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clicker training, who is doing it?

clicker training, who is doing it?

Never heard of it
13
35%
I tried it and it didn't work
9
24%
I love it and use it all the time
15
41%
 
Total votes : 37

clicker training, who is doing it?

Postby GSPaddict » Tue Mar 06, 2007 11:24 am

Hello, ever heard of clicker training? many never heard of it and its very unfortunate.

I have a 10 months old GSP and everything he knows, he learned with clicker training. Why? Because first its so effective you can't imagine, next its very enjoyable for the trainer. You don't talk, don't say no, don't punish, just reward. Its pressure free, whats not to like?

I tought him fetch and retreive to hand at 4 months in 10 minutes (and I am not lying). He now knows whoa, play dead, turn right, left, give paw, bring socks, etc... most of the tricks he knows are useless but they work his brains and he enjoys this training, its a game to him. Housebreaking was also done with this technique, Only had a couple of mistakes...
I have many examples and can help you out if you ever decide to give it a shot.


To finish, I would never do it another way.

So who tried it?
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Postby Maverick » Tue Mar 06, 2007 2:01 pm

No thanks, have seen it work with obediance dogs but don't see how it will work on a dog 100yards out doing a retrieve or anything else far out for that matter.

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Postby GSPaddict » Tue Mar 06, 2007 2:14 pm

Well I guess if you have used it to reinforce retreiving I don't know why it wouldn't work in the field but ill share my experience on that next season.
There is a book on clicker training for hunting dogs but never had the chance to look it up
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Postby Silver Sage Kennels » Tue Mar 06, 2007 2:52 pm

If my dog could hear a clicker he would be down the road
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Postby Dirtysteve » Tue Mar 06, 2007 3:01 pm

If my dog could hear a clicker he would be down the road

I don't think you need to worry about the pup you ran against me in the deby. :wink:
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Postby snips » Tue Mar 06, 2007 3:16 pm

I think it is fine for positive reinforcement in obedience, as dogs need all the "up" they can get. There is nothing in obdience that is done off of natural instinct, but it is all about pleasing their owner, and as much of it is done thru force, it has to have very HIGH positive reinforcement to keep a dogs attitude. For birddogs I don't see much of place for it. Most of the stuff you mention is not needed in field training. You can certainly positively reinforce puppy retrieve training without a clicker, and most anything else birddogs need to know.
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Postby kninebirddog » Tue Mar 06, 2007 3:20 pm

Worked fine for basic obedience and yard work..

went out the window when Prey drive kicked in
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Postby Silver Sage Kennels » Tue Mar 06, 2007 5:49 pm

Dirtysteve wrote:
If my dog could hear a clicker he would be down the road

I don't think you need to worry about the pup you ran against me in the deby. :wink:


No but I need to get a handle on her in a trail situation. She normally handles off foot like she did the last half but when the two of them were over that dike I think it was a little much for a young dog and they lost there minds. Horses make her lose her mind as well because I get lazy and run her off foot or a wheeler to much. She will be put up till I have her broke and then its on.
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Postby Don » Tue Mar 06, 2007 7:34 pm

Now wait a minute. What is clicker training?
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Postby DKRick » Tue Mar 06, 2007 7:40 pm

I got a couple I will sell you. I hope to watch this thread and see somebody say yes I have done it from the beginning through finish and it works. The people that I know that have tried it stopped as it was not working. I think the survery should have had another response never neough choices. One such as I have heard about it but not heard of it working yet. Or I have heard of it but don't think it will work.

:)
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Postby kninebirddog » Tue Mar 06, 2007 8:29 pm

Don wrote:Now wait a minute. What is clicker training?


Almost a pavlovs dog syndrome But in this case everytime the dog does good you go click click with this little clicker

It works for basic obedience stuff...gets quite annoying if your in a room of clicker happy people...

Once the prey drive sets in....like i already stated...that little clicker stuff goes out the window specially when they figure out that there is no reprecussions of doing what they want with the bird or the desire to run to find more birds...
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Postby GSPaddict » Tue Mar 06, 2007 9:46 pm

snips wrote:Most of the stuff you mention is not needed in field training


You got that right and I didn't think about field training using the clicker. I should have been more precise. There is a book on it as I mentionned but I can't see how its done. I plan on reading it out of curiosity
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Postby GSPaddict » Tue Mar 06, 2007 10:06 pm

Clicker training is a way to train dogs using positive reinforcement.

