Maltese Dogs Forum : Spoiled Maltese Forums banner

1 - 20 of 25 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,471 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
What are your thoughts on this? I know some people are for it and some not. Why/why not?

Delilah is about to finish up with puppy kindergarten and I do practice with her daily. I have used the clicker, but would rather not. I want her to instead learn the hand signals, then the voice command. But without the aide of the clicker, but seems right now the clicker helps to reenforce that command that I am trying to teach her. Right now we are working on sit and down. But she still sometimes won't come to me when I call her name or tell her to "touch".
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
574 Posts
clicker training

What are your thoughts on this? I know some people are for it and some not. Why/why not?

Delilah is about to finish up with puppy kindergarten and I do practice with her daily. I have used the clicker, but would rather not. I want her to instead learn the hand signals, then the voice command. But without the aide of the clicker, but seems right now the clicker helps to reenforce that command that I am trying to teach her. Right now we are working on sit and down. But she still sometimes won't come to me when I call her name or tell her to "touch".
I think the biggest problem with people who dabble in clicker, rather than understand its true concept is, they pair it with corrections. IF you use the clicker as it was meant to be used, especially with a puppy, you will have a wonderful foundation to spread out and use some of your above mentioned techniques.

When using the clicker you need to remember some key points-
1. manage the dog and/or environment. What that means is, make the area so the dog cannot do anything you dont' want it to do, where an "ignore" won't work. Let's say, you want to teach the dog to go stand with two feet in a box. block the doors so the dog can't leave, corral the box and the dog inside and xpen, put a leash on the dog. Do whatever you can, to make it so you are less likely to correct the dog with a "no".

2. don't talk! let the CLICKER talk!

3. understand the concept. You are getting the dog to think for itself. IF YOU correct it, it will make the dog shut down because a correction essentially tells the dog to stop thinking. Just because YOU understand what you are correcting for, doesn't mean the dog gets that same connnection. NEVER correct a dog while you are clicker training.... let the DOG figure it out (which is why you need the management tools above, so it can't "fail") YOUR job is the click (take a snapshot of a behavior) the behaviors you want.

4. As the dog is learning, because you have the area managed, you can ignore/not reward the behaviors the dog gives you until you watch and see the behavior you want. You have to break a trick or a behavior down, however, into little parts so the puppy/dog gets it from the beginning. So for instance, come when called. You would use the clicker for EVERY aspect of connecting with you. You are out in the yard and puppy LOOKS at you, CLICK. (assuming the clicker has been properly "charged": ie paired w/treats the correct way, so dog knows what it means) starts to walk towards you CLICK. (you are NOT calling the dog at this point, because if you have a dog that won't come, it isnt' that it doesnt hear you, it is that it is avoiding your end result (going int the house for example) OR there are better rewards in the yard than YOU).. you just keep this up..evertime the dog connects with you, YOU click. (dog WILL come to you to get the treat) then YOU disconnect.. walk away.. just because YOU have the treats, doesnt' mean the dog gets them! Take a few steps away THEN call the dog to you, as he is already intrested in you, click as the puppy gets to you. you MUST click at ALL aspects of the come! Click when there is distance and the dog looks at you. Next time, wait til the dog is halfway TO you. Another time click when the dog is at your feet! it is YOUR job to give ALL of the information to the dog.

If you use this concept with a puppy, you will have a fantastic foundation. If you start a dog that was tradtionally trained (ie, corrections used and remember a "no" IS a correction) when the time comes for learning new behaviors, the dog will be stressed and not want to think. Those dogs are called "cross over" dogs and they dont' trust you, to be allowed to think on their own because you have a history with them, of telling them "no" so they don't WANT to think for you. You can work at it, but you better NOT correct the dog while you are teaching the clicker are reteaching the dog to think on its own!

I've been using a clicker for about 15years. I don't use the word "No" often, even w/out a clicker in sight. I manage my household so that my dogs don't get into trouble and I don't have to tell them "NO". If I say "no, believe me, they know to stop, because I use it so so rarely.

