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Old 01-31-2013, 07:19 AM   #1 (permalink)
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what type of training is best?

So my question is im getting ready to put Molson in training hes now 12 weeks old. what type of training do you like better. im going to be doing group classes but i have two school im looking at one does clicker training the other doesnt. which is better.
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Old 01-31-2013, 07:25 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Personally I prefer non clicker training, but that's just me. There are plenty of people who swear by it. I've just found not using a clicker, and going with positive praise and treats is how I work best when training my dogs (and how I get the best results out of my dogs because it works for me). Everyone will be different.
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Old 01-31-2013, 07:28 AM   #3 (permalink)
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That all depends on you and your dog. I have four dogs (2 dobes, a maltipoo/chi mix, and a dachshund.) My dobergirl responds GREAT to the clicker and its her favorite thing in the whole world. My doberboy thinks its a joke, and responds best to physical praise (petting, etc.) The little dogs prefer tiny pieces of cat food over anything else.

Personally, I would start with the class that doesn't use the clicker. You can phase the clicker in later. I use the clicker for tricks only - basic obedience is something that just needs to be there, whether you have a click or a treat for them or not.

I would train Molson with focus first, at home. He is going to really excel in puppy class if you get the focus down, or at least started. I am not sure of DT's link policy so I won't post an outside link, but if you google "teaching dog to focus" you will get some great info. I teach focus on a lead with bits of delicious food and gradually add in distractions and signals. Now I don't need signals, Bruno just seems to know when it's time to focus on me and does it very very well. I taught Bruno to focus as a 2 year old untrained rescue, so I know you can easily teach it to Molson.
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Old 01-31-2013, 07:43 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Operant conditioning is my favorite method and the clicker is a great way to teach it. I have been helping with clicker training a GSD puppy that is a show/working prospect and she has picked up on it so fast and really enjoys it. It's all about timing and once you have it down, I think the clicker is a very effective tool. You have to charge the clicker first so they know what it means. An easy way to do this is during meal time or when teaching them watch me. Not every dog will enjoy it buy with puppies you can usually start them off with it no problems. My Doberman was trained with and without a clicker and does great with both. When I get my next puppy I will definitely be doing foundation work with a clicker, it's so accurate. There is a method to it so definitely get direction from a trainer so you're doing it correctly if you choose that route.

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Old 01-31-2013, 08:53 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I agree with the others on clicker training! I wish I'd known more about it sooner, I would have used it with Elka on the get-go.

It is the thing that has worked best and most consistently with her on a wide range of behaviors, from loose leash walking to throwing her paw in the air to Testify!
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Old 01-31-2013, 09:42 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Professionally, I do not like "clicker training". I have had to re-train hundereds of dogs that were originally clicker trained only. They are usually dominate and demanding.
It can be a good tool however to add after a dog has had basic training without it first.
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Old 01-31-2013, 09:54 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I used clicker training for some specific things - like learning different specific tricks - but for regular obedience training, I did not use a clicker.
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Old 01-31-2013, 10:08 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I personally don't like clicker training, my last dobe wasn't food motivated...as I trained her without treats.
- I did take a 8 week agility course once, to learn about the hoop-law clicker method
Maybe it was just me and my dog combination, but I always felt like I needed 3 hands with perfect timing.
- and with 15 years of Industrial Engineer Motion & Time Study work (under my belt), the second constraint was not my problem

I have train every pup I've owned (3 now) with only my voice pitch, body language, love & bond building - fully communicating my expectations & house rules.
- I am a stickler for 101% supervision, to start with & solely work off-leash outside / inside pup has free reign, with no baby gates
- the initial challenge & training with some form of little/soft consquences, payed off quick enough, from my experience
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Old 01-31-2013, 10:18 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I have a clicker but I don't prefer it. I'd rather use verbal markers and body language/cues.

Specifically in agility, I already have to think about 5 things at once when running alongside my dog. I can verbally mark something easy enough. But a clicker feels clunky to me trying to use hand-eye-mental coordination just to mark one behavior...not for me. I can throw out a "YES" without thinking about it at all.
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Old 01-31-2013, 10:24 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I have a clicker but I don't prefer it. I'd rather use verbal markers and body language/cues.