The idea is to let the dog work hard for his reward and its done as a game. The clicker itself is a simple thingy that makes a click sound when you press it. You could make a sound with your mouth to reinforce a positive behavior but its a lot faster with a clicker, timing is crucial.

Here is an example of the technique.

When you introduce clicker training to your dog you must first "charge" the clicker. This means your dog must associate the "click" with a treat. Click/treat 20 times , 2-3 times a day for 3 days. By then the dog will know very well that when you click, he gets a treat. After charging, enough freebees.

This is how I teached fetch. I blocked a hallway in my house to confine me and the dog in it. Then I threw the ball. The dogs was 4 months old.
The first thing I wanted was to get his attention on the ball. As soon as he looked at the ball, "click". I did this for lets say 20 times. After 10 times he already knew that he had to look at the ball to get a treat. Then.... I waited that he touched the ball with his mouth to click. Timing is crucial, the click marks the behavior you want. I did this several times. Then I only clicked when he picked up the ball, then only when brought to me.... then when he released the ball, then only when released in my hand. Get the idea?? You never talk, just click when he does what you want, don't when he doesn't.

When I read about WHOA techniques with a table and some force fetch methods that I find questionnable, I wish more people new about clicker training. My dog was whoa trained at 7 months, tested him against other dogs, racoon, people, any distraction I could find. The "click" did it all.

My goal is certainly not to bash on other techniques but rather to promote one method I found to be easy, reliable and most importantly, fun.
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Postby Don » Tue Mar 06, 2007 11:50 pm

If that really work's I wouldn't quit no matter what.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
This is not a joke, right?
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Postby snips » Wed Mar 07, 2007 6:53 am

I am still not sure where this fits in to a dog on point wanting to jump in and grab a bird. As Knine said, prey drive. I am not picturing the dog on point with a clicker going.
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Postby GSPaddict » Wed Mar 07, 2007 7:33 am

No its not! I am quite serious about this.

Check here for more info
http://www.clickertraining.com/

Clicker training is not new by the way. Its the technique used to train whales and daulphins in parks since decades.

Let me give you another example just because I like to hear myself talk.

Lately I teached my dog to find and bring my slippers to hand. The dog has to find your slippers anywhere in the house. The pair could be together or each in different rooms. Take a second to think how you would do this the traditionnal way. Now here is how you do it with the clicker technique.

1) Put slippers together in the room
2) Dog looks at them, click & treat. repeat several times.
3) Dog touches them with his nose, click & treat. Repeat....
4) Dog bites them or pick one up, click & treat. Repeat....
5) Dog brings one to you and drop it (this will be natural for him if you teached him fetch already), click & treat. Repeat...
6) Once he is good with one slipper, don't click until he does the same with 2nd slipper. And your done.

Clicker training is done in short sessions of 5 mins max. You have to keep it short so it stays a fun game.

Took me 4 sessions of 5 mins for the slippers excercice. Useful?? Absolutely. The dog is learning to think by himself and has a sharp mind.

I am now teaching him to find the kids. He can now find them anywhere in the house by command. I will extend this to the woods when the snow melt. I want him to be able to find them in the woods if they get lost.

Of course you could do all this without clicker and using other metods but why cut a rope with your theeth when you have a knife.
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Postby GSPaddict » Wed Mar 07, 2007 7:42 am

snips wrote:I am still not sure where this fits in to a dog on point wanting to jump in and grab a bird. As Knine said, prey drive. I am not picturing the dog on point with a clicker going.


Well as I said I don't see yet how this technique can help for hunting except for whoa and retreive but for many of us it can ease the obediance part considerably and its a fun way to pass some great time with a dog while waiting for the season, if you enjoy it of course
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Postby AceofSpades41 » Wed Mar 07, 2007 8:31 am

Hey if it works for you go for it.... :D
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Postby Don » Wed Mar 07, 2007 8:34 am

It sound's like an association of click means treat's for some specific action. But there's no command? How does the dog know what you want it to do? Not trying to second guess but I get the feeling one command mean's everything in which case the dog would have to go thru all the stuff it learned to find out what you wanted? Didn't you say something like no voice command's?