I trained a dog to go stand in a box with her two front feet, in 12 minutes. (labrador) she was raised, using a clicker. I clicked: sit, down, play the xylophone, come when called, walk through a ladder, walk by my side, walk backwards, walk sideways, bow,..all of that, was clicker trained, and much more. From the point of the box game on, I could put a box on the floor, even years later and she would go stand in it. :)

Another misconception is "if I use the clicker, I will always have to use it from that point on and I don't want to". No, you don't, but who cares and why wouldn't you want to? :) But no, you don't have to....if you create a good foundation with it, the puppy will assocate you with training and with the ablity to communicate in a way it understands. It is a simple concept, yet, so easy for the puppy to get. They trust you to guide them in a way of learning that makes sense to them. Later, once you have such a fantastic relationship and foundation for training, your dog will be able to learn in a fashion, to where you won't need it.

I hope this helps... go to www.dogwise.com and get some books on clicker training. Karen Pryer is the original clicker gure with the original concept (she used it in dolphin training and think about it, you can't correct or tell a dophin "No".. use that thought as you are training your dog). There are others and newer books, but hers is the original.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,246 Posts
I thought about it and decided against it because the sound of the clicker annoys me. We went with 100% positive training with verbal commands and hand signals as back-up instead. We never used the word, "no," with her, or did corrective behavior training, but we've used redirecting. Nikki was an easy dog to train. Every dog and every situation is different and you have to decide what is right for you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
574 Posts
I thought about it and decided against it because the sound of the clicker annoys me. We went with 100% positive training with verbal commands and hand signals as back-up instead. We never used the word, "no," with her, or did corrective behavior training, but we've used redirecting. Nikki was an easy dog to train. Every dog and every situation is different and you have to decide what is right for you.
IMO, you get a better "snapshot/communication" for the dog with the clicker, but yes, verbalization can be supplemented. I think what happens though is, when you use "words" you tend to talk more to the dog and that is very distracting to them. In my experience based on the thousands of dogs I've trained or helped train, clicker overall works better.

what about the Iclicks? they are quiet.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
847 Posts
I've used the clicker as an intermediary between when I give the command and when I give the treat (after she does the behavior). I'm not positive that she "gets" what it is supposed to mean. Maybe I'd get the same results if I didn't use the clicker at all. But, it can't hurt, right?

Using this method, working on tricks every other day or so we've gotten come, sit, high five, touch, dance, and turn. We're now working on paw and down. She's 7 months.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
574 Posts
I've used the clicker as an intermediary between when I give the command and when I give the treat (after she does the behavior). I'm not positive that she "gets" what it is supposed to mean. Maybe I'd get the same results if I didn't use the clicker at all. But, it can't hurt, right?

Using this method, working on tricks every other day or so we've gotten come, sit, high five, touch, dance, and turn. We're now working on paw and down. She's 7 months.
if she is not getting it, is because of the way you are using the clicker. it is made to capture the behavior. If she gives you the behavior, you wait and then click after it, you are defeating the purpose of the clicker..because whatever you are clicking AT THAT SECOND is what she thinks you want.

Let's say you want her to, shake. she sorta gives you her paw, you are pleased, the way you are doing it, you click 5 seconds later..after the behavior.. but what is she doing at that second??? If her feet are up on you and you click, you are clicking for her feet being up on you. If she is spinning in circles, happy because you ahve said "good girl" to the pawshake and you then click AFTER, you are clicking for her going around in circles. You HAVE to click the behavior you want AS she is doing it, otherwise, yes, it is not going to work.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
847 Posts
if she is not getting it, is because of the way you are using the clicker. it is made to capture the behavior. If she gives you the behavior, you wait and then click after it, you are defeating the purpose of the clicker..because whatever you are clicking AT THAT SECOND is what she thinks you want.

