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Okay so I bought one of those clickers to use on Suzy. She is regressing, sigh... What is the proper way to use the clicker? It seems she is not very fond of the sound and when I just pick up the clicker she immediately stops what she is doing. She is still pulling on the leash trying to lead me and when I use the clicker she stops pulling, its sort of shakes her back into reality so we can resume our walk. Am I using it correctly? I have never used one before but hear lots of good things from everyone here. Thanks.
 

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How can I make this a short post? There is no way to do it LOL Get a cup of coffee and a comfy chair :)

*note on treats, you want them to be small enough that you can use alot but large enough that she knows she's getting something. I can get about 45-50 treats out of one hotdog, I cut it in 1/4th length ways and then slice off about nickle thick slices from there. Dried liver, tiny bits of dried cheese, leftover chicken also work well :)

Have you "charged" Suzy to the clicker? Meaning, does she know what it means? Does she know that clicker=treat? If not, let's start there. The easiest way to do this is to take her - with the clicker and some really great treats - to a room with no distractions - I used the smallest bathroom in the house with the door shut. Put the lid down have a seat and get to work :) At first you're just going to click and then toss her a treat. You may have to do this several times but the point of this is to teach her to associate the clicker with great and wonderful things. As soon as she knows the clicker is awesome, you can move to step 2 :)

I started Chi off with games and tricks before we moved to obedience and leash work - just to really impress upon her that she controls the click and that the click always = good. Fanny packs make clicker training much easier because you can easily always have your clicker and treats on hand.

Our first excercise was 101 things to do with a box. Armed with a bowl full of hotdogs, the clicker and a medium sized box, I've taught Chi all sorts of neat things :)

Just place the box on the floor, if she noses it, steps toward it, looks at it, click and treat. It won't take long for her to realize that the box has something to do with this game. ***Must add that timing is very important, make sure you click while she is exhibiting the desired behavior and you can let her choose the behavior, don't tell her or direct her. Her figuring it out is part of the game*** Say she looks at the box and you c/t (c/t=click/treat) a few times and you know that she's got the game figured out - hold off on the next click/treat. Let her look at the box, eventually she's going to step toward it or paw it, that's when you c/t again. You're upping the ante gradually on these behaviors. Through excercises like this, I've taught Chi to pick up boxes and baskets and bring them to me - now we just have to get her to put her toys in them LOL

Another neat game is a lottery game. While working in the kitchen, I will c/t both dogs if they are in a certain spot. They only get the c/t if they are on the rug by the door. I don't say or do anything if they are anywhere else but it didn't take them long to figure out that they "might" get a c/t if they are on the rug but they certainly won't get anything if they are anywhere else.

I would suggest working on some of these excercises before you start with the leash work.
When you do start the leash work, start in the house with few or no distractions and then move to the yard before you take it on the road.

Have your clicker and treats handy, when she is where you want her to be and doing what you want her to do, c/t. When she's not, no c/t. The tree method works for some (although I will admit I finally broke now use both traditional obedience and clicker training for most of our ob work). If she's acting like a nut and pulling, just stand still, don't move an inch. As soon as there is slack in the leash, c/t and move forward. If she pulls again, repeat the tree thingy. Warning it could take you over an hour to make it around the block! But she'll catch on :)

*I've got some great links to some awesome clicker sites and lists that I will post when I get back, am on my way out the door now though :) Good luck :)
 

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Tracy said all of it. That is actually how I trained Tucker my yell lab. Suzy will learn to assoicate click and treat. It's really rewarding for the dog and you. Good Luck!!! Make it fun!!!
 

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As I was on my way to my meeting, I realized I hadn't actually answered your question. It was all I could do to not turn the car around, run in type this out and then go to the meeting late LOL

No, you are not doing it right. Not a big deal though, I think it took a bit for everyone who is involved in clicker training to figure it out :)

The clicker is used to mark the desired behavior, not to stop the undesirable behavior. Only click/treat when she is doing what you want her to do.

Funny, quick story on clicker training gone wrong. When I first brought Petri home, I decided that I'd use the clicker to potty train him. I would religiously click and treat every time he hiked his little leg. But then he'd still come in the house and pee! Then it "clicked" with me, I had taught him that he got rewards simply for lifting his leg, not for actually peeing outside. To this day, several years later, he will run outside (especially if we've been working with the clicker) hike his leg (no pee mind you) and look at me expecting a c/t!

Here are a few links:
http://www.clickersolutions.com/articles/2001b/101.htm
http://www.clickertales.com/clickintro.html
http://homepage.ntlworld.com/k.westgate/basic2.htm
 

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Hey, thanks for the site!.. i think im gonna start working with the clicker on my guys..i just need to find a clicker now LOL.
 

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Just to add my 2 cents...