Let's say your ten yds from your dog, no let's say your wokring on obedience and you recall your dog. Half way back you give it the sit or down command. How does the dog distingish between the two?
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Postby GSPaddict » Wed Mar 07, 2007 10:49 am

Voice commands are introduced when you have obtained exactly the behavior you want. Per example if you teach him sit and your dog sits immediatly after each treat for lets say 20 times, you know he understood very well how to trigger the click. You can then start saying "sit" just after the click for lets say another 15 times. Next in another session you can use the command first. By this time you won't need the clicker anymore since the clicker is only there to mark the behavior you want, in this case he already knows what you want. Keep on the treats for a while and it won't be long you won't need the treats anymore.
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Postby GSPaddict » Wed Mar 07, 2007 10:59 am

Oh and recall is quite easier with the clicker, forget about a checkcord.

Walk with the dog with treats and clicker in your pocket. Do this in the house first.

Call you dog , when he comes, click & treat. Repeat a hundred times then move outside.

Do this when he is hungry. You must be more interesting then everything else outside. Treat must be special too, use hotdog or pieces of cheese or chicken, not his food or anything boring.

When outside, call him every 20 seconds, he can not be allowed to go far. Everytime he comes click&treat. Even if you click by mistake he gets a treat. By calling him that often, he will associate his name with something good. First hes outiside, then your feeding him with stuff he doesn't eat usually, whats more to ask. Repeat another hundred times and then let him wander off a little more ... anyway you see the point.
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Postby kninebirddog » Wed Mar 07, 2007 2:15 pm

Serious let us know how well the recall is when you have a bird that is flying off and you ahve to recall your dog

It is great for good yard work and house hold stuff...But out in the field your dealing with a different mind set

Good Luck and keep us posted
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Postby GSPaddict » Wed Mar 07, 2007 2:21 pm

Im not saying I will have a more reliable recall this way, I am just saying it can be faster and simpler to teach. Saying this training is more reliable in the long run would be talking out of my @ss.
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Postby Maverick » Wed Mar 07, 2007 5:33 pm

The thought of listening to that darn clicker over and over and over again is enough for me to not want to do it..

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Re:

Postby Dave » Sun May 04, 2008 7:55 pm

DKRick wrote:I got a couple I will sell you. I hope to watch this thread and see somebody say yes I have done it from the beginning through finish and it works. The people that I know that have tried it stopped as it was not working. I think the survery should have had another response never neough choices. One such as I have heard about it but not heard of it working yet. Or I have heard of it but don't think it will work.

:)


Many proponents of clicker training eschew any negative reinforcement due (in my opinion) to a moral or philosophical viewpoint rather than because of what works. If you use the clicker approach to teaching a young pup, you can do it at an earlier age w/ out hindering his style or attitude, in fact you will see an improvement in his attitude to train.

When pup is older, he will already be conditioned to obedience commands (here, heel, sit, etc.) and you then reinforce them w/ the e-collar. The advantages are responses are conditioned at an early age and therefore more reliable and when you do reinforce w/ the e-collar, the dog learns more quickly so you maintain his good attitude.

My experience is w/ flushing dogs where control is expected at a higher level than pointing dogs, it might be of limited benefit to them.
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Re: clicker training, who is doing it?

Postby mountaindogs » Mon May 05, 2008 8:48 am

Well, I use it for a lot of training but certainly not all. I hear all the time people say "Clicker training will not work when the dogs is 100 yards away" My response to that is "of course not." Neither will the whoa post work that far away, or the barrel, or table.... you have to transistion the initial training to the field... I start my dogs with clicker training, some of them. Some do not focus on it well, some do awesome with it. Like all methods, it works better for some than others. If it does work for a dog, I transition them to a E-collar, or CC and move on with the training after the command is learned solidly, to reinforcing it farther away. I will say that I had two puppies in my last litter that new "whoa" with clicker and hand signal and or voice command in the house and kennel, at 12 weeks old. Would slam on the brakes and wait until release, but of course at this young age I did not expect or ask them to hold it long. One went through a good lot of his training with the clicker, learning to whao at feeding time, for getting out of the crate, for getting out of the kennel, in the yard for several minutes at 6 months old all from positive methods. [edit addition - he would whao as much as 15 yards away on command in the back field in knee high grass when he left me, he did not need the "click" by that time either. From about a week into the training I teach them that and snappy "YES!" is the same as "click" - I can't always have that clicker, but the dogs do associate it's sound more quickly] I sold him and the owners finished his training transitioning clicker to voice release "yes" and the took it to the field. He is no SH dog but SOLIDLY steady to flush and they tell me he was the easiest dog to steady they have ever had.