Let's say you want her to, shake. she sorta gives you her paw, you are pleased, the way you are doing it, you click 5 seconds later..after the behavior.. but what is she doing at that second??? If her feet are up on you and you click, you are clicking for her feet being up on you. If she is spinning in circles, happy because you ahve said "good girl" to the pawshake and you then click AFTER, you are clicking for her going around in circles. You HAVE to click the behavior you want AS she is doing it, otherwise, yes, it is not going to work.
I guess I was unclear in my explanation. I do click WHILE she's doing it. I just didn't want to give the impression that I just click right after the command. For example, I say sit, she sits, I click, then treat. I say dance, she dances (I click while she's dancing), I treat. I never say anything until after I click. I usually say 'good girl' right as I'm treating her. The reason I'm not sure if it's helping or not is because she'll do all the tricks just as well WITHOUT the clicker, so I don't know that she really needs it. Maybe it will work really well for when I want to teach her new (more complicated) tricks, though, and the 'capture' method will be my best friend. I'm hopeful!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,724 Posts
so if I buy Karen Pryor's book titled Reaching the Animal Mind, would I need other books to supplement that or would that be a great overall book to learn about how to train using a clicker?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
15,201 Posts
Both my malts are clicker trained - we three LOVE it. We use positive training, lots of praise and encouragement, games in between which makes them loooooooove their training sessions. I like to break whatever I try to teach into small steps until I shape the final command that I aimed to teach them (while doing that, the clicker comes in handy).
The final command/trick they learn are: what they are supposed to do when they hear the verbal word and my hand signal to it; I gradually remove the sound of the clicker from the new trick (command they just learned) ;)


Kat
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,246 Posts
We are doing just fine with the verbal method, thanks. No need to change anything.


IMO, you get a better "snapshot/communication" for the dog with the clicker, but yes, verbalization can be supplemented. I think what happens though is, when you use "words" you tend to talk more to the dog and that is very distracting to them. In my experience based on the thousands of dogs I've trained or helped train, clicker overall works better.

what about the Iclicks? they are quiet.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,288 Posts
The clicker is a marker. It is a distinctive sound which makes it more recognizable than a voice marker. For people who are comfortable using the clicker, it is a GREAT tool. Others use a voice marker (such as yes) with good success. Either way the concept at play is operant conditioning.
A clicker or verbal marker is used for TEACHING a new behavior. It is not used once the behavior is on cue and solid. You do not walk around for the rest of your dog's life with the clicker. You pull it out for teaching.
Please do some research and truly understand the concepts behind clicker training.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
15,201 Posts
The clicker is a marker. It is a distinctive sound which makes it more recognizable than a voice marker. For people who are comfortable using the clicker, it is a GREAT tool. Others use a voice marker (such as yes) with good success. Either way the concept at play is operant conditioning.
A clicker or verbal marker is used for TEACHING a new behavior. It is not used once the behavior is on cue and solid. You do not walk around for the rest of your dog's life with the clicker. You pull it out for teaching.
Please do some research and truly understand the concepts behind clicker training.
yup :thumbsup: that is why I gradually remove the sound of the clicker after my malts get the new trick (once the behavior is on cue and solid).

I recommend "Everything you need to know about Dog Training" by Gerilyn J. Bielakiewicz if anyone was interested in learning about clicker training. It doesn't only talks about clicker training. There is loooooads of GREAT info for training, understanding different behavior...etc I love this book. I learned WAY SO MUCH from it

Kat
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,724 Posts
yup :thumbsup: that is why I gradually remove the sound of the clicker after my malts get the new trick (once the behavior is on cue and solid).

I recommend "Everything you need to know about Dog Training" by Gerilyn J. Bielakiewicz if anyone was interested in learning about clicker training. It doesn't only talks about clicker training. There is loooooads of GREAT info for training, understanding different behavior...etc I love this book. I learned WAY SO MUCH from it

Kat
Thanks Kat! :blush: I've been looking for a good book that contains clicker training, but haven't found one I liked. I'll be ordering this one today.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
574 Posts
Both my malts are clicker trained - we three LOVE it. We use positive training, lots of praise and encouragement, games in between which makes them loooooooove their training sessions. I like to break whatever I try to teach into small steps until I shape the final command that I aimed to teach them (while doing that, the clicker comes in handy).
The final command/trick they learn are: what they are supposed to do when they hear the verbal word and my hand signal to it; I gradually remove the sound of the clicker from the new trick (command they just learned) ;)


Kat

Yes, Kat...that is a wonderful approach. As I said, if you use the clicker as a good foundation, you will be able to have a solid base to build on.

