How Many Of You Use The Clicker?

Discussion in 'Puppy Forum' started by Coco Puff, Oct 4, 2005.

  1. Coco Puff

    Coco Puff New Member

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    Coco & I go to puppy training at Petsmart. The instructor has us learning the clicker. I know that I won't be using a clicker with Coco. Mainly because there are 5 of us in our family & it would be easier to just give the command using either treats, cheerful words & patting as postive reinforcement minus the clicker.

    Basically I don't want confuse him by practicing the clicker in class & then practicing without it at home. Will this confuse him? I'm gonna speak with the instructor tonight about not using it. Is this a good idea?
     
  2. Doberluv

    Doberluv Active Member

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    Using a clicker is the opposite of confusing. It marks precisely the behavior you are rewarding the dog for. The distinctive sound is much more clear to the dog that our voices which they hear all the time and sometimes don't notice as well and our words take longer to get out so the exact behavior is not as clear to the dog. Even if you don't use it all the time (I don't) it's a great way to shape behavior and to teach a new skill. I don't think it's confusing to not use it sometimes and use it sometimes. I do both. But when I wanted to get Lyric's heel better, I got out my clicker and clicked and rewarded when he was in a better position and didn't when he wasn't. He caught on so much more quickly than if I just had said, "good boy." He knew exactly where, in relation to my left leg he had to be in order to get the treat. When he lagged even a step too far back, he didn't get c/t and so he'd quickly catch up.

    I taught him to target in 5 minutes and to take a bow in about 5 or 10 minutes. I think without the clicker, he wouldn't have known exactly which position he was doing that I liked. Was it the place where his rear is up in the air? Or was it somewhere just before or after that as he was going down or back up to stand. It clicked just when his rear was up, so he knew that's what I wanted. By the time they get the treat, it's a few seconds after the behavior. So the timing is hard to get right on. The click is a bridge so that the dog knows a treat is forthcoming soon.
     
  3. Saje

    Saje Island dweller

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    Doberluv is so right. And I use the clicker and it's really helped me get through to two of my dogs. It's a great tool.
     
  4. MyDogsLoveMe

    MyDogsLoveMe My pets love me they do

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    I think I need to get one to help me teach my dogs not to jump on people when they come in contact with them and not to jump onto the counters (Izzy is now 7 months old and boy is she getting tall. She just stands on her hind legs and the counter is her food dish
     
  5. Doberluv

    Doberluv Active Member

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    Here's my suggestion for what it's worth. LOL.

    Remember....remove the payoff and the behavior will extinguish. Tell people to not pay any attention to him when he jumps up and turn their backs away. When he's down, than pat. And/or teach him the alternate behavior of sitting everytime he greets someone. That's what he gets attention and treats for, and he gets nothing for jumping up...nothing at all.

    Keep food put away and never ever give her a chance to find anything on the counter. Lyric did that too when he was a pup and I learned to be diligent about that. Pretty soon, there was no reason for him to jump up there and he never developed much of a habit. Now, if I leave something there, he doesn't mess with it. If you use a clicker for that...click and treat when he gets off the counter, your reward will have to be much better than what he thinks he was about to get from the counter. I think it's easier to keep the counters clear. LOL. And give him something else to do that he can be rewarded for when you see the wheels turning and he's thinking about jumping up there. Distract, give an alternate behavior and reward for that.
     
  6. MyDogsLoveMe

    MyDogsLoveMe My pets love me they do

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    The counter are cleared, but it is mainly when I am cooking. We keep them in the kitchen for the most part it is crappy weather outside, but when they feet are all clean they can roam the house. I do and have taught her the command of sit when people come into the house, but they both get to darn excited. They both are very socialized dogs and love anyone and everyone they see. I will use your suggestions though and see if I can nick this in the butt
     
  7. Saje

    Saje Island dweller

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    I forgot to mention that I'm the only one in the house that uses the clicker.

    And I agree completely with doberluv. My Nanook still jumps up with other people but she's learned with me she gets more love when she's sitting pretty. :D If she tries to jump on me I move out of her way and all I have to do is give her a look and she sits and waits for me to come and fawn all over her.
     
  8. Doberluv

    Doberluv Active Member

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    With the counter pushiness when I was cooking, that's when I'd step in front and block the path and give a vocal, "eh-eh!!!! off!!" Or "away." That's one I taught which means get away. LOL If a dog is being pushy about anything, "away." He needs to leave the immediate area and give me some space. You can herd him away with your body and say the command. Then praise once he's out of the way. I hate that pushy stuff and don't fiddle around with it. I have a propane stove-open flame. I might be boiling water and carrying it to the sink or there can be some grease heating up. It's just dangerous and when I tell my dogs, "away!" I mean it and my voice is very serious. They need to stand back.
     
  9. juliefurry

    juliefurry Rusty but Trusty

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    I used a clicker with hannah but my husband never did. So she learned how to do the commands without a clicker as well (mainly because I got bored with using it so she figured everything out herself). I use hand signals along with verbal commands for Hannah.
     
  10. Coco Puff

    Coco Puff New Member

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    I'm teaching signals & verbal commands to Coco. He has been doing well without the clicker. The trainer didn't even tell us to use them last night. He is responding well to training without the clicker. So I'm sort of torn...I may use it.
     
  11. Doberluv

    Doberluv Active Member

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    It's mostly the training methods based on the principle of operant conditioning which have the most effect. The clicker is great to get an even more precise marker of a particular behavior. Some people use a short, quick word. If I don't have my clicker on me, I'll use, "yes!" And then praise/treat. It's just that the sound of the clicker is very distinct and really differs from our voices which they hear all day long. So, as a communication or as a way to mark a behavior out to the dog, the clicker is very clear. You can do both.

    Of course, hand signals are great and IMO necessary also. And they're easy because 9 times out of 10, you're using them without realizing it when you show the dog or lure the dog with a treat and that just becomes the hand signal automatically. Like with sit or down. I just invented a new one for Lyric with his new trick to bow. I swing my arm down like I'm bowing...LOL and have my palm facing up. I'll get it more subtle later.
     
  12. Coco Puff

    Coco Puff New Member

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    LOL@ bowing.

    I do say the "yes" ....well most times sometimes I forget and good boy comes out first. i'm gonna get the hang of this.
     
  13. Doberluv

    Doberluv Active Member

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    Yes, and how I started with that was when he streched on his own, I'd praise him and then added the word, "bow." Then I used a treat and lured him into that position to hurry things along. It's so neat how spontaneous training works. I love it. I'm working on "sneeze." He tends to sneeze quite a bit, sometimes a few times in a row. So, whenever he happens to sneeze, I say, "sneeze." And make a fuss. Eventually, he'll probably attempt to make somewhat of a sneeze, albeit fake, when I say the word, "sneeze."

    Jose talks. I mean, he makes the weirdest vocalizations; long drawn out "ooooooo woooo" up and down the scale with a little "huff huff" inbetween and a little funny growly sound. It's when he's trying to get my attention. It's so cute, so of course, he gets my attention. So now, lately, when he's doing this, I've been saying in a squeeky voice, "talk to me." I'll pair those words up with his funny noises and some day he'll do that on command. I can usually get him going too if I do those same sounds like he does.

    It's how I taught Chulita to high five. She'd paw at me just because...and I gave her the words, "high five" while she was doing it. And praised and treated when I had some treats on me. It wasn't a very good high five so after a bit, I stopped rewarding and then she would raise her paw up higher and better, then get rewarded and so on. I'd get her to do it by playing with her, not by giving the command until she had associated the word with the action. If you just say the word and they don't know what it means yet, they fail. And so the word doesn't mean anything to them. So get the behavior going first by some other means before you add a command word.

    It's too cute how they can learn stuff.
     
  14. Saje

    Saje Island dweller

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  15. Coco Puff

    Coco Puff New Member

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    Doberluv I bet your dogs are just the cutest!

    Thanks for the site Saje
     

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