Then his sister, whom I still have, learned the command also with a clicker and hand signal, but as soon as I would take her outside the attention for that was gone gone! SO we moved on to a slip lead and my older methods, and now she is ready for the e-collar. She is tough stubborn and eager to please at the same time :roll: and while it was easy to get her to "learn" the whoa command, that is "stop and stand still" she could not have done all her training with it by any means. Few birddogs can but I do not believe this is a reason to dismiss it out right. Obviously the hand signal disappears as you teach the dog to whoa further away, but I can still use only the hand signal (discrete and quiet) for her in conformation setting and then am teaching her to step up with her front feet into a stack with another command. I do not use "click" in the class, but a voice signal marker "yes" but it is esentially the same method.

Anyway, yes I use it for house training, and starting whoa training, and even some lining work and other stuff. But certainly do not use it all the time. It is very helpful for very specific positioning training. BUT it is really just a starter. A way for them to learn, "okay, that human word 'whoa' means I stop and stand still" then you have not scared the dog into it or pulled or jerked them around at all. THEN you can transition to other reinforcement methods because they KNOW what it means. After you trasition, you con proceed to the level and distance that you need... as you otherwise would.

SO I select the "I have used it and find it usefule sometimes category" that is not an option :wink:
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Re: clicker training, who is doing it?

Postby nj gsp » Mon May 05, 2008 9:36 pm

Sounds to me that with a treat given every time you go "click" you'll end up with a fat dog.

My dogs do pretty well with just an occasional "good dog" and a pat on the head while working on obedience training. The only time I ever gave a treat to train was when I tossed a treat into the dog's kennel when I said "kennel". And that was only a couple of times, and not every time. They all got it pretty quick. Now they all go lay down in their kennels when I put my jacket on. No click required.

Clicker training works, but it's not for me.
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Re: clicker training, who is doing it?

Postby mountaindogs » Tue May 06, 2008 9:29 am

I use a combination of praise, love, treats, play, retrieving, running around jumping, tag and whatever else may be positive to my dogs over the course of all my training. Taking out treats and saying they are inappropiate for training to me is the same as taking out any other type of reward. They can live without out it but they enjoy it when they get it too. I know I enjoy a good treat myself sometimes. Frankly I have been working on the south beach diet for a couple of months and a life without cookies is certainly less of a quality life despite all the love I have from my family :) I still would love a good peanut butter cookie! But I am living without and haven't gone into depression or anything yet :lol:

If I ever had an issue with one of my GSP's being fat during the first 6 years of their life it would be a first for me...

clicker training uses treats and is based on something that happens in the brain with the link of stimulus/reward. The click in paticular (other non voice-command sounds also work) is proccessed in a different part of the brain than when you give your dog a verbal command. A verbal command has to be "translated" by their brain and takes a little more processing for the dog wheras the click skips the translation and gets a quick response. They have done the research on reponse time and actual research with EEG type equipment and the actual place in the brain ithat is stimulated is different. It makes it easy to mark very particular behaviours that you like and want the dog to do again. It is just a method.It is a starter method even if you always stick with positive methods, because even devout clicker trainers will add a voice command after the initial "link" has been made, then eventually ditch the click as the dog learns. It is basically a different way to help them learn a different language, and I find it useful for complicated body posturing and more fun for the dog, than restraint methods. You do give a lot of treats during the clicker work. And it requires a sort of treat focus that some dog do not have as strongly, but it is just a tool. One method in a sea of thousands of ways to train your dog. A method that works well for getting dogs to understand WHAT you want when you use that combination of sounds that they have to learn to associate with a behavior.

[edit - I should clarify that the "click" is not a command but a "reward marker" It takes the places of "good dog" not of "sit" It marks the behavior that the dog did that deserves the reward and as soon as they hear the "click" they get the reward. Thus that behavior is encouraged specifically. You can still use the clicker with a command and say "sit" and then click when the hind end hit's the floor marking the correct behavior. It is this difference in reponse to the sound of the click verses the sound of "good dog or "okay" or whatever else that has been studied and the human words are routed through a different portion of the brain first.]

I wish my school teachers had been open to new methods, because I did not learn well from the "copy these sentences a zillion times" method. As I watch my children enter school I judge a good teacher by how open they are to working with the kids and finding the ways they learn and the things that best motivate them. It is the teachers that "do what they've always done" or expect grades & nice comments to be enough reward that are mediocre teachers though often nice and friendly. The teachers that are great, mix it up, do class parties, play music make learning games like "wheel of fortune" and "who wants to be a milliona" and just all around keep the kids loving it and finding what makes their brains learn quickly and keep their attention.