Good Job
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
574 Posts
The clicker is a marker. It is a distinctive sound which makes it more recognizable than a voice marker. For people who are comfortable using the clicker, it is a GREAT tool. Others use a voice marker (such as yes) with good success. Either way the concept at play is operant conditioning.
A clicker or verbal marker is used for TEACHING a new behavior. It is not used once the behavior is on cue and solid. You do not walk around for the rest of your dog's life with the clicker. You pull it out for teaching.
Please do some research and truly understand the concepts behind clicker training.
The one thing I like about starting with a clicker (especially puppies) is that later if there are behavior issues, dogs don't forget and you can bring that clicker out to work out any issues. There is never any confusion when using the clicker (for the dog and as long as it is used correctly) but dogs get used to voices because voice commands are so overused and the voice is really difficult to get right, as far as application on exact timing. Clickers are so much easier to get the timing right. I always have my students/clients use clicker first and then move over to voice if they want... they almost always move right back.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
308 Posts
I really think that each dog responds diffrently to a number of training methods.. By far the hardest method for small dogs seems to be hand signals, and or verbal commands only.. Some do better with treat training, and some clicker.. I think they all work, and work well, but you need to be trained before your dog can be.. That really is the secret, along with consistancy.. And, never get so frustrated that you say no.. Any sound used for correction is better than NO.. When we have to say no, it can be a sound of frustration and can result in anger that the dog will sense..That will lead to disobedience or fear of you..Just my thoughts!!!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,223 Posts
Someone explained to me once that a clicker is like taking a picture of the behavior. Capturing a moment in time. I loved this explanation and I feel it helped me to truly understand what the purpose of the clicker is.

A lot of people do not understand that clickers are used to teach behaviors. They are not used as ongoing praise like the verbal "good boy/girl" reward. You do not need to have the clicker everywhere you go. Once the dog knows the behaviors, you fade the clicker and you can use whatever praise/treats or other motivations that will keep your dog going with positive behavior.

As for just using verbal methods, while this works it is generally not quite as effective as clicker because your voice quality changes all the time. You can say the same praise words, but your tone will vary considerably. A clicker is a marker that stays the same. It is quick, and easy to understand.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
574 Posts
Someone explained to me once that a clicker is like taking a picture of the behavior. Capturing a moment in time. I loved this explanation and I feel it helped me to truly understand what the purpose of the clicker is.

A lot of people do not understand that clickers are used to teach behaviors. They are not used as ongoing praise like the verbal "good boy/girl" reward. You do not need to have the clicker everywhere you go. Once the dog knows the behaviors, you fade the clicker and you can use whatever praise/treats or other motivations that will keep your dog going with positive behavior.

As for just using verbal methods, while this works it is generally not quite as effective as clicker because your voice quality changes all the time. You can say the same praise words, but your tone will vary considerably. A clicker is a marker that stays the same. It is quick, and easy to understand.
TOTAL agreement with you Carina. Did you read my first long post ;)
I'm a behaviorist, not a trainer and the behaviorist in me knows how dogs
learn. Clicker is the easiest for them and isn't that what the goal is?

k
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
15,201 Posts
Thanks Kat! :blush: I've been looking for a good book that contains clicker training, but haven't found one I liked. I'll be ordering this one today.
When you search online for it, different training books by Gerilyn J. Bielakiewicz will come up.
It is filled with loads of information (contains 21 chapters - more than 200 pages of very useful information). Here is the content of the first 4 chapters (you can see the rest in that site)


Kat
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,288 Posts
I really think that each dog responds diffrently to a number of training methods.. By far the hardest method for small dogs seems to be hand signals, and or verbal commands only.. Some do better with treat training, and some clicker.. I think they all work, and work well, but you need to be trained before your dog can be.. That really is the secret, along with consistancy.. And, never get so frustrated that you say no.. Any sound used for correction is better than NO.. When we have to say no, it can be a sound of frustration and can result in anger that the dog will sense..That will lead to disobedience or fear of you..Just my thoughts!!!

There's a big problem in your statement. A clicker it not a reward in itself. It requires a reward (typically food or toy) in order for it to work. So you can't have clicker training without a primary reinforcer.
 
1 - 20 of 25 Posts
Top