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I went to a workshop yesterday about clicker training. I hit a plateau with Chase's training, went to a trainer who specializes in Shutzhund and police work but his methods were a little too harsh for him. I picked up a lot of great info, but I will not be leash correcting Chase the amount of times he wanted me to.

So, I was still stuck and noticed this workshop. It was as if Chase suddenly knew the English Language! I was so surprised what a little clicker can do. He is now really stepping up the pace in his training! He did develop a habit of throwing behaviours at me, for instance I would ask him to heel, turn a corner, then sit, stay. Instead of sitting nicely he would throw his body to the ground, roll over, play dead :screama: But that has gone down dramatically when i added some corrections (a 'no', or pressure on the leash).

My question is: How do you wean your dog off of rewarding constantly (I want to do OB and rally) and to keep their eyes on you? I can see Chase realizing there is no click, so no treat, and just wonder off.
 

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e-collar at low levels for lack of focus. Once I switched over from verbal break commands to clicker I noticed an improvement in focus. I can go long periods with good focus, with no clicker marking but she knows there is a consequence for drifting or sight seeing. That is something that had to be taught as well (how to turn off the e-collar stimulation). That was done by using it in conjunction with the leash corrections and then eliminating the leash corrections once she got it.
 

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e-collar at low levels for lack of focus. Once I switched over from verbal break commands to clicker I noticed an improvement in focus. I can go long periods with good focus, with no clicker marking but she knows there is a consequence for drifting or sight seeing. That is something that had to be taught as well (how to turn off the e-collar stimulation). That was done by using it in conjunction with the leash corrections and then eliminating the leash corrections once she got it.
I have no problems with e collars, but Chase was kept in a back yard with no fencing all day and all night. They used an e collar to keep him within the property limits. He shuts down as soon as you use the slightest vibration or even the beep, because he has learned that if he stood still, it will not zap him.

I could use the e collar, but I would have to retrain his thoughts about the e collar, and that could take months.
 

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The trainer I work with says, after he knows what the clicker/treat business is all about, and is consistantly doing what he's told, keep clicking, but no treat every few times. Gradually, phase out the treat, and the click itself becomes the reward. Then, start eliminating the click, substituting just verbal praise. Then, clicking and treating become random rewards, just enough to keep them going "Hmm, what will my reward be this time?".

As for keeping him watching you, I've seen lots of trainers spitting the treat to the dog. I've tried it, and either my aim is lousy, or else Ilka can't catch worth a darn. If you try that, I would advise only using a treat you, yourself, would want to eat. We don't use her favorite freeze-dried liver when we try that, let me tell ya'. :)
 
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I have no problems with e collars, but Chase was kept in a back yard with no fencing all day and all night. They used an e collar to keep him within the property limits. He shuts down as soon as you use the slightest vibration or even the beep, because he has learned that if he stood still, it will not zap him.

I could use the e collar, but I would have to retrain his thoughts about the e collar, and that could take months.
People suck. In your case I would not use one either. Small leash corrections then for looking away. My thought is however that you are probably moving forward too fast. I would back up and just work on the focus. When I switched to the clicker and ecollar I also switched to fixed point focus. If he has any prey drive whatsoever you could use a ball or tug under the arm and use that some of the time as the reward. I don't like the taste of dog treats and was never very effective spitting them either. With the release of the ball or tug Cairo started catching it almost immediately.
 

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I've seen lots of trainers spitting the treat to the dog. I've tried it, and either my aim is lousy, or else Ilka can't catch worth a darn. If you try that, I would advise only using a treat you, yourself, would want to eat. We don't use her favorite freeze-dried liver when we try that, let me tell ya'. :)
No, you have to use ROASTED liver! Freeze dried liver sticks to your tongue and lips, and is impossible to spit LOL!
 

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I have no problems with e collars, but Chase was kept in a back yard with no fencing all day and all night. They used an e collar to keep him within the property limits. He shuts down as soon as you use the slightest vibration or even the beep, because he has learned that if he stood still, it will not zap him.

I could use the e collar, but I would have to retrain his thoughts about the e collar, and that could take months.
I am not really qualified to offer this opinion... if it sucks, feel free to send cyber raspberries.

The vibration and beep both predict (I am guessing) a painful correction. I am not sure that you could not re-introduce correction at a very low level (the level he first indicates he feels at all), as long as you do not use either a warning tone or vibration. If you have tried a tap with a very low level stim without any warning and it still freezes him... then, never mind!
 

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I would buy the tiny BAD CUZ, and hide it in my pocket..the squeeerk is very loud.
Also get a large one, for house play...in red / dobe will get excited about the noise and texture of fun toy.
When doing OB, right hand in your pocket to activate the small Bad Cuz and re-establish eye contact...followed by a loving hand touch.

http://www.heartypet.com/p-1893-jw-...e=nextag&utm_medium=cse&utm_term=618940431701
The Bad Cuz Squeak Ball Dog Toy - is a rubber ball with feet and horns, and it squeaks too! The dogs just love to chase and fetch this bouncing, walking and squeaking ball! It is made of durable natural rubber and is certified non-toxic.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I am not really qualified to offer this opinion... if it sucks, feel free to send cyber raspberries.

The vibration and beep both predict (I am guessing) a painful correction. I am not sure that you could not re-introduce correction at a very low level (the level he first indicates he feels at all), as long as you do not use either a warning tone or vibration. If you have tried a tap with a very low level stim without any warning and it still freezes him... then, never mind!
Yes, I have tried this, and I have also tried retraining him to think a beep, vibe, or low stim will give him a treat. I have also tried hiding the collar with a bandanna, so he doesnt anticipate being stimulated, or given a beep. He automatically tucks his nub, shakes, lays down, avoids eye contact, and refuses treats. I tried for a few weeks, using baby steps, he would spend a day wearing the collar turned off, his entire attitude changed, the entire day he would be skittish, and would lay down at any given chance.