We are forunate that we can work with one dog at a time (unlike the poor teachers who are teaching 20-25 children at one time) and change the method to suit each and I value knowing all about all the methods I can becuase invariaby, even with the best of dogs, I will hit a stumbling block that requires me to rethink and train that particular thing differently. It's that exact thing that brought me to clicker training to begin with. I had a particular issue with a dog that would try to shut down when I trained for a certain thing. I needed him to be happy and like it so we tried the clicker training. It worked well, and I have started to use it for other things, but I could never expect to do all my training with it. The dogs just have too much drive, and intelligence and I am not opposed to some non-positive training. If my dog chases the horse and is in danger of being kicked, I am going to use the quickest strongest way to train him not to save him from being hurt. I am not going to spend 4 months working on training a replacement and teaching him to do whatever else instead, because in that 4 months if he gets away and gets kicked in the head our training is over anyway. Same with "here" yes it starts a positive fun thing and stays so for a long while, but there comes a point when I have to say, nope, "here means here even if you don't want to you have to!" but if you do I will still praise you when you get back.
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Re: clicker training, who is doing it?

Postby sjohnny » Tue May 06, 2008 11:38 am

Mountaindogs,
Look on the cookie aisle at your grocery store and they should have South Beach Diet peanut butter cookies. I wouldn't go so far as to call them good but they aren't bad. I'm also doing South Beach (except for the past two weeks I've had lots of other stuff going on and have fallen off the wagon).

To keep this on topic:

I've incorporated a little bit of clicker training into my work with my dog. Mostly for obedience type things. I like it but I don't see that it is the best solution for every problem. My V is so sensitive that harsher methods really shut him down. He seems to respond faster and more consistently to positive reinforcement. I'm not at all concerned about him getting fat. He eats more than my 70 lb dog plus snacks (because he's spoiled rotten) and is still too skinny.

John
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Re: clicker training, who is doing it?

Postby Sharon » Sat May 24, 2008 3:27 pm

I took a 6 week course with my derby dog. It was great fun and worked amazingly well. Relay shuts the handler up which is what many pro trainers advocate. They say that most handlers have away too much to say.The clicker is always the same , whereas our voice varies. Great for obedience ( in the house , etc.), great for bird work and any close praise in the field - teaching backing - instead of using your voice.

You of course wouldn't use it in a trial although I use it to re-inforce my dog being quiet on the chain and heeling quietly to the line.
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Re: clicker training, who is doing it?

Postby mountaindogs » Sat May 24, 2008 9:26 pm

sjohnny,
yum, thanks :)


Sharon,

from whom did you take the course?
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Re: clicker training, who is doing it?

Postby Sharon » Sun May 25, 2008 8:54 am

It would be quite a trip for you. LOl

The trainer and I live in london, Ontario, Canada.

She uses it exclusively to train dogs for the wheel chair bound.

www.clickertraining.com
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Re: clicker training, who is doing it?

Postby jetto » Tue May 27, 2008 6:06 am

We use it for general house manners and competitive obedience training. It works for us and the dogs love it. We do not use it in any field training. But then again other than carrying cookies when teaching the pups "come" we don't use any treats in field work either. For people who don't want to use the "clicker" itself I tell them to pick a "marker" word like "GOOD" or "YES"....Works the same....Kristi
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Re: clicker training, who is doing it?

Postby Sharon » Thu May 29, 2008 11:19 am

Being as i spend so much time with it in the house I transfer it to the field in the following ways:

Whenever my young dog is doing what she should be doing and is close enough to hear the clicker i use it rather than my voice ( one or two clicks at the most)

- not jumping off the trunk of the car but waiting
- heeling to a line
- holding point intensely
- steady to flush, shot
- steady while i purposely take an extended time to flush
- while backing

You get the idea. The theory is that the clicker is always the same while your voice is always different even when you think it's the same depending on whether you're tired, out of breath. had too many coffees etc.
Similiar idea tousing a predictable e-collar instead of an angry voice.
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Re: clicker training, who is doing it?

Postby ceadmin » Tue Dec 23, 2008 11:02 am

Wow, alot of good comments here on clicker training. I just listened to a podcast (Bird Dogs Forever) on clicker training for sporting dogs. So I have heard of it but not used it yet. Although if you go into PetSmart, thats all you seeing being used for puppies now.
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