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post #1 of 56 (permalink) Old 08-13-2012, 10:59 AM Thread Starter
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Clicker questions

A question for clicker advocates - How exactly does using a clicker to mark (prolong the very brief period in which a dog can associate the behavior (or lack of it) with the reward for that behavior?

Related question - how would using a clicker "increase a dog's confidence"? Good behavior followed by a real reward would increase their confidence perhaps but the "marker"?

Actually, using a verbal marker "YES" works just as well as an artificial sound made by a mechanical device to "mark" the proper behavioral action by the dog.
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post #2 of 56 (permalink) Old 08-13-2012, 11:08 AM
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I don't understand your first question because of the unclosed parenthetical statement.

For your second question- a clicker doesn't increase confidence in the dog. However, the immediate, clear marking of a performed behavior does increase confidence because it provides clarity. This is something that a verbal marker can't do as well as a clicker can.

Quote:
Originally Posted by codmaster View Post
Actually, using a verbal marker "YES" works just as well as an artificial sound made by a mechanical device to "mark" the proper behavioral action by the dog.
Actually- you're wrong. Try actually reading this article.
http://www.clickertraining.com/files...S_EFFICACY.pdf

...Or at least read this excerpt from it:
Quote:
The clicker trained dogs achieved behavior acquisition in significantly (p < .05) fewer minutes and required significantly fewer primary reinforcements than verbal condition dogs. The difference in effectiveness of the two bridging stimuli was most apparent at the onset of each new task component. It appears that use of the clicker, by providing a more precise marker than a verbal bridging stimulus, is responsible for superior acquisition of complex behaviors such as that studied here.

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post #3 of 56 (permalink) Old 08-13-2012, 11:22 AM
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I agree with Willy

I've always done clicker training with my dogs with great results. In Delgado's puppy class we used a clicker, but I switched trainers for his beginner obedience and they used the verbal marker "yes" instead of the clicker so I tried it out for the six week class and hated it. He would get confused very easily on new behaviors using the verbal marker and was much slower to respond

There was another dog in the class the same age which had done their program with the verbal marker and they were a great couple with lots of potential but there was a marked difference between the two dogs. Their dog was very smart and willing to please but couldn't match Delgado for speed and accuracy when it came to learning new cues

I would use the verbal marker in class then do it again with the clicker at home. Delgado's very smart and the clicker suits both of us.

There are certainly times it's misused and some people just can't figure it out and do better with verbal markers. Work with what works for you, not others

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post #4 of 56 (permalink) Old 08-13-2012, 01:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by codmaster View Post

Actually, using a verbal marker "YES" works just as well as an artificial sound made by a mechanical device to "mark" the proper behavioral action by the dog.
It works but is not the same. Karen Pryor who is sort of the face of clicker training would disagree. A click *is* different than a marker word.
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post #5 of 56 (permalink) Old 08-13-2012, 01:51 PM
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Clicker advocate? My only experience with this tool was at my puppy's basic manners course this spring. My timing wasn't what it should have been, and my trainer was anti-everything else, so I didn't give it the respect it deserved. However, to tech my puppy to drop the ball on recall, this tool ROCKED! The click that was instantaneous with the moment the ball fell from his mouth taught him that behavior right away. For me to say a marker word at that same time would have been a distraction, I believe.

Now, to try to repeat that same success outdoors didn't work. I was using the 2 ball technique and for some reason my puppy wanted to hear "Good boy!" after the drop. Why? I don't know, but you could tell by how much enthusiasm he gave the game what it was he wanted. Click with treat, so-so performance / praise only, full-on attention. I think he didn't want the interruption, just the game to continue. No time for treats, lol?

I think that the tool you choose to use has to fit you, your dog, what you're trying to teach, and also fits with the situation. And if you don't want to use the clicker then you don't use it. But I think it's wrong to write it off or think that a marker word is an exact substitute. This is only my opinion, based on my limited knowledge and very limited skill with the tool.

Not talking dogs for a moment: I just bought a great picture and I know exactly where I want it. Unfortunately, my favorite tool is the hammer. I know just by looking at the wall that there isn't a stud where the nail will go. So if I just go ahead and do it my way, the picture will pull the nail out of the drywall and smash to the floor. So instead I'm going to drill a pilot hole, set the plastic anchor, and take a whole lot more time to make sure the picture stays where I want it. This reasoning should also apply to our dogs: observe and decide what would give the best outcome, favorite tool or not.
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post #6 of 56 (permalink) Old 08-13-2012, 02:32 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wildo View Post
I don't understand your first question because of the unclosed parenthetical statement.

