German Shepherds Forum banner

1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
285 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I was wondering if any experienced trainers combine clicker training with verbal markers. Would sometimes using one and sometimes using the other be confusing or helpful?

Another thread on teaching 'watch' got me thinking about how sloppy my 'good-boy' is at marking. What about switching to 'yes' as a marker? I went with good-boy because that is what my trainer used in class on the first day.

Is it a matter of picking the best tool for the job. Or am I looking at a situation where the grass is greener on the other side of the fence?

I spent this afternoon working on statue walks. I froze like a statue if the leash ever went taunt. I then marked good-boy when he made eye contact after the leash had gone slack. The reward was that we could move forward again in the direction he wanted to go in the first place. It was not particularly hard. It ended up being a good exercise for me to practice my leash management of a long line while improving my marker timing.

Thanks
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
329 Posts
I believe there’s different schools of thought on this. I use a clicker, would not call myself an experienced trainer but I feel it is more consistent. I listened to a podcast recent that referenced a study that conclusion stated that the marker is not as important as the timing of the reward. Can’t recall the exact study.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,342 Posts
I use Yes! as a marker word. Shadow hates clickers, no clue why but I tried one years ago and every time I clicked it she ducked and attacked my hand. Lol.
I'm a bit old and have been using marker words since long before they were marker words. The marker word indicates the dog got it right and there is a treat coming, but it is only in the beginning that the treat is immediate.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
6,713 Posts
whether you use a click or a marker word, both act as a bridge... by marking the exact moment that the dog has done what you want and is a “promise to pay” which buys you a few seconds to collect their reward.

a clicker is more precise and novel and will always be my preferred tool for this type of training.... short and sweet, always the same - unlike my voice.

i would not compare a “good boy” with the reward of movement with the power of clicker training at all. i may transition to “good boy” to acknowledge the behavior once trained, but while actively training its click and treat every. single. time. even if i click on accident.

the only time i will use a marker word in place of a clicker is if that marker word has been “loaded” with the same reward. example: i train guide dogs, before their formal training the puppy raisers will use the word Nice! in a upbeat, high pitched tone... they do not use clickers... when i’m training guidework and i have to go into a restaurant or library or dept store - because a clicker can be loud and annoying to some, i will use Nice! in place of the clicker so that i can still get my job done.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
285 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Thanks,

After rereading the response from @Fodder about 50 times. I think I have been using the terms 'verbal praise' and 'verbal marker' incorrectly or interchangeably.

Currently, I try to give say 'good boy' the moment pup gives the behavior I want. the term 'good boy' has been loaded with value prior to use. Early in learning a new behavior, I follow the 'good boy' with a food reward. When the behavior becomes more reliable I used other types of rewards to follow the 'good boy' such as the environment or a toy. IE getting to go outside after a nice wait or getting to move forward after he has stopped pulling. Sometimes there is no additional reward after the 'good boy.' -- In this case, is 'good boy' being used as a verbal reward?

On the other hand, If I were to use 'yes' as a verbal marker it would be more specific It is a specific verbal sound which is always followed by a food reward within a specific period of time.

For reference, I used Leerburg | The Power of Training Dogs with Markers and Three Different Types of Verbal Markers in Dog Training
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
5,528 Posts
My timing with a clicker is much much better than when I use my voice. But it’s also the way I learned, so there you go. I have a zillion clickers and had them everywhere, so if I wanted to train, one was always accessible.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
711 Posts
I know of people who use half a dozen (or more) marker cues, depending on what they are working on, what they are using to reward the dog with, and where/how it will be delivered. There is a webinar called "Clear Communication Tools: Marker Systems and Reverse Luring" will be running on Thursday, March 12th. More information can be found here. Fenzi Dog Sports Academy - Webinars
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
181 Posts
I saw a Michael Ellis video a while ago, where he suggested two different marker words. He used GOOD, to mean, you are doing it right, keep doing it. Then he uses, YES to mean great job, you are finished.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
31,144 Posts
I saw a Michael Ellis video a while ago, where he suggested two different marker words. He used GOOD, to mean, you are doing it right, keep doing it. Then he uses, YES to mean great job, you are finished.
I do this. Not because of Michael Ellis though. :) Yes! is the release word for the reward. Go! is the release to break a stationary position for a ball or helper. Good/excellent is a marker while still in the command.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
285 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
I can barely get one marker word spit/mumbled at approximately the right time. Although it makes sense, I think I will need to wait a while to use different words
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,544 Posts
A well timed consistent "yes" or whatever one's choice for their verbal marker is essentially the same as a clicker.....

A verbal marker has the benefit of varied inflections.....when your dog really nails the obedience skill being trained, I think a consistent robust, hardy, excited etc. "YES" lets the dog know ( in short order ) mission accomplished to a greater degree of accuracy......marking the moment more significantly and making it easier on the dog to connect the dots.

SuperG
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
4,682 Posts
I heard on a podcast recently that there was a study about which worked better, clicker or verbal. It turned out inconclusive. One wasn't really better than the other. They even tested them against non-verbal, since we often clue dogs with our movements. So which ever works best for you is the one to use. Consistency and timing seems to be what really matters with markers.

I wish I had a link to the study. Anyone have it?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
408 Posts
I was taught to use both.

A clicker is great and there’s no confusion there but it’s not always in your hand nor is it always convenient to use.

I just use the word “yes”. I didn’t do special “loading” sessions or anything. Both dogs picked it pretty easily though.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
504 Posts
Use what works.
My previous dog, I used a short sharp chirped 'good!' as a marker. I sounded like a clucking hen; it worked perfectly as a verbal marker, I would use it when I wanted to mark a precise moment in time, otherwise it would be good (normal talking tone of voice, nothing like my marker) or yes.
How did I know my verbal marker was working? Just look at the dog. If you use a clicker or marker right, you will see an instantaneous reaction from your dog. It will be obvious.

With Sonic, my verbal marker is 'yes', it works pretty good, most of the time, but I can see it sometimes fuzzy. My old marker, for some reason, just doesn't work for me, it comes out too often or wrong timing, doesn't matter. When I want to get down to super nerder stuff, I use my clicker. It doesn't get used often so when I use it, Sonic knows the game, it pretty much marks that we are doing a shaping game or looking for precision, and it doesn't get over used.

As for dogs not liking clickers--the box clickers can sound offensive to dogs. Sonic hates them. Because it marked 'treat is coming' I did not realize, as he acted fantastic, yay treat, and then would walk out on a session. I blamed everything but the clicker. The environment, the treat, my delivery, to many reps, genetics, but it was the clicker. Turns out he hates box clickers, even outdoors. I now only use the little bean shaped clickers (more expensive, mr sonic has rich tastes). Box clickers can be toned down with thick tape (duck tape) or sticky tac on the exposed metal parts.

Again, if you can find a good consistant vocal marker, one you won't accidentally over use, you can use that and never leave home without it. If I was going to start fresh, I probably would say 'click' and try that one.
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Top