Specifically in agility, I already have to think about 5 things at once when running alongside my dog. I can verbally mark something easy enough. But a clicker feels clunky to me trying to use hand-eye-mental coordination just to mark one behavior...not for me. I can throw out a "YES" without thinking about it at all.
This is pretty much how I feel about the clickers. I have one, but don't prefer it. Maybe I'm just not coordinated enough , but I do better without one, and as a result so have my dogs.
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Old 01-31-2013, 10:52 AM   #11 (permalink)
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thanks everyone, i wasnt really into the idea of clicker training, now im not sure lol i want to do agility with him later and i feel that a clicker is just an extra step. i called around to a couple of schools in my area (windsor ont) and so far they all do clicker training so i might not have a choice.
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Old 01-31-2013, 11:17 AM   #12 (permalink)
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I have a clicker but I don't prefer it. I'd rather use verbal markers and body language/cues.

Specifically in agility, I already have to think about 5 things at once when running alongside my dog. I can verbally mark something easy enough. But a clicker feels clunky to me trying to use hand-eye-mental coordination just to mark one behavior...not for me. I can throw out a "YES" without thinking about it at all.
I completely agree. I have a used a clicker, but I much prefer using a verbal marker. I am not the most coordinated person so it becomes cumbersome quickly. I would much rather put an excited Yes! to something than a click. I also like being able to put more emotion into it. I feel being able to be really excited about it adds to the value beyond just the click. I feel the more emotion/energy I can put in, the more I get from the dog.

I also have a dog who panic at the sounds of a clicker, she hates that sound. Diehard clicker fans felt value could be built in to the clicker, but I wouldn't go there. There is no way that I could use a sound that she HATES, to mark good behavior. At best she would be tolerant of the sound. She isn't norm, but I have know a couple other dog's who panic at the sound of a clicker.

Clicker training works great for some, but not so much for others. I taught a puppy agility class where everybody started out with clickers, I think all but one ended up transitioning to a verbal cue. Some people are great at using a clicker, others not so much. With both Verbal markers and clickers the trick really is in timing (as in just about anything training related). The more accurately you can mark a behavior the quicker the dog understands. If you are fumbling with a clicker you are going to miss opportunities to mark a behavior, or inadvertently mark the wrong behavior resulting in a confused dog or marking an unwanted/undesirable behavior.

I think everyone should try clicker training at some point, specifically shaping different tricks, as it helps the handler become better at determining criteria and marking for the desired behavior. Not that you have to stick with it, but try it a little.
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Old 01-31-2013, 01:17 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leeryofyou View Post
Professionally, I do not like "clicker training". I have had to re-train hundereds of dogs that were originally clicker trained only. They are usually dominate and demanding.
It can be a good tool however to add after a dog has had basic training without it first.
I think some people, when training at home, get "positive" and "permissive" confused, and can end up with dominant and demanding dogs. Or the dogs are dispositionally more like that. Personally, I don't feel a clicker causes this, perhaps just exacerbates it?
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Old 01-31-2013, 01:25 PM   #14 (permalink)
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"Clicker" training doesn't necessarily require you to use a clicker. A more accurate description is "marker" training in which you can use a clicker to "mark" correct responses, or you can use a word (like "Yes!") instead. I personally prefer marker training (and I do use both a clicker and marker word). I find that the fastest learning and progression happens with the actual clicker, but it's not for everyone. The most important thing to me is that I'm using positive reinforcement to teach my dog what I want him to do.

OP, if you are looking for a good trainer, this list is a great starting point: Search for Professionals With a puppy, I'd avoid any class that is using corrections for teaching.
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Old 01-31-2013, 01:28 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I think some people, when training at home, get "positive" and "permissive" confused, and can end up with dominant and demanding dogs. Or the dogs are dispositionally more like that. Personally, I don't feel a clicker causes this, perhaps just exacerbates it?