I think ill try the treat in the mouth thing, first time ive heard of it, and im sure passersby will be doing double takes when im practicing at the park :roflmao:
 

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You wean the dog off the treats by rewarding every other success. Once he's got it absolutely right, miss out the treat and the click (Do not click with no treat!!!) once, then reward the next one. Then miss out one, then reward the next one. If he can deal with this without going off and sulking, then start to vary your pattern, maybe miss out two, and reward the next three. You end up with a gambler dog lol, he should always be guessing "will I get a treat this time"
 

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Yuck. Liver is liver. The only way I'll eat the stuff is if it's made into liverwurst. Come to think of it, maybe Ilka would like that, also. The trouble with popping food like that is that she really sucks at catching it. :)

As for weaning off the treats and clicker, we mix up the rewards. Sometimes her reward is a "Good", sometimes a click, sometimes a treat, sometimes a combination of any or all of them. When trying something new, we go back to click and treat for each correct performance.
 
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So how long have you been doing the clicker training for now? Once he has the behaviours down, you start weening off.... We did clicker training when Scarlet was puppy, and it worked well. Basically you just slow down the rate of treat rewards... So for instance, if I am teaching heeling, I would reward every couple of steps for a few days... then every 5 steps for a while... Than the week after I would reward every 10 steps.. Finally turns into rewarding a couple times on the walk. I also used a marker word "Yes!!" to phase out the clicker and rewarded after every time I used the marker word also. Treat the word like a clicker, so that you can eventually phase out the clicker too....

In between phasing out the treats, you still want to give verbal praise as to keep him interested and upbeat! so I would click and reward, go a few steps "Good boy!!! good job!!" and then go a few more and click and reward... You know what I mean? Eventually you want to get to the point where there is no food or clicker, just verbal praise and encouragement. Well, for me anyways lol that was our goal..

Clicker training was great for learning behaviours, repetition and getting focus from my puppy but as she got older, the "purely positive methods" were not working... There has to be some level of correction in my opinion, and we use a choke chain for training.

E collars I have no interest in at all, and don't feel I need to use them. BUT every dog is different, their drives and thresholds, etc...... E collars should however only be used sparingly such as in an open field for recall when a dog already knows the behaviour but needs a sharp reminder.
 

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That's why I love clicker training. It's a great communication tool. I only click when I am training something new. After that I ise a verbal marker and may still reward but I only click for new behaviors.

Once a dog knows the behavior, I name it, I'm no longer clicking and I start rewarding intermittently....

I found this from Clicker solutions which describes it better
ClickerSolutions Frequently Asked Questions



Do I have to use food? Why can't I just praise my dog? Won't this mean I'll have to carry around a clicker and treats forever?
In order to increase the occurrence of a behavior -- which is what we're trying to do when we train new behaviors -- we have to reinforce the behavior. To do this, you must use a reward that the animal finds reinforcing. That reward can be food, playing with a favorite toy, a belly rub, or, yes, praise. You must find what motivates your dog to do his very best.

It's a common myth that clicker trainers don't use praise. Of course we do! I praise my dog frequently, both in and out of training. But when I'm teaching my dog a new behavior, I want him to be as motivated to get it right as I am, so I use a higher value reward, usually food, in addition to (not instead of) praise.

It's another common myth that using food in training will produce a dog that only works for food or that you'll always have to carry a clicker with you. You can prevent both of these situations.

Reward, don't bribe. If you're using a food lure, fade it quickly, then don't have the food visible when you ask for a behavior. In fact, I like to keep the food in a dish off of my body. The food or toy should be produced only after the dog has performed the behavior.

Once the behavior is on cue, and dog will offer it willingly, fade the clicker and use a verbal marker instead. A verbal marker isn't as precise as a clicker, but at this stage, the dog knows what's being reinforced. Consider the verbal marker a praise marker, letting the dog know that he did something reinforceable.

Once you switch to a verbal marker, begin varying the types of reinforcers. Give him food one time, then play with a toy, then just rub his ears and praise him. Eventually, you can rely on praise more and more often. If you find that the dog becomes frustrated when you begin using other motivators, go back to using a higher ratio of food treats and decrease the ratio of food treats more slowly in the future. You want the absence of the food to motivate the dog to try harder, not to frustrate it into quitting.
 

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Clicker training was great for learning behaviours, repetition and getting focus from my puppy but as she got older, the "purely positive methods" were not working... There has to be some level of correction in my opinion, and we use a choke chain for training.

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I'd like to just throw out that clicker training is not PURELY POSITIVE. That may be why it wasn't working. Sounds like you did find smoething that worked for you, but we all need to remember clicker is not PURELY POSITIVE. without consequences, I don't think any training method works.
 

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I'd like to just throw out that clicker training is not PURELY POSITIVE. That may be why it wasn't working. Sounds like you did find smoething that worked for you, but we all need to remember clicker is not PURELY POSITIVE. without consequences, I don't think any training method works.
Yes, I was jumbling some words lol.. Thanks, I agree... good post before hand also.

Every dog is different, we all need to find the things that our dogs will work for, and what type of training they will respond to best.
 

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I boil ck gizzards and make pumpkin/peanut butter treats for my mouth. I can barely get the smell of liver off my hands it seems much less my mouth. YUCK!
 

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I love marker training, and I think it's an excellent way to teach a dog. I took a 5 year old, completely untrained (but ridiculously well behaved, go figure lol ) dog and taught eye contact on command within minutes. This was a dog that would respond to NOTHING, literally, other than come. Wouldn't sit, lay, nothing... I think it goes to show you how powerful marking is.
 
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