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Old 08-20-2014, 03:18 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Clicker versus Voice for Marker Training

While I completely understand people using clickers, I much prefer my own voice.

I do marker training just not with a clicker. It does require me to be on my game, ready with a quick Yes! or a drawn out Gooood.

Advantages: My voice is always there, not left behind in a bag and can provide a greater variability on the reward (e.g. super excited YES!! for him nailing the command versus a "yes" for following the command).

Disadvantages: Timing is a little more difficult with a voiced marker and perhaps not as precise. I need to keep the "Yes" utterance very short so the dog can associate his behavior with the reward. If I am not ready, it can also take a little longer to begin saying the marker. I've been working on timing and have improved.

I will be honest. I am a novice. Voiced markers work for me and my dog but I am always open to improving my training.

So, what do the members here prefer and why?

Do you think I am making a mistake using voiced markers--keeping in mind that my goals include at least CGC, BH and TD titles. I haven't committed to IPO yet but am doing the ground work and keeping my options open.

Thanks all,

Michael
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Old 08-20-2014, 03:24 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I don't think you're making a mistake.

I use both, for my dogs, and many times both for other dogs that I train or foster as well. Sometimes I just use one or the other depending on the dog. I tend to use the clicker to get precision and understanding in a behavior at the beginning, then use my "yes" to mark it as time goes on.

I also use No Reward Markers with my voice. Mine is "nope".
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Old 08-20-2014, 03:30 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I don't think you're making a mistake.

I use both, for my dogs, and many times both for other dogs that I train or foster as well. Sometimes I just use one or the other depending on the dog. I tend to use the clicker to get precision and understanding in a behavior at the beginning, then use my "yes" to mark it as time goes on.

I also use No Reward Markers with my voice. Mine is "nope".
Fascinating. I would have expected a verbal "Yes!" to get initial understanding and then a clicker to get more precision due to the inherent quickness of the clicker sound.

Do you find behavior shaping easier with clickers or voiced markers? I've been shaping on Fetch and Out and making some nice progress using voiced markers but am wondering if it would go faster/easier with a clicker.
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Old 08-20-2014, 03:39 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Verbal is more convenient but clicker is more consistent. It's the same sound no matter what. Your voice is different depending on mood/energy level/how the dog did, etc
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Old 08-20-2014, 03:50 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Do you find behavior shaping easier with clickers or voiced markers? I've been shaping on Fetch and Out and making some nice progress using voiced markers but am wondering if it would go faster/easier with a clicker.
I find it completely depends on the dog. My GSD shapes things amazingly with my voice as a marker and so-so with the clicker. My Border Collie hates listening to me talk and prefers the clicker for shaping. Most dogs I've found shape better with clickers.
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Old 08-20-2014, 03:58 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I use my voice. A very sharp short version of "ok"... sounds like just "k". Works great
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Old 08-20-2014, 04:05 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Voice. Just not coordinated enough to handle dog, rewards, maybe leash, etc. I know that one point of theory behind clicker versus marker with voice is that the clicker shows no emotion and somehow that is supposed to be good. However, I just don't see that as being a big deal and in fact I think, sometimes, the dogs respond better to an emotional marker. JMO.
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Old 08-20-2014, 04:09 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Gib_laut View Post
Verbal is more convenient but clicker is more consistent. It's the same sound no matter what. Your voice is different depending on mood/energy level/how the dog did, etc
Interesting.

My assumption was that the variability of my voice is an advantage as it permits me to give stronger/weaker feedback for great/ok performance. Your post seems to imply the opposite.

I'm one of those dogs that need to know why before I understand something completely. So, why is the perfect consistency of a clicker better than the feedback-variability of my voice?

Please understand that I am not being snarky or disrespectful in my question. I truly want to learn and understand.

Marker training is the foundation upon which so much is built so understanding this concept thoroughly is important to me.
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Old 08-20-2014, 04:13 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by JanaeUlva View Post
....I know that one point of theory behind clicker versus marker with voice is that the clicker shows no emotion and somehow that is supposed to be good. However, I just don't see that as being a big deal and in fact I think, sometimes, the dogs respond better to an emotional marker. JMO.
Thanks JanaeUlva.

So some believe that no emotion is good for markers. That's helpful.

But WHY is no emotion good for marker training?

Maybe its dog-specific as you noted. I still don't understand this concept like I want to, however. I really want to grok this.
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Old 08-20-2014, 04:17 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by DJEtzel View Post
I find it completely depends on the dog. My GSD shapes things amazingly with my voice as a marker and so-so with the clicker. My Border Collie hates listening to me talk and prefers the clicker for shaping. Most dogs I've found shape better with clickers.
Thanks again DJEtzel. TBH I don't even own a clicker. But I don't mind trying new things. I think maybe I will order one, charge it up with Linus, and try it out.
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