Not every method is effective in everyone's hands or with every dog. I have good timing and a clicker has not jacked up or inhibited Prime. It has not affected his agility training at all(i dont use a clicker for agility). He actually lights up and gets excited about it. He gets excited about e collars too though. I just have a very motivated dog that enjoys working for me.
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Old 01-31-2013, 01:53 PM   #16 (permalink)
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You don't *have* to use a clicker to clicker train lol, its just a way of marking correct behaviours.... Same as how dolphin trainers use whistles. I taught everything to my dog initially using a reward marker, sometimes a clicker, sometimes a verbal marker, but the theory behind it is all the same. She does agility and competitive obedience. Oh and most of my students dogs are marker trained, and they are most certainly not naughty. Positive is NOT permissive.
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Old 01-31-2013, 02:09 PM   #17 (permalink)
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My mistake I guess. I thought the OP was asking specifically about training with a clicker since they called out the clicker specifically in their post. Not just marker training in general.

Quote:
Originally Posted by molson_girl View Post
So my question is im getting ready to put Molson in training hes now 12 weeks old. what type of training do you like better. im going to be doing group classes but i have two school im looking at one does clicker training the other doesnt. which is better.
OP - If you mean to ask about marker training, I like it and I find it insanely useful in agility and obedience. I do not use a clicker though because I like my hands entirely free for signaling and my eye-hand coordination isn't nearly as fast as my mouth for marking something. I also use a lot of body movement and motion to communicate to my dogs what I'm asking.
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Old 01-31-2013, 02:50 PM   #18 (permalink)
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To me clicker training and marker training are one in the same. There are some classes here who advertise clicker training, but actually tend to use a marker word more in class settings just because there are so many dogs at once trying to learn.

As to which class the OP should take, for me it would depend on what methods the other class was using alternatively. Is it a non-food class taught with dominance and fear based methods? Is it a fun class that rewards the dog but just without the use of a clicker? Is it a class that starts puppies out on choke chains and is ready to correct before actually teaching? There are many different methods out there.

As far as what training method is best: That depends on the owner and the dog. There are lots of different methods out there. Personally, I love marker training. Shaping is a lot of fun inparticular, and for that, I find the clicker works best. The dog thinks and decides for itself what behaviour gets the reward, and thus, IME, learns faster. Shaping also provides the chance to teach tricks that would otherwise be much more difficult if you were trying to lure, but shaping isn't for everyone (takes some patience and a passion for training). Either way, whether I'm shaping or luring, I marker train. I find that if I'm teaching something where I don't have to focus too much or hold a leash or anything, the clicker is my 'go to' tool. In other circumstances where I do have to focus more/hold a leash/don't have a clicker with me and want to teach something, a "yes!" works as well. I find that when I use "yes!" instead, the dog is more excited, but their learning rate slows just a tad. No matter how I try to time my "yes!", for me, the clicker is always more accurate and consistent. That said, both work just fine for me. And even while I'm using a clicker, I still praise my dog with a "yes! Great job!" or "excellent!!" or something. Not really on purpose, but I just can't train a dog and keep my mouth shut haha.

As someone who prefers positive training methods: I am not completely against the use of correction. Some positive trainers are, but I've lived with a lot of dogs, and honestly I can't imagine trying to train a couple of them at least without a correction at some point in their lives. So sometimes I believe dogs do need correction, and this is dog dependent on what the correction would be. But I will not correct until my dog knows a behaviour 100% and I can see that they're just being jerky about it. I also prefer to set my dog up for success whenever I can. And like I said, I wouldn't go to a class who was all or mostly about corrective methods before building a good positive foundation. A good friend of ours once said something several years back when we first met her along the line of "The dog was so good, I had to set him up for failure just in case he ever decided to counter surf himself. Better to have him know now that it's wrong than to wait for it to happen". That is something that's stuck in my head since I met her, and while I love her, her training methods and mine do not mesh. I just don't understand the mindset of setting a dog up for failure rather than setting a dog up to be successful.

Basically, I approach dog training how I myself want to go through life. I don't want to constantly be nagged and told I'm doing something wrong and to do it better without anyone actually showing me what to do. I don't want to play guessing games, and I don't want my dog to feel like she's playing a guessing game either. Instead, I want to be told when I'm doing a good job, be let known when I'm doing something wrong, but shown how to do it better in an educational way. And that is how I choose my dog classes. Whether they use marker/clicker training or not, I want a class that is going to support dogs and set them up for success and give them a paycheque when they're doing something right. You can train positively and successfully with or without a marker. I just would not go to a class who did not use food or was quick to correct.