For your second question- a clicker doesn't increase confidence in the dog. However, the immediate, clear marking of a performed behavior does increase confidence because it provides clarity. This is something that a verbal marker can't do as well as a clicker can.



Actually- you're wrong. Try actually reading this article.
http://www.clickertraining.com/files...S_EFFICACY.pdf

...Or at least read this excerpt from it:
I must apologize for my missing parenthesis - I can see where that typo might really make it very hard to understand my question for some folks.

I guess that my question might have been a little too hard for you to understand.

So let's see if I can simplify it for you.

First, though, I will try to explain what I meant by the tough part that you were unable to understand - "Mark" = to signify to the dog that they did something correct. I.E. they do the behavior of sitting in response to a verbal and/or visual signal.

Now, let's see - do you understand what I meant by this statment? Let's assume that you could understand.

The next part of my statment, probably the more difficult part for you from your post, was that the trainer might want the dog to NOT do some behavior or to STOP doing some behavior (I.E. barking or lunging for example) so WHEN they stop doing this behavior (thus the "lack of the behavior") then we "Mark" the behavior cessation and reward accordingly.

I really hope that you can understand my questiuon now. (Even if you don't want to or can't answer it. That is ok, I understand.
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post #7 of 56 (permalink) Old 08-13-2012, 02:37 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Liesje View Post
It works but is not the same. Karen Pryor who is sort of the face of clicker training would disagree. A click *is* different than a marker word.

Not according to most other pro trainers that I have talked to.

You don't suppose that Karen just might have a small vested interest in maintaining the sanctity of using "Clickers" do you. I would really prefer to hear about it from someone who doesn't have such a big financial interest in clicker training.

But in the interst of fairness, what does she say is the real difference? does she claim that a Click is not a marker bridge to the reward but the dog actually thinks that the Click IS the reward for good behavior? Or if not that what is the difference?

Do you have to have a clicker to train your dog - i.e. if you forget the clicker no sense to even try to do any training that session?
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post #8 of 56 (permalink) Old 08-13-2012, 02:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by codmaster View Post
Do you have to have a clicker to train your dog - i.e. if you forget the clicker no sense to even try to do any training that session?
Sigh.... You're always so over the top in the statements/questions you ask about clicker training. This has been asked by you in the past, and answered plenty. Nobody has said that they can't train their dog because they forgot their clicker at home. Unless you are truly so hard headed that you just don't get it, it's a ludicrous agenda that you continue to try to push- that one cannot train without a clicker if it was somehow "forgotten at home."

You have reinforced us (me at least) to already anticipate your response. I should have known you wouldn't bother to open your mind and actually hear what people have to say on the subject. And look- you didn't even need a clicker to train us (me) with your anticipated behavior. Props to you.

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post #9 of 56 (permalink) Old 08-13-2012, 02:47 PM
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I prefer my voice commands to clicker. Its about training and conditioning.

Yes speedo shaves off microseconds in swim speed.... but how many of us are going to compete in the Olympics?
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post #10 of 56 (permalink) Old 08-13-2012, 02:50 PM
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Any training in which the dog is successful and able to understand what is expected of it - and learn/please it's owner is confidence building.

Many people give up or think a method has failed because they've misused it or have done it incorrectly.

In our ACO training class we were actually given a bowl of hershey kisses. Another person decided what "behavior" they'd like to see the other person do. They then clicked and rewarded (hershey kisses) when the other party got it right.

For instance. Touch your ear. So the other person would start moving around and if a hand got close to the ear, a click/reward. Through that, the other person was supposed to figure out where the hand was supposed to go. The success of the other person learning where that hand was supposed to go was directly related to the speed and accuracy of the person clicking and rewarding.

If you think about it...the perfect training system (without a click) is a sink where the water is motion activated.
You stick your hand there. Nothing happens. You start moving your hand around, and boom! There's water! Reward! So we try to recreate the situation to get more water.
Same exact thing. We're moving our hands around trying to get the water to start and actually stay going! We catch on very quickly, don't we?

It's simple.
Same with dogs. They are rewarded for doing the right thing (the thing we're teaching them) and doing the wrong thing gets ignored. The click marks where they are starting to "get warm" and then when they are "hot", jackpot!!

Cod, are you just bored today...??
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