A Clicker or some type of "marker" is used as a Conditioned Reinforcer. Its a signal that tells the dog that they did something right at that moment. This really comes into play when you are doing off-leash training and are not close enough to reward immediately. For example, If you have your dog in a sit position and you are about 30 feet away and you give the command to "down". The dog goes down and you walk in to reward. In the meantime, the dogs sniffs the ground, looks up at a flying bird, licks their butt and then you are close enough to give the reward. What actions does the dog interpet for getting the reward? Most lickely, it was the butt licking. Even if you are only taking a treat from your pocket and reward, the dog could do something that misses the behavior you want to reward.

So the clicker or "Marker" will tell the dog, they did it correctly and a reward is on its way. Look at it as if you are taking a snapshot at that moment of the exact behavior you want. I don't use a clicker, but my "Marker" is the word "Yes".

Getting the dog to associate the Marker with a reward for doing something correctly, you need to start small. You might want to use the "Name Game" as a way of getting "Marker" into use. With the dog, very close to you, wait until they are looking away from you. Then call their name. Once they look at you, Mark it with the clicker or word and immediately reward them. Reward everytime you do this at first for them to associate the marker with the correct behavior and the reward. After a while doing this, the association is built. Then move to some more easier commands to work with the "Marker".

Eventually, you will be able to "Mark" the wanted behavior and the dog will know this and then you can reward them and the dog will know what the reward is for when you can't reward immediately.

I hope this helps out or atleast explain the concept.


 

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That simple "name game" also helps later when you're teaching the dog to look at and pay attention to you during obedience excercises :)

Many people wonder why you can't just say "good boy" or use some sort of verbal praise as the marker. You can - people have done it for years - the difference between your voice and the clicker is the speed and lack of emotion. It is always the same sounds, always the same volume whether you're having a bad day or not - your voice on the other hand reflects your moods and emotions and is not consistent like the clicker.
 

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Well I found out that good boy is a little long and the tone has alot to do with it. Another thing with good boy, is that is so common to say in many situations that it holds no value. I find that is a good word for encouragement for doing recalls. While they are coming to you, it provideds the encouragement to continue coming to you Thats why "Yes" worked so well with our training...very short and easily duplicate with no change of emotion.
 

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Very interesting information, I may do the clicker training with Nash, and start it with Da'Kari too, she is ob trained already so do you think changing over to the clicker would be ok?

Now if I can find the clickers LOL, there are two here somewhere because I got them one day thinking I may go with it and then decided to just continue the old fashion way. But ya'll sure make it sound great.
 

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Yes, you can switch Da'Kari over to clicker training. It may take her a little longer to figure out "the game" of it though. When we train with traditional obedience methods, we tell the dog what to do, we show them or physically force them to comply - which makes for little "thinking" on the dogs part. On the other hand, the clicker trained dogs have to "think" a lot. She'll catch on quick enough though and y'all will have a blast with it!
I have to say, although clicker training takes an infinite amount of patience and some creativity, it is a lot of fun for dog and owner alike.
 

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I dont know if anyone told you this but one thing you should try when you eventually get to the loose lesh walking is if he/she is not giving you the wanted out come take a few steps backward about 5 to 10 steps. Moving backwards away from a desired object will get the point acrossed.
 

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I have a question for everyone. I started to work Jax with the clicker but my JRT is TERRIFIED of the clicker noise. She will find a corner and just sit there and shake the whole time I work with Jax, which was only for very brief periods as I was just starting. Any ideas? Should I try bringing my JRT around to the clicker by clicking and treating? Or is this an inherent fear of these silly terriers? :cwmddd:
 

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I have a question for everyone. I started to work Jax with the clicker but my JRT is TERRIFIED of the clicker noise. She will find a corner and just sit there and shake the whole time I work with Jax, which was only for very brief periods as I was just starting. Any ideas? Should I try bringing my JRT around to the clicker by clicking and treating? Or is this an inherent fear of these silly terriers? :cwmddd:
I would put Jax away for a while and work with your JRT. I think I would start with just clicking and treating..... It would go something like this:

click, JRT hides in corner, throw REALLY YUMMY treat about a foot from JRT.

When JRT eats treat, click again and throw treat again (this time a little closer to you). Follow these steps until you can click and JRT starts looking to you for a treat.


It could take a while. If you find that your terrier won't calm down you can try to muffle your clicker with tape, or try using a snapple lid it makes a pop instead of a click but it is softer and some dogs don't find it as scary.
 

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Many people start with the very faint click of a ballpoint pen. A sensitive animal can hear that just fine. Then work up very gradually with noise level by having the clicker in your pocket when you click or taping the clicker. Taping the clicker works well - you can then use less tape little by little. I would not force your little dog to endure the loud click at first - even if giving food. I think it is too much for a dog that is sensitive to the noise. BTW, be sure to put your Terrier in the bedroom with a nice chew toy while you are training until you get him used to the loud clicker. Good luck and keep us posted!
 

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Thanks Tricia! What a great idea- taping the clicker. I had abandoned clicker taining because Boris was so sensitive to the sound. But I'll try it this way!
 
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