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Discussion Starter #1
If I ask Renji to sit and he does, and I click and get ready to treat, but he BREAKS the sit without me telling him to break, should I continue to reward or give a verbal "oops" correction/negative marker despite the click and retry the behavior?
 

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I would either give a negative marker or wait until he corrects himself and then click and treat. If you reward you are rewarding the break in the sit.
 

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Normally the click ends the behavior. I know some advanced clicker trainers will teach their dog that the click does not end the behavior but it is natural for the dog to think that the click ends the behavior unless you work to train the dog otherwise.
I never had any problem when training that way. The CLICK is what marks the behavior, not the treat so if they are clicker-savvy they understand what they're getting the treat for even if they have done something else between the click and the treat. They don't think they are being rewarded for getting up from the sit because the click happened while they were sitting. Sometimes I will give a reward marker and not have a treat on me, and I may have to walk across the room or something to get a treat, yet my dog still knows what the click/treat was rewarding.

If you click and then give a negative marker IMO you are reducing the strength of the click because now the dog may learn to associate the click with the negative marker instead of with the treat...

If I want a dog to continue the behavior I do not click but I might give verbal encouragement, pet, or give a treat. For example if I am working on a "sit/stay" I might return to the dog and give them a treat, then move back again while they are still in the stay position. Or I might give them a pat on the head or a "good dog" without clicking so they know they have to continue to stay. Once they have stayed for the length of time I wanted, *then* I click, release and treat. If I am working on a stay I usually will click and give the release word at almost the same time so they learn to wait for the release word before getting up. Some people actually teach a separate "keep going signal" to use when they want the dog to continue the behavior but know they are doing the 'right' thing.


More info on this topic which you might find useful:

http://www.clickersolutions.com/articles/2001/usingtheclicker.htm

http://www.clickertraining.com/node/303
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Quote:If you click and then give a negative marker IMO you are reducing the strength of the click because now the dog may learn to associate the click with the negative marker instead of with the treat...
This is what I am worried about.

See, he DOES know I enforce "sit" as "sit until I tell you otherwise" and in day-to-day, if he breaks, he gets a correction, and he typically does not break. Just don't know what to do when he gets a little overzealous for the click + treat.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
From the first site you linked, Chicagocanine: "The behavior is over. The click ends the behavior. If the dog jumps up from the sit immediately after you click, that's okay. Duration is a criteria you can add later. "

This is true when SHAPING the behavior, but is it still true for a behavior that's already known? Renji can hold the sit for quite awhile. I don't want him to learn that "click" also equals "break."
 

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Hmmm I'm not sure about that because I don't usually use the clicker if the dog already knows the behavior, just when I'm teaching new behaviors or refining/shaping the behavior still.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I use the clicker for all behaviors when we're in a training session, just to mix it up. You know, the whole "random reward" thing. But maybe that's not good?

Calling MaggieRoseLee!!
 

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Once you've clicked for a command, you should not up the ante. You will be removing trust of the process. If you want a longer stay, etc - delay the click.

Any time you click and don't treat (as someone else said) you are removing the positive incentive. Since the click marks the exact behavior you asked for - don't click unless you have what you want.

Once your dog absolutely knows the concept of sit means (to you) "until I say otherwise" you should be phasing out the clicker by using it sesquentially, then randomly until it is gone for that behavior.

After all that - begin giving Renji a negative marker for breaking the command.

Learned behaviors should only rarely be clicked and rewarded.

Don't click and reward for everything in the session - just those newer behaviors not yet 100% taught. Rewarding constantly for known behaviors will lead to a dog dependant on clickers and rewards. Make them work for the rewards.
 

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Try sit 10 times with your clicker, with breaking being okay. If he does this at least 9 out of 10 times. This means you can assume he is solid in this behavior.

Next move on to delaying the click for an extra second and click after that one extra second happens. If he continues to stay, click a few more times and then release him. I like to think of this as a kind of rapid fire click session where every little extra counts. Having a release command can really help in these situations as well, but delaying the click works well also.
If he breaks the sit I would stay still and wait for him to offer the sit again. Once he does I would add the extra time and then click and treat. It may take just a few times of him sitting and correcting himself to get the picture. I would refrain from saying anything if he is too excited about the exercise, and just let him think it through.