I grew up learning how to train dogs in what I consider to be a relatively positive manner. They were lured into behaviours initially, rewarded with treats/praise/play when they did it right, were told throughout their lives when they were doing a good job, etc. No clickers or marker words were used (or not purposefully that I can remember), but it was still an effective method. The dogs knew behaviours, listened when told, etc. This is the method I find many dog classes around here tend to use still. I do think my dogs growing up were told they were doing wrong too much, and that's still something I watch myself with (old habits are hard to break), but still, whether you use a clicker or not, you can train positively and effectively. I just find a clicker gets faster results, so that's what I opt for. Especially for puppies who are little sponges!

Anyway, hopefully some of that makes sense! I tend to ramble sometimes haha. It makes sense in my head, but sometimes it's hard to convey in type.

Also, to whomever said that clicker/marker training causes behavioural problems, simply put: no, it does not. Marking a behaviour when teaching a specific trick/command/whatever you want to call it is ALL a clicker or a "yes!" does. Marker training does not create ill behaved dogs with no manners. That depends on what a person tolerates IMO. Just because I train in a positive manner and prefer to immediately mark a behaviour for better success and a faster learning rate, does not mean that my dogs are running wild and rampant and behaving poorly in every day life. My dogs are very well mannered, wonderful in the house, and well trained. They listen to me with or without a cookie, because I have expectations. The fact that they are marker trained has not negatively influenced them at all. It's a HUGE pet peeve of mine when I see people try to blame positive training and clicker training for some peoples' dogs' behaviour problems. I agree with those that have said positive does not equal permissive.
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Old 01-31-2013, 02:56 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tollers-n-Dobes View Post
To me clicker training and marker training are one in the same. There are some classes here who advertise clicker training, but actually tend to use a marker word more in class settings just because there are so many dogs at once trying to learn.

As to which class the OP should take, for me it would depend on what methods the other class was using alternatively. Is it a non-food class taught with dominance and fear based methods? Is it a fun class that rewards the dog but just without the use of a clicker? Is it a class that starts puppies out on choke chains and is ready to correct before actually teaching? There are many different methods out there.

As far as what training method is best: That depends on the owner and the dog. There are lots of different methods out there. Personally, I love marker training. Shaping is a lot of fun inparticular, and for that, I find the clicker works best. The dog thinks and decides for itself what behaviour gets the reward, and thus, IME, learns faster. Shaping also provides the chance to teach tricks that would otherwise be much more difficult if you were trying to lure, but shaping isn't for everyone (takes some patience and a passion for training). Either way, whether I'm shaping or luring, I marker train. I find that if I'm teaching something where I don't have to focus too much or hold a leash or anything, the clicker is my 'go to' tool. In other circumstances where I do have to focus more/hold a leash/don't have a clicker with me and want to teach something, a "yes!" works as well. I find that when I use "yes!" instead, the dog is more excited, but their learning rate slows just a tad. No matter how I try to time my "yes!", for me, the clicker is always more accurate and consistent. That said, both work just fine for me. And even while I'm using a clicker, I still praise my dog with a "yes! Great job!" or "excellent!!" or something. Not really on purpose, but I just can't train a dog and keep my mouth shut haha.

As someone who prefers positive training methods: I am not completely against the use of correction. Some positive trainers are, but I've lived with a lot of dogs, and honestly I can't imagine trying to train a couple of them at least without a correction at some point in their lives. So sometimes I believe dogs do need correction, and this is dog dependent on what the correction would be. But I will not correct until my dog knows a behaviour 100% and I can see that they're just being jerky about it. I also prefer to set my dog up for success whenever I can. And like I said, I wouldn't go to a class who was all or mostly about corrective methods before building a good positive foundation. A good friend of ours once said something several years back when we first met her along the line of "The dog was so good, I had to set him up for failure just in case he ever decided to counter surf himself. Better to have him know now that it's wrong than to wait for it to happen". That is something that's stuck in my head since I met her, and while I love her, her training methods and mine do not mesh. I just don't understand the mindset of setting a dog up for failure rather than setting a dog up to be successful.

Basically, I approach dog training how I myself want to go through life. I don't want to constantly be nagged and told I'm doing something wrong and to do it better without anyone actually showing me what to do. I don't want to play guessing games, and I don't want my dog to feel like she's playing a guessing game either. Instead, I want to be told when I'm doing a good job, be let known when I'm doing something wrong, but shown how to do it better in an educational way. And that is how I choose my dog classes. Whether they use marker/clicker training or not, I want a class that is going to support dogs and set them up for success and give them a paycheque when they're doing something right. You can train positively and successfully with or without a marker. I just would not go to a class who did not use food or was quick to correct.

I grew up learning how to train dogs in what I consider to be a relatively positive manner. They were lured into behaviours initially, rewarded with treats/praise/play when they did it right, were told throughout their lives when they were doing a good job, etc. No clickers or marker words were used (or not purposefully that I can remember), but it was still an effective method. The dogs knew behaviours, listened when told, etc. This is the method I find many dog classes around here tend to use still. I do think my dogs growing up were told they were doing wrong too much, and that's still something I watch myself with (old habits are hard to break), but still, whether you use a clicker or not, you can train positively and effectively. I just find a clicker gets faster results, so that's what I opt for. Especially for puppies who are little sponges!

Anyway, hopefully some of that makes sense! I tend to ramble sometimes haha. It makes sense in my head, but sometimes it's hard to convey in type.

Also, to whomever said that clicker/marker training causes behavioural problems, simply put: no, it does not. Marking a behaviour when teaching a specific trick/command/whatever you want to call it is ALL a clicker or a "yes!" does. Marker training does not create ill behaved dogs with no manners. That depends on what a person tolerates IMO. Just because I train in a positive manner and prefer to immediately mark a behaviour for better success and a faster learning rate, does not mean that my dogs are running wild and rampant and behaving poorly in every day life. My dogs are very well mannered, wonderful in the house, and well trained. They listen to me with or without a cookie, because I have expectations. The fact that they are marker trained has not negatively influenced them at all. It's a HUGE pet peeve of mine when I see people try to blame positive training and clicker training for some peoples' dogs' behaviour problems. I agree with those that have said positive does not equal permissive.
Would thank this post multiple times if I could. Thanks for taking the time to write such a thoughtful response. I agree with you 100%.
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Old 01-31-2013, 03:25 PM   #20 (permalink)
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I agree with the clicker being used as a marker explanations. That's exactly how I use it. When I'm not using the clicker, my continuation/duration marker is "good". I use Dave Kroyer's method, he calls the clicker a moment marker and I do not put a command to a behavior until it is learned:

http://www.vangoghkennels.com/pb-htd...el%20proof.pdf
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Old 01-31-2013, 03:48 PM   #21 (permalink)
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I don't use the clicker (as I said, just for me personally I find it a bit "too much" ie I'm not coordinated enough), but I do use a verbal marker ("yes" is mine, I just find it comes naturally for me to verbally mark my dogs behavior). I'm in no way knocking clickers, they just don't work for me. I find I'm much more efficient when training if I use a verbal marker instead (I also like my hands totally free for signalling my dogs, which is another reason I prefer this).

Everybody will be different, it's all about finding what works best for you and what methof you are most comfortable with. You can't bring out the best in your dog if you yourself are struggling with a training method. I hope this makes sense, it did in my head lol.

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Old 01-31-2013, 03:49 PM   #22 (permalink)
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MeadowCat post is 100% correct:
Tollers-n-Dobes knowledge recap and understanding of canine training results is A+ IMPO...I really enjoyed the read.

Here is my PROBLEM, with many DT (what if/advice) training posts- what is the best ??
- following question answered, may shape the better or best training method of choice.
OP - what are your GOALS a) or b) ??

a)
- family wants a puppy that - is quickly potty trained...and stops pissing & shitting, in the house
- family wants a puppy that - doesn't run onto the paved road, and gets hit by a vehicle
- family wants a puppy that - doesn't chew the leather couch, pillows or wood coffee tables
- family wants a puppy that - doesn't wreck stuffies ASAP
- family wants a puppy that - a blanket sucker
- family wants a puppy that - can be left alone without SA &/or destruction
- family wants a puppy that - doesn't digest foreign material and gets on Vet's death row $$$
- family wants a puppy that - doesn't need baby gates, but respects its home freedoms
- family wants a puppy that - can protect a family member, if need be
- family wants a puppy that - listens to its master(s) and not fear biting another dog plus good around children
etc./etc.

b)
- family wants a puppy that - I want to train for title competition, once grown up (regardless of specific venue)
[but a good early fundamental a) should help the b) goal]

^^^^ IMO, voice markers beats baite, hands down (but I am a clicker-treat failure...lol)...one method of training, never beats blended skills.
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Old 01-31-2013, 04:18 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shell81 View Post
I don't use the clicker (as I said, just for me personally I find it a bit "too much" ie I'm not coordinated enough), but I do use a verbal marker ("yes" is mine, I just find it comes naturally for me to verbally mark my dogs behavior). I'm in no way knocking clickers, they just don't work for me. I find I'm much more efficient when training if I use a verbal marker instead (I also like my hands totally free for signalling my dogs, which is another reason I prefer this).

Everybody will be different, it's all about finding what works best for you and what methof you are most comfortable with. You can't bring out the best in your dog if you yourself are struggling with a training method. I hope this makes sense, it did in my head lol.

Yes is my release word. I click when the dog is thinking and doing what I want, or working on getting it right. It's so useful in operant conditioning and really makes especially teaching a trick easy and fun because you get to watch their motors turn and figure out what you want. When I am heeling with prime I will click as he is giving the correct behavior and then release him with a "Yes!" when we are done working the exercise. So the pattern is "Heel!.....click....click.....click.....Yes! (reward play with a tug and lots of verbal praise)" when I'm not using the clicker it is: "Heel!....good....good boy...good....gooood dog...."Yes!"


I was totally clumsy with the clicker when I first started but now I think it's awesome since seeing the fast responses I can get with it. I don't think you're knocking the clicker, you are right, do what works for you!
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Old 01-31-2013, 04:38 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZeldaRules View Post
Yes is my release word. I click when the dog is thinking and doing what I want, or working on getting it right. It's so useful in operant conditioning and really makes especially teaching a trick easy and fun because you get to watch their motors turn and figure out what you want. When I am heeling with prime I will click as he is giving the correct behavior and then release him with a "Yes!" when we are done working the exercise. So the pattern is "Heel!.....click....click.....click.....Yes! (reward play with a tug and lots of verbal praise)" when I'm not using the clicker it is: "Heel!....good....good boy...good....gooood dog...."Yes!"


I was totally clumsy with the clicker when I first started but now I think it's awesome since seeing the fast responses I can get with it. I don't think you're knocking the clicker, you are right, do what works for you!
That's funny, we are opposites in that "good" is my release word lol (usually it's more drawn out like gooood). It definitely works for Bruce.

Just a little side story, today we went to PetSmart to wander around a bit (and get a new bully stick), as it's really cold/windy here today. They had a basic obedience class going, and they were walking the store. Bruce sat beside me as they went past and waited nicely while they all tugged and tried to get to him. The trainer said "oh he must have had lots of classes". I said "actually not yet, he's 18 weeks, and all his training so far is just from me", she was floored at how responsive, and attentive this puppy was around all the excitable dogs, and strange people. I was pretty proud of my boy. We are starting classes soon as I think they are important, but I'm happy with his progress so far. Sorry to ramble, just had to share that, and since we were already talking training...lol
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Old 02-01-2013, 04:23 PM   #25 (permalink)
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I use marker trainer and have since about 2001 I think, maybe 2002. Love it, swear by it, you can teach anything with it. I have a 5 month old Vizsla puppy in a CGC/basic manner class with young adults and she's doing everything they are so far.

I find telling the dog what to do works quicker and more effectively than any other training.
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