Clicker training - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-07-2013, 11:08 PM Thread Starter
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Clicker training

We have a 3 year old Great Dane and ive been clicker training for a while and it seems to work flawlessly. I went to buy an electric nail trimmer due to the thickness of Dane's nails and i started talking to a trainer. (petsmart) about clicker training and she said to not use it for the GSD were getting this November. She said using your voice is better for training. Is this true? what do you use for training?
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-08-2013, 07:48 AM
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I don't know how people come up with this stuff. I've used a clicker to train all new behaviors and find it a very helpful tool. Once I teach the behavior, I use a verbal marker, i.e "yes".

There are a lot of people on this forum who use a clicker.

Good luck with your new pup!
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-08-2013, 07:53 AM
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Petsmart seems to attract trainers with "interesting" opinions. Clickers are a great way to train your dog. Go ahead and use it.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-08-2013, 08:13 AM
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Not only is it a silly opinion that you can't use clicker training for a GSD, it's absolutely unsound scientifically speaking. When using a verbal marker the dog utilizes the verbal parts of their brain that analyzes tone, amplitude, word recognition, etc. This takes a lot of time. When using a clicker, the sound of the click does not enter the verbal regions of the brain. There is no tone or word recognition processing. The marked behavior is recognized as a marked behavior significantly faster when using a clicker as a marker vs verbal marking.

http://www.clickertraining.com/files...S_EFFICACY.pdf
"There was a decrease of over 1/3 in training time and number of required reinforcements
for the clicker as compared to the verbal condition group. 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."

Here is Karen Pryor hypothesizing about the amygdala recognition vs verbal cortex: http://www.clickertraining.com/node/226

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Last edited by wildo; 09-08-2013 at 08:20 AM.
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-08-2013, 08:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wildo View Post
Not only is it a silly opinion that you can't use clicker training for a GSD, it's absolutely unsound scientifically speaking. When using a verbal marker the dog utilizes the verbal parts of their brain that analyzes tone, amplitude, word recognition, etc. This takes a lot of time. When using a clicker, the sound of the click does not enter the verbal regions of the brain. There is no tone or word recognition processing. The marked behavior is recognized as a marked behavior significantly faster when using a clicker as a marker vs verbal marking.

http://www.clickertraining.com/files...S_EFFICACY.pdf
"There was a decrease of over 1/3 in training time and number of required reinforcements
for the clicker as compared to the verbal condition group. 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."
Wow! Thanks for that Willy! I always wondered why since I always use the clicker to shape new behaviors then use verbal after it is known simply because I always found the clicker faster and clearer to the dog. That is great there is an actual reason.


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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-08-2013, 08:26 AM
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Originally Posted by MilesNY View Post
Wow! Thanks for that Willy! I always wondered why since I always use the clicker to shape new behaviors then use verbal after it is known simply because I always found the clicker faster and clearer to the dog. That is great there is an actual reason.
After you quoted that I posted the link to Karen Pryor's website where she lays out her hypothesis as to how the brain is working. However, that article was written in 2001 and I'm positive I've read an actual scientific study that proved out her hypothesis. I've had a hard time finding it. It put actual numbers on the response time- and the numbers were significant!! I'll totally make them up, but it was something like via verbal: 300ms; via clicker: 50ms. Again, I'm making up those numbers, but I'm confident I've found some study that indicated such significant reducer of response time.

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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-08-2013, 10:21 AM
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I know the study you're referencing; I've seen it too. I thought this link might have been it (or at least discussed it), but upon reviewing it, nope, not what I was thinking of. Still, it mentions the same thing, so I'll post the link anyhow: http://www.patriciamcconnell.com/theotherendoftheleash/are-clicks-better-markers-than-words

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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-08-2013, 10:47 AM
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In the Michael Ellis video "The Power of Training Your Dog With Food", Ed Frawley explains why he uses a marker word instead of a clicker - later on in competitions, there's no chance of your dog mistaking your voice, but various clickers going may be confusing. Maybe the trainer took that and ran with it! I realized about a 2 months ago I marker trained Jedda to "GOOD gir!" when I saw her look at my hand when I said it! So we're sticking with that, trying to be consistent! Good luck!
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-08-2013, 11:07 AM
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Originally Posted by kjdreyer View Post
In the Michael Ellis video "The Power of Training Your Dog With Food", Ed Frawley explains why he uses a marker word instead of a clicker - later on in competitions, there's no chance of your dog mistaking your voice, but various clickers going may be confusing. Maybe the trainer took that and ran with it! I realized about a 2 months ago I marker trained Jedda to "GOOD gir!" when I saw her look at my hand when I said it! So we're sticking with that, trying to be consistent! Good luck!
While I follow Michael Ellis, in fact my puppy is with Lindsey Sommer while I deploy, I don't see this as entirely accurate. I do not use the clicker past shaping a new behavior, I use a marker word once command is know and understood. Also I have been is classes with 8 other people all clicker training yet my puppy never responds to any other clicker but mine so I don't really see the issue with outside nose sounding like a clicker.

Good luck with your pup! I have trained many dogs with just marker words, both method work extremely well compared with other training systems!


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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-08-2013, 12:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Breitbach343 View Post
She said using your voice is better for training. Is this true?
No. Some people prefer to use a verbal marker, some prefer to use a clicker, and some (me!) use both. Marker training is great either way, and if you're already using a clicker there's no reason not to use it with your new dog.

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