Clicker + "Come!" questions - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-19-2008, 03:36 AM Thread Starter
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Clicker + "Come!" questions

When you use a clicker and are teaching "come" what point do you click on? For example, do you click as soon as they take a step towards you? Or do you click when they are directly in front of you? Or both? I know clicker training is all about timing, so I want to make sure I get that down.

Brenna: GSD Born 7/16/06
Mollie: Beagle
Fezzik: GSD/Husky/Golden?
Chewy: Shih tzu/Yorkie
Crunchy: Pug/Schnauzer?
Monty: GSD born 5/24/14
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-19-2008, 01:53 PM
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Re: Clicker + "Come!" questions

I can only tell you what I would do personally, as I don't feel comfortable speaking for others when it comes to training methods!

I click with my mouth, but it's the same concept. I click as soon as the dog sits in front of me correctly, looking up at my face. This is with a dog who knows the command, therefore he already knows what is expected of him.

Again, I can only say what I did personally, but when training, I also only click when the dog/pup is where I want him to be, sitting in front of me looking at my face. However, I will sometimes use a toy, or sometimes food, depending on the dog, to guide him into position in order to get him to where I want him to be so that he knows what to do to receive his click/reward. Hope I worded that clearly enough...I tend to overexplain things! LOL! Good luck!

-Jackie
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-19-2008, 02:10 PM
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Re: Clicker + "Come!" questions

I would also Agree with Jackie, I would click when the dog was where i wanted him/her to be.

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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-19-2008, 02:41 PM
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Re: Clicker + "Come!" questions

Yes - I agree with the others.

The click defines what you want the finished result to be. Depending on your definition - click when the dog is where you want him to be. Mine were taught to come and sit in front of me.

If you are out walking, you may want a different command like, 'here' or 'with me' that means the dog comes to you and you both continue walking.

Bonnie

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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-19-2008, 03:06 PM
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Re: Clicker + "Come!" questions

I use clicking/marking to shape a behavior, so if the dog is just starting to learn a recall, my initial mark would occur as the dog turns to me and makes eye contact. Coming all the way it and sitting in front is the end result, but I don't expect that behavior from day one, rather I use the click to shape the behavior to get that result.

On the other hand, if I were using an e-collar for a recall, the dog would be receiving the negative reinforcement (continuous stim) until the dog turned and started back, I would not stim the dog until he was all the way back sitting in front, at least not when first beginning.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-19-2008, 03:21 PM
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Re: Clicker + "Come!" questions

Quote:
Quote:I use clicking/marking to shape a behavior, so if the dog is just starting to learn a recall, my initial mark would occur as the dog turns to me and makes eye contact. Coming all the way it and sitting in front is the end result, but I don't expect that behavior from day one, rather I use the click to shape the behavior to get that result.
That's exactly the way I train. Remember when using the clicker you are shaping a behavior by teaching and building on other behaviors. And when starting you need to set the pup up to succeed and mark as they are learning.

Breaking down a complex behavior (like 'come' can be when it ends up being get over here and sit in front of me) is actually initially a bunch of other small behaviors.

Here are some great sites that break it down better:

http://www.clickertrainusa.com/come.htm

http://www.clickertraining.com/node/309




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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-19-2008, 04:41 PM
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Re: Clicker + "Come!" questions

It's really important to break down a behavior into tiny steps and reward for each of those steps, if you want a good solid enthusiastic response from the dog. When I start out, I do as some of the others mentioned - I mark the recall behavior as soon as it starts. I also praise the ENTIRE time as the dog runs to me. The sit in front is inconsequential to me at the beginning - I add that in later when I have a good, fast, solid recall.

Now, you could also backchain the entire behavior, starting with the sit in front and then adding in the recall starting at just a few feet away and gradually working at longer distances. I don't do it this way because the recall section of it is more important to me (both for a companion dog and a competition dog) than the actual sit in front. In real life, they need to come to me quickly and reliably. On trial day, they can still qualify if they sit crooked or even don't sit at all, but they're not going to qualify if they don't come to me. So I want the "running to me" part to get the most emphasis. I teach the sit separately (and often not for months - Tazer was probably 8-9 months old before I taught her a sit).

Whichever way you use, you need to decide now and then dedicate some time to it. An enthusiastic recall is beautiful. My young chow will sit there quietly as I walk away, and when I call her she often erupts into the air in a huge leap forward and then races to me and sits promptly in front of me. It's really neat to see.

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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-19-2008, 04:55 PM
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Re: Clicker + "Come!" questions

I'm training Nikon's recall right now, he's 13 weeks. He is rarely on a leash but has started trying to wander off. When I call him I squat down and sort of pat the ground with both hands. This is really exciting to him and he runs all the way to me, then I praise him and let him lick all over my face. This is what I do when I don't have a treat. Yesterday he ran off four times b/c a neighbor burried a chicken in his yard and his dog started digging it up, I recalled Nikon all four times just saying his name and "come" once. We still have major recall issues with Coke, I was so relieved! Eventually he needs to sit in front but like Melanie says the actuall recall is what's important to me right now. A front sit can be trained in a matter of days.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-19-2008, 09:17 PM
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Re: Clicker + "Come!" questions

Thank you, Maggie and Lies. It is correct, of course to mark small behaviors to get to the end result. I often assume that when others ask, there were already many steps and processes before going to the final 'come.'

In our classes, we wouldn't have started 'come from a distance' - it would have been part of stationary, then two or three step, then longer recalls and other work.

I'm glad you responded based on just what was stated in the OPs original question.

Bonnie

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RIP
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-21-2008, 02:37 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Clicker + "Come!" questions

I have another question, if the dog comes towards me should I click every few seconds to mark that they are still doing the correct behavior?

Brenna has a basic understanding of come, in a situation with few distractions, she will run straight to me and sit in front of me like a champ. I never taught her to actually sit in front of me, the people I got her from had started training her so I suspect that's where she learned it. With some distractions and off leash, I might have to call her a couple times (which I know is a no no) and she will come back to me but when she gets close she laughs at me and runs in a lap around me before coming to me. lol Needless to say I have given up attempting off leash work for the time being. Luckily I have not had to see what she does with a huge distraction (i.e. a cat running away) because I suspect I would be very disappointed.

ETA: I started rambling and forgot to finish my thought. haha Anyways, I am trying to decide whether I should try to refine her response to 'come' or to re-train her from scratch using 'here'...any opinions?

Brenna: GSD Born 7/16/06
Mollie: Beagle
Fezzik: GSD/Husky/Golden?
Chewy: Shih tzu/Yorkie
Crunchy: Pug/Schnauzer?
Monty: GSD born 5/24/14
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