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So when I first got Rocko we used a clicker. He learned quickly and showed a lot of confidence. When I started training with my current mentor I stopped using a clicker but stayed using positive methods and utilizing operant conditioning. We replaced the click with YES.

My question for people who use a clicker is do you use a bridge term. What I mean by that is I use Yes as my marker and I use Good as a bridge. So in my training:

Yes=your doing what I want, your reward is available
Good=your doing what I want, keep doing it
No=your not giving the desired behavior keep trying(no punishment is associated with this word, it is used primarily in shaping a desired behavior)
Stop=Your knowingly not doing what i asked and your punishment is being applied

I believe the technical term for good as is used in my training is a"tertiary conditioned positive reinforcer". I guess the reason I am asking is, when I see people who use a clicker in training, How do you build a complex behavior, without a command unless you click/treat for every motion of the exercise. I think any positive training method is great and am huge advocate of the practice of them.

Not wanting a War of methods just some people familiar with them to give me some feedback. I'm simply trying to learn more,Thanks!
 

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sufferin succotash
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ok, I'll try to explain this so it makes sense over the interweb.

I did replace "Yes" as my marker, instead of the clicker. However, I don't use "no reward markers" if the behavior I want isn't achieved and to keep training simple. You perform the action I want, the behavior is rewarded with a click or a Yes. Telling the dog he's doing something wrong leaves the door open for confusion, IMO.

This might explain it better: "NRMs" No Reward Markers | Karen Pryor Clickertraining
 

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Thanks S&M Mom for the reply:

That was a great article on the use of a NRM. I do realize with some dogs it could cause a huge conflict if it is perceived with a negative association.

To elaborate on some things on my mind:

One thing about training a dog in positive methods is(to me at least) it is a very drawn out method. To load the marker, to shape behaviors, to reinforce behaviors that have been shaped, ect.. To do so with out a NRM would even compound this. I guess it will vary dependant upon the individual dog. Some dogs may need to progress slow. Some may take to the method rather fast and may accept the NRM. Some dogs may be so for the lack of a better word "soft" they have to be trained in a only positive way the whole stretch. I have a very SOFT dog but he understands the NRM and has no issue with it. He know it is just me communicating he is not doing what I desire, try again? I can see how this would be an issue with some dogs though.

The real point of this discussion I suppose is their are varying types or levels of Positive training. I feel the only way to train a dog so they will actively and willingly want to do the work is in a positive manner. Secondly I feel that to build a relationship with a dog the relationship needs to be built upon fair and constant training. But there are many people who are very successful in many different dog venues who train in different spectrums of this "positive" category.I just really enjoy intelligent conversations about the differences between training methods within the positive training clique.


Also the NRM is the equivalent to my NO, The term I am curious about with people who train under these methods is GOOD. But again you brought up a very good topic so thanks again.
 

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If Elka is offering behaviors, but not quite there (i.e., we're not doing a shaping session, so it's something she's done correctly before and I want her to repeat), I'll say "Almost" and "Try again!", which is similar to your "Good", I think. As an example, We want her to say "out" when she wants to go out. So, if she kind of makes a growly woofy noise, I'll say "almost, try again", although "tell me what you need" is the cue. Which, when explaining it, sounds like I'm expecting too much, and maybe I am, but maybe not, because we've been pretty successful with that specific behavior.

Also, because Elka is a "crossover" dog instead of a straight up clicker dog, she does need that bit of encouragement when she's halfway there, so as not to give up. When I up the criteria on something, if I say "almost" and "try again", instead of dropping back, that will frequently be enough for her to continue instead of laying down and staring at me.
 

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Good Gracious, Gracie!
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Yes = You did it and are released from doing it. Followed by goodie.

Good = You're doing it and, if you keep doing it, you're going to hear "yes" and get your goodie.
 

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Yes = You did it and are released from doing it. Followed by goodie.

Good = You're doing it and, if you keep doing it, you're going to hear "yes" and get your goodie.
This is exactly how it works with me. The thing I'm getting at with this subject is if you don't have a marker to let the dog know they are doing what you want and to keep going. How can you build a complex behavior or routine.

So in the simplest explanation I can think of, If I wanted to make my dog sit, and then down. I would say Sit(dog sits) Good, Down(dog downs) Yes, and reward is given. This being the simplest form of using the term. I now use it to link together the different behaviors that make up a complex routine(the BH). So it is evolving into a exercise that goes through multiple behaviors (heeling, sits, downs, recall, sit/down in motion, pace changes while heeling and so on). Now we are far from doing the whole exercise as one routine but the goal is to have the whole routine in the end to be one big exercise. So that is my current training goal and what behaviors I am trying to build into one routine. My question is if your training a routine or series of behaviors how to you bring them together.

Thanks for all the input everyone.
 

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I use both a clicker and a marker word, "Yes!" interchangeably. However, I do find I get more precise and faster results with the clicker. There's some good research out there about the sound of the clicker really penetrating into the brain. It's more precise than even a quick, "Yes!" My preference is to always use the clicker, but sometimes it's not handy. Shanoa knows that "Yes!" is the same.

I do not use a bridge. The clicker and the marker word are so well established with her that she understands the treat is coming, regardless of delay. Last night I gave her a "Yes!" and was really fumbling to get the treat, so there was probably at least a 30 second delay. She waited patiently but expectantly!

I use straight praise like "good dog" when she's doing something I like but I will not be rewarding; for example, once she really gets a command and we're reducing the reinforcements, we will praise rather than click or "Yes!" She understands that means she was correct, but does not expect a reward for it.

I think once your individual behaviors are very trained and you are no longer on a constant reinforcement schedule you should be able to start chaining behaviors together without constant rewards for each part of the chain.

Hopefully more experienced clicker trainers will chime in. PM Adara if she doesn't see this thread!
 
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sufferin succotash
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yes, Adara is the clicker queen LOL

I can only speak to the experiences and training with Sam. Throughout his various OB classes, our marker was "yes". We did not verbalize any behaviors we didn't want. This helped unwanted behaviors/actions become extinct faster. For example, when working on "front" and "finish" each step was broken down into smaller tasks, using "yes" for every correct action. If Sam had a "front" that wasn't toe to toe with me, he wasn't given a "yes" for correctly completing the exercise. I didn't verbalize an incorrect "front", only a good one. After several repetitions, it didn't take him long to realize what he needed to do as his marker (and yummy treat) was steadