Clicker training or "old school" training? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-03-2010, 12:28 AM Thread Starter
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Clicker training or "old school" training?

I am trying to find the best way to train my german shepherd pup. I am hoping to train him to be a service dog for me eventually. I have heard a lot of pros and cons about clicker training, as well as "old school" training. The obedience club that we go to uses lots of praise and rewards, but they also use corrections once they are sure that the dog knows what they are supposed to be doing, but the dog doesn't do it. They also do use prong collars, but they don't jerk on it, only use a very light tug when the dog does not do what the dog has been trained to do. And, never on a puppy.

What is the best training method for a german shepherd?
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-03-2010, 01:19 AM
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A clicker is a marker, all it does is let the dog know that you approve of the action it has done, NOTHING ELSE, it is not the be all and end all of the training program, it is simply phase one of the dog learning the command and is always followed with a treat.

Phase 2 is to add a verbal command to the action the dog has done, at first in conjunction with the clicker and later it replaces the clicker.

Phase 3 is to repeat it as many times as it takes until the dog has learned the command 100%

Phase 4 is to correct the dog if it decides to ignore the command,

So when you refer to old school what you mean is forcing the dog into a position and simultaneously giving a command. NO that went out with the dinosaurs, but disciplining a dog still comes into the equation.

ups, Das hat er noch nie gemacht!
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-03-2010, 01:27 AM
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So when you refer to old school what you mean is forcing the dog into a position and simultaneously giving a command. NO that went out with the dinosaurs, but disciplining a dog still comes into the equation.
I agree with this. "Old school" is so outdated. You should never force a puppy to do something, it should always be a positive experience, as the pup grows older and knows the command but decides not to then you can give a light pop to remind them but you don't need to crank and yank. That is just wrong.

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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-03-2010, 01:55 AM Thread Starter
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I have never seen our obedience club "force" a dog to do anything. They will use a lure to get the dog to do it, but there is no "force" involved that I have seen.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-03-2010, 01:57 AM Thread Starter
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then I must have been wrong thinking it was "old school". They never correct a dog at all until it is older and they are sure that it knows the command. Then, that is all it is is a slight tug, to remind the dog to do the command. There is no "cranking" or "yanking" to it at the obedience club. I don't know what to call their style of teaching. It is praise and treat motivated, and if they are sure that the dog knows the command, then they will give a slight leash correction. It just is not clicker training.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-03-2010, 02:09 AM
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"Old school" to a lot of us dog trainers means crank and yank. It's okay if you thought it meant something else but that is what old school almost always refers to when talking about obedience.

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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-03-2010, 03:08 AM Thread Starter
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sorry about that. I never am good at getting my thoughts across. No, I wouldn't let a trainer like that "old school" touch my dogs. I have been there, done that, and that is what made my current service dog so reactive and afraid of people. I learned my lesson the hard way, you might say. It is just that I hear so much about clicker training. I kind of do clicker training, and so does the obedience club, but we use a word instead of a click.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-03-2010, 04:11 AM
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Clicker training is really an awesome tool. It tells the dog exactly what they did right. I use it on all three of my dogs for teaching brand new things.

Here's a video of Akbar when he was 7 months, this was his first perch training exercise. Perch training teaches them the use of their back legs. (man he looked so tiny back then! LOL)

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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-03-2010, 08:04 AM
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My pup Ike is trained with markers (yes, good, no) as well. I think it's the best way to teach young pups.
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-03-2010, 08:17 AM
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HMV's post is right on, especially the part about clicking/treating not being the only part of training.

One lady on youtube, Kikopup, is a talented clicker trainer who thinks true clicker training means NO corrections. I think she is even opposed to "EH EH!" type of verbal corrections. I think she would consider "old school" to include anything with corrections, though most people think of Koehler when they think of "old school".

I tried the all-positive route with my latest dog Tuki, and that's when I realized the benefit of corrections. If a dog thinks they can get away with something that will be fun for them (chasing a squirrel as opposed to staying in a down position) with no consequence, some (all?) dogs will do it, especially those who have a hard time not chasing something that moves. When I started giving corrections for disobedience -- meaning she KNOWS the command but chooses not to do it -- I saw a great improvement in her obedience. Suddenly my commands had more "weight" even if I'm not holding a clicker and a piece of chicken because there will ALWAYS be a negative consequence for ignoring a command.

Sounds like your obedience club uses a fair and balanced method.

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