Also, I am not sure if you are dropping the treats or moving back after clicking, but these things can sometimes encourage the dog to break the sit to get the treat or move toward you. Try feeding him out of your hand and staying still after clicking to help him to hold his position as well.

Good luck and let us know what worked for you!
 

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I allow the click or marker word to end the behavior - once I click/mark, I MUST reward. Them's the rules! *L*

So if I want a behavior to continue, I don't click or use my marker word. I may use a "keep going" word or phrase, however. For my dogs, that means I quietly praise with words like "gooood .. very nice .. you're such a wonderful girl .. ". This lets my dog know that they're doing the right thing, but that they're not to STOP doing the right thing quite yet.

Another way to continue the behavior (at least the way I train) is to give a small treat but NOT give the click/marker word. I do this with stays, for example. If my dog knows the stay and I'm working on duration/distance, I leave my dog on a stay and then I return to reward/praise but not to break them out of the stay. I use my calm praise, give a reward calmly while saying "Good sit" or "good stay" or "good down" (depends on the dog and what they're doing) and then I either walk away again (if the dog is ready for that) or I repeat the stay to emphasize that they're to continue staying and then I walk away.

There are different levels to the behavior, and while each may be a bit different in my response, I still ALWAYS reward once I've clicked or used my marker word (which is YESS!!). I don't want that to ever lose its effectiveness. And if I click or say "YESS!" then the dog can break, because that's what I've indicated.

Melanie and the gang in Alaska
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Quote:Learned behaviors should only rarely be clicked and rewarded.
That pretty much answers my whole question- stop clicking for stuff he knows and potentially confusing the poor guy!

Quote:I allow the click or marker word to end the behavior - once I click/mark, I MUST reward. Them's the rules! *L*
This is what I have been doing even if something goes wrong with my timing. My fault, dog should not be punished.

Quote:Another way to continue the behavior (at least the way I train) is to give a small treat but NOT give the click/marker word. I do this with stays, for example.
Also what I do. If we're doing down-stay while I go out of sight for a bit, I'll down him, say goood quietly, then disappear, reappear, and then when I get back to him I click + treat. I don't click before.

Quote: And if I click or say "YESS!" then the dog can break, because that's what I've indicated.
Now this is what I do NOT want to indicate! But in the beginning stages I am fine with this since it's all about shaping the behavior. Bonnie's right, I should only be using the clicker for forming the behavior and not for something already known. And if I click and something goes wrong during the click and my timing was off, I still must reward because I did click and I'll just have to deal with the consequences by training more and reacting faster/better.

MTAussie, how you train it is how I train it. We just need more proofing in various situations.
I can put him in a sit or down and do pushups and jumping jacks and clap my hands and walk really far away and walk back. We just need to do this more and I have to only reserve the clicker for marking completion of the desired behavior (DUH me).


Thanks everyone!
 

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Our trainer always told us "Reward in the position you want." So, if I ask Risa for a sit and she sits but as soon as I click she breaks position, I wait for her to get back in a sit (or sometimes I'm bad and I recue it) and THEN I reward her.
 

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timing timing timing timing.................

If you are rewarding the sit and want your pup to stay in the sit you need to break this down, make it easy and set him up to succeed.

So get a whole lot CLOSER to your pup, have the clicker in one hand, treat in the other, ask for the 'sit' then click/treat ALMOST at the same time. So the pup doesn't have TIME to get up. And wouldn't WANT/need to get up, cause you are right there in proximity, and the treat is right there.

Do NOT move further away at this point. You may want to start moving around you dog as this progresses so they aren't used to always being in the same location.

When we train, and make things more challenging, we only want to change one thing at a time. So if we are far away, and slow with the treats, then that's TWO 'challenges' and a smart dog WILL get up cause they are offering new behaviors cause it is not clear what we want TO THEM.

