German Shepherds Forum banner

1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
490 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Saw one of these awhile ago. Saw a thread just now.

How do they work? Why are they effective?

Is it easy to use?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
32,027 Posts
They work by quickly marking a behavior. Very, very effective. My trainer refers to them as the most powerful tool in dog training.

Yes, very easy to use. Just be sure you are marking the behavior that you want to and not inadvertently marking one you don't. If you are late marking, you could teach your dog the wrong thing.

You start by "loading" the clicker. Get a handful of treats. Click and treat, click and treat, click and treat. Soon you will see your dog looking at you for the treat as soon as they hear the click.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
495 Posts
Omg, I LOVE clicker training! Puppy is learning at lightning speed and making me look good!

She's learning some things in as little as 2-3 clicks, which is just astonishing me. Best part is how bright-eyed she is and eager to do more.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,442 Posts
Clickers work really well if you know how to use them correctly and have good timing.

One of the people I train with told me this story over the summer. Her neighbors, who also have dogs, heard a lot about clicker training, so they bought a clicker. But they never had anyone show them how and when to use a clicker. Basically, it went like this - the husband took the dog outside, clicked, and nothing happened. He told the dog to do something, followed by a click, and nothing happened. After repeating this for some time, the husband came inside, threw the clicker away, and declared clicker training useless.

So that's how not to use a clicker. :D

The first thing you do when you buy a clicker is to "charge" the clicker. The way you do this is to have a bunch of treats, and simply click and give a treat. Your dog does not have to do anything, you just click and then immediately after, give a treat. Do this about 20 times or so the first night and again the next day. This teaches the dog to associate the sound (click) with getting a reward.

Then you teach the dog that the sound happens when he does the right thing, the thing you want him to do, and since click means treat, he will get a reward for doing the right thing. So, have your dog do a command he already knows (such as "sit"), then click as soon as his behind goes on the ground, and give a treat.

Once the dog knows that "click" means "this is what I want you to do" and understands that a reward will follow for the right behavior but be absent for the wrong behavior, you will get a dog that actively participates in training and thinks about what you want and offers you behaviors to get that click.

The reason most people use a clicker rather than their voice is that the clicker doesn't sound like anything else, whereas using your voice - like saying "yes", for example - sounds different in intonation and you also use your word in normal conversation outside of training. The clicker is more clear because it's always the same sound, it's always used in training, and you don't really use it outside of training. (Though if you have young children, you may want to hide it outside of training.)
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
5,921 Posts
A question about clickers - how do you wean the dog off the marker or do you carry the clicker all the time?

That is, does the behavior extinguish itself if it is not continually reinforced?

Some folks who use food treats (or toys) as motivation make a point of tranferring to a random use of them as the dog learns the behavior better,

Second clicker training question - how long after the click do you have to give them the treat?
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
5,921 Posts
Also one more question - if you train in a group with clickers - how does the dog know that the clicker sound that they hear is "theirs" and not the dog next to them?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,442 Posts
A question about clickers - how do you wean the dog off the marker or do you carry the clicker all the time?
The clicker itself does not reinforce the behavior, codmaster, it only marks the behavior. The reward the dog receives for performing the behavior - whether that is a treat, toy, or praise - is what reinforces the behavior and keeps it from occurring.

When I am working with a clicker, I use the clicker only until I get a consistent response to the cue - verbal command or hand signal - and then use just the cue for the behavior and the reinforcement (treat/toy/praise) to reward the dog and keep the dog engaged.

In other words, when your cue gets you a behavior consistently, the clicker goes.

Second clicker training question - how long after the click do you have to give them the treat?
When you charge the clicker at the very beginning, the treat should come within seconds of the click. Click-treat, instantly. Once the dog understands that the click marks the behavior, you have some time to actually deliver the reward - which is one of the reasons that clicker training is so awesome because there CAN be a delay between the behavior (and the marker for it) and the reward.

how does the dog know that the clicker sound that they hear is "theirs" and not the dog next to them?
In a good clicker class - or any good class, really - the dogs and people in the class will not all be on top of one another, there should be enough room between dogs and people that the dog's excellent sense of hearing is easily able to distinguish the clicker sound coming from his/her human in front of him/her from the clicker that is next to or behind them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
522 Posts
You can wean the dog off the clicker, and treats. I've got skylar completely off the treats and clicker for all basic commands, and use it only for new things- sometimes i'll reward a known command (sit, down, whatever) to keep her guessing and eager to do the simple commands.
It took me a while to get the timing right- you click RIGHT at the moment they do the right behaviour, then reward a second or 2 after, so they relate the treat with the click, but not at the same time so they still pay attention to the click.
I think i read somewhere that every clicker sounds a tiny bit different to a dog? Skylar is in a clicker training class, and doesn't react to anyones clicker but her own, also our other shepherd is learning clicker training and she doesn't react to his either- only her own.

I LOVE clicker training and recommend it to everyone- it is so much fun for both the dog and human, and they learn so fast!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,250 Posts
Everyone else pretty much gave you the information, but I will add that I also love clicker training and wouldn't do it another way now.

In 5 minutes in a busy, dog-filled room at an adoption event saturday, I clicker trained a VERY energetic BC/GSD mix to 'Down'. She was doing it without seeing the treat and no lure at the end of the 5 minutes. PROOF!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,782 Posts
I love clicker training. It will be the only way i train my dogs from now on, unless my dog doesn't respond to it then i will find something else. I love it and Dodger loves it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,442 Posts
you click RIGHT at the moment they do the right behaviour, then reward a second or 2 after, so they relate the treat with the click, but not at the same time so they still pay attention to the click.
If your clicker has been "charged" before you start using it for commands, you don't need to treat within 2 seconds - your dog will know the treat is coming because s/he associates the sound with a treat. (Sort of like Pavlov's dogs associated the sound of the bell with getting fed, even though they didn't happen at exactly the same time.)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
495 Posts
What I really love is that Eva is so ENGAGED when doing clicker training. She's glued to my face and my hands, watching for the slightest clue of what I want. She tilts her head as she thinks about a new command and then practically quivers when she gets it.

I taught my daughter's one year old English bulldog with no clicker training at all - not even loading the clicker - to "watch me" within 5 clicks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
490 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
So I bought a clicker today. Gave him about 15 treats. Click n treat.

Going to do the same tomorrow. Excited to see how this goes! He can learn commands all over again. Parvo has formated his brain. Only thing he didn't forgot was how to breath, chew, and run.
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Top