. (The pause is important because if you don't consciously pause, you'll reach for the treat before you're done clicking.) You'll know that you're confusing your dog if you see her looking at your hands just before you click. :)
     
  15. OutlineACDs

    OutlineACDs Crazy Dog!

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    The more clicker savvy mine get, the less they are looking for the reward. I reward in different places for different behaviors. I might toss a treat on the ground, or by the dogs foot, or in/on an object we are using as a prop. They *know* the treat is coming, so often, they don't get out of position to come look for the treat.

    If I'm clicking for duration on a down-stay, they don't get up to come get the reward. They continue to lie down and I would drop the treat on th floor between their paws.

    When teaching my young dog to scratch his ear on command, he is usually curled into a relaxed down and I reward near his back foot. Between clicks he isn't moving out of position to get the treat. He is keeping his head near the leg that is "scratching" and I'm rewarding near the back foot.

    I would agree that GO is missing something in his training. I don't think most people realise how precise the clicker is. What you click is what you get If she's getting bored and leaving you probably aren't clicking often enough. If you are working the sit, click a sit, treat, release click another sit. It should only be 1-3 seconds between clicks. It's hard to learn to manage treats, clicker, dog, and timing at first, but you will get it.
     
  16. OutlineACDs

    OutlineACDs Crazy Dog!

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    Oh, and I don't prime, or charge the clicker anymore. I start with something I can capture easily. I think I actually just played 101 things to do with a box at first. Sometimes I might try a hand touch first. Just depends.

    It's been proven that you don't have to charge the clicker. Some people prefer to, others think you risk shaping odd behaviors by just sitting there charging the clicker.
     
  17. Doberluv

    Doberluv Active Member

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    Yes, it was mentioned. I mentioned it. ;)

    That's important because you don't want to reinforce the getting out of position rather than the behavior itself that you want. As long as your timing is Johnny on the spot and you click for the exact behavior you want, not the getting up out of position, and you treat right soon after the click, they catch on pretty quickly to what it is you're rewarding them for and wait for you to bring them the treat.
     
  18. Tsume'sMom

    Tsume'sMom New Member

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    So you are giving the dog one command and click/rewarding through the one command?

    If I did that with Tsume it would be game over. The reward (be it food, toy, or just my praise) it the end of the command. I guess everyone teaches extended stays differantly, but to me this would seem confuseing to a dog. If you teach it this way, how do you remove the excess rewards out of a 5min stay? Because I have always taught it so there is nothing to remove, just slighty longer to wait for the reward and a better reward the longer the dog waits.
     
  19. Dekka

    Dekka Just try me..

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    Anything the dog does after the click is fine. I use the clicker for training stays all the time. I don't care if the dog continues to stay or runs laps around me after the click/treat. Anything they choose at that moment is fine.
     
  20. adojrts

    adojrts New Member

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    You are not c/r the down/sit but the duration, big difference. When the dog/pup is solid with the down, then I start adding duration, then distance. You can't have distance until you have duration :D The c/r comes at the end, not in the middle at this point.

    For an example, once I have duration and I start getting distance (even one step back or turning my back), I click and then move back to the dog/pup to reward. They don't move.
     

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