I never add any 'negatives' (like an un uh) until WAY down the line when I know they know what's going on. I do NOT use them when initially training anything. Instead I need to make it easier and clearer if they are making a mistake. Cause if they are making a mistake I am NOT training clearly and they do NOT understand and that's my fault. So I need to fix ME, and (amazingly
) the dog starts doing it right!

So I'd ask for a 'sit' then be like a machine gun with the click THEN treat, click THEN treat, click THEN treat. So fast the dog won't get up. No time.

When they are 'staying' (without the command, just realizing as they remain there they continue to get marked and rewarded) THEN only gradually start slowing down the timing with the marker/reward.

So stay close. Reward fast. And only make it 'harder' (with distance and time before click/reward) AFTER they are 'getting it'. And remember, some days they are smarter than others (just like me LOL).

BTW, lots of good hints and recommendations from others!!!! How smart are we?
 

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Originally Posted By: IliamnasQuestSo if I want a behavior to continue, I don't click or use my marker word. I may use a "keep going" word or phrase, however. For my dogs, that means I quietly praise with words like "gooood .. very nice .. you're such a wonderful girl .. ". This lets my dog know that they're doing the right thing, but that they're not to STOP doing the right thing quite yet.

Another way to continue the behavior (at least the way I train) is to give a small treat but NOT give the click/marker word. I do this with stays, for example. If my dog knows the stay and I'm working on duration/distance, I leave my dog on a stay and then I return to reward/praise but not to break them out of the stay. I use my calm praise, give a reward calmly while saying "Good sit" or "good stay" or "good down" (depends on the dog and what they're doing) and then I either walk away again (if the dog is ready for that) or I repeat the stay to emphasize that they're to continue staying and then I walk away.
That is exactly what I do too. I never mark, either verbally or with the clicker, if I want them to keep doing what they're doing. I use other words like Melanie does to indicate that they're doing good, and to keep it up.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
MRL, where I'm at with Renji is farther along that what you're writing about.
But good point- if I'm going to click, I better have the food RIGHT THERE so he doesn't have a chance to get up/move/whatever before getting the reward.

Quote:That is exactly what I do too. I never mark, either verbally or with the clicker, if I want them to keep doing what they're doing. I use other words like Melanie does to indicate that they're doing good, and to keep it up.
This is what I should be doing. Thanks!
 

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Originally Posted By: Skye'sMomOnce you've clicked for a command, you should not up the ante. You will be removing trust of the process. If you want a longer stay, etc - delay the click.

Any time you click and don't treat (as someone else said) you are removing the positive incentive. Since the click marks the exact behavior you asked for - don't click unless you have what you want.
Agree 100%. The click is the instantaneous signal that "whatever you are doing this instant" is being rewarded. When you start to alter that, you will greatly reduce the value of the clicker, confuse the dog, and reduce trust. If you screw up, then treat and move on... you can always shape YOUR behavior next time around.
 

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I believe I'm one of the few for whom a mark does NOT signal the end of a behavior. I use a lot of marker training to build behaviors or sustain them. For example, when teaching Kenya "go to mat", the end goal was her finding the mat, downing, and remaining down until instructed otherwise. I would click for her downing on the mat and toss her a treat, wait 10 seconds, click again and drop a treat for remaining on the mat, wait 10 more seconds, click again...etc. and she was to remain down until I said "come" or "OK!" (her release). I've also used a marker when teaching sits and downs out of motion. I do a fast walk with her in heel, "platz!" and if she downs that instant while I keep moving, I mark it and quickly toss her a treat, but often keep moving so she remains down, come back to her, mark and treat her again.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Lies, what do you do if you mark and just before the clicker is done clicking, your dog breaks? I still reward because it's my fault that my timing was off or, if possible, I lure Renji back into position if I can do it quickly and easily and then give the treat.
 

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Originally Posted By: DianaMLies, what do you do if you mark and just before the clicker is done clicking, your dog breaks? I still reward because it's my fault that my timing was off or, if possible, I lure Renji back into position if I can do it quickly and easily and then give the treat.
Reward, but then back up as far as what step we are on. But that would be regardless of whether I was looking for a sustained behavior.
 
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