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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-29-2009, 06:41 PM Thread Starter
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Clicker reward Q

If I ask Renji to sit and he does, and I click and get ready to treat, but he BREAKS the sit without me telling him to break, should I continue to reward or give a verbal "oops" correction/negative marker despite the click and retry the behavior?

Renji - 6 y/o M GSD x chow rescue


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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-29-2009, 06:50 PM
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Re: Clicker reward Q

I would either give a negative marker or wait until he corrects himself and then click and treat. If you reward you are rewarding the break in the sit.

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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-29-2009, 07:20 PM
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Re: Clicker reward Q

Normally the click ends the behavior. I know some advanced clicker trainers will teach their dog that the click does not end the behavior but it is natural for the dog to think that the click ends the behavior unless you work to train the dog otherwise.
I never had any problem when training that way. The CLICK is what marks the behavior, not the treat so if they are clicker-savvy they understand what they're getting the treat for even if they have done something else between the click and the treat. They don't think they are being rewarded for getting up from the sit because the click happened while they were sitting. Sometimes I will give a reward marker and not have a treat on me, and I may have to walk across the room or something to get a treat, yet my dog still knows what the click/treat was rewarding.

If you click and then give a negative marker IMO you are reducing the strength of the click because now the dog may learn to associate the click with the negative marker instead of with the treat...

If I want a dog to continue the behavior I do not click but I might give verbal encouragement, pet, or give a treat. For example if I am working on a "sit/stay" I might return to the dog and give them a treat, then move back again while they are still in the stay position. Or I might give them a pat on the head or a "good dog" without clicking so they know they have to continue to stay. Once they have stayed for the length of time I wanted, *then* I click, release and treat. If I am working on a stay I usually will click and give the release word at almost the same time so they learn to wait for the release word before getting up. Some people actually teach a separate "keep going signal" to use when they want the dog to continue the behavior but know they are doing the 'right' thing.


More info on this topic which you might find useful:

http://www.clickersolutions.com/arti...theclicker.htm

http://www.clickertraining.com/node/303


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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-29-2009, 07:41 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Clicker reward Q

Quote:
Quote:If you click and then give a negative marker IMO you are reducing the strength of the click because now the dog may learn to associate the click with the negative marker instead of with the treat...
This is what I am worried about.

See, he DOES know I enforce "sit" as "sit until I tell you otherwise" and in day-to-day, if he breaks, he gets a correction, and he typically does not break. Just don't know what to do when he gets a little overzealous for the click + treat.

Renji - 6 y/o M GSD x chow rescue


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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-29-2009, 07:42 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Clicker reward Q

From the first site you linked, Chicagocanine: "The behavior is over. The click ends the behavior. If the dog jumps up from the sit immediately after you click, that's okay. Duration is a criteria you can add later. "

This is true when SHAPING the behavior, but is it still true for a behavior that's already known? Renji can hold the sit for quite awhile. I don't want him to learn that "click" also equals "break."

Renji - 6 y/o M GSD x chow rescue


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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-29-2009, 09:15 PM
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Re: Clicker reward Q

Hmmm I'm not sure about that because I don't usually use the clicker if the dog already knows the behavior, just when I'm teaching new behaviors or refining/shaping the behavior still.


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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-29-2009, 09:18 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Clicker reward Q

I use the clicker for all behaviors when we're in a training session, just to mix it up. You know, the whole "random reward" thing. But maybe that's not good?

Calling MaggieRoseLee!!

Renji - 6 y/o M GSD x chow rescue


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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-29-2009, 10:37 PM
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Re: Clicker reward Q

Once you've clicked for a command, you should not up the ante. You will be removing trust of the process. If you want a longer stay, etc - delay the click.

Any time you click and don't treat (as someone else said) you are removing the positive incentive. Since the click marks the exact behavior you asked for - don't click unless you have what you want.

Once your dog absolutely knows the concept of sit means (to you) "until I say otherwise" you should be phasing out the clicker by using it sesquentially, then randomly until it is gone for that behavior.

After all that - begin giving Renji a negative marker for breaking the command.

Learned behaviors should only rarely be clicked and rewarded.

Don't click and reward for everything in the session - just those newer behaviors not yet 100% taught. Rewarding constantly for known behaviors will lead to a dog dependant on clickers and rewards. Make them work for the rewards.

Bonnie

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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-29-2009, 10:58 PM
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Re: Clicker reward Q

Try sit 10 times with your clicker, with breaking being okay. If he does this at least 9 out of 10 times. This means you can assume he is solid in this behavior.

Next move on to delaying the click for an extra second and click after that one extra second happens. If he continues to stay, click a few more times and then release him. I like to think of this as a kind of rapid fire click session where every little extra counts. Having a release command can really help in these situations as well, but delaying the click works well also.
If he breaks the sit I would stay still and wait for him to offer the sit again. Once he does I would add the extra time and then click and treat. It may take just a few times of him sitting and correcting himself to get the picture. I would refrain from saying anything if he is too excited about the exercise, and just let him think it through.

Also, I am not sure if you are dropping the treats or moving back after clicking, but these things can sometimes encourage the dog to break the sit to get the treat or move toward you. Try feeding him out of your hand and staying still after clicking to help him to hold his position as well.

Good luck and let us know what worked for you!

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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-30-2009, 03:06 AM
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Re: Clicker reward Q

I allow the click or marker word to end the behavior - once I click/mark, I MUST reward. Them's the rules! *L*

So if I want a behavior to continue, I don't click or use my marker word. I may use a "keep going" word or phrase, however. For my dogs, that means I quietly praise with words like "gooood .. very nice .. you're such a wonderful girl .. ". This lets my dog know that they're doing the right thing, but that they're not to STOP doing the right thing quite yet.

Another way to continue the behavior (at least the way I train) is to give a small treat but NOT give the click/marker word. I do this with stays, for example. If my dog knows the stay and I'm working on duration/distance, I leave my dog on a stay and then I return to reward/praise but not to break them out of the stay. I use my calm praise, give a reward calmly while saying "Good sit" or "good stay" or "good down" (depends on the dog and what they're doing) and then I either walk away again (if the dog is ready for that) or I repeat the stay to emphasize that they're to continue staying and then I walk away.

There are different levels to the behavior, and while each may be a bit different in my response, I still ALWAYS reward once I've clicked or used my marker word (which is YESS!!). I don't want that to ever lose its effectiveness. And if I click or say "YESS!" then the dog can break, because that's what I've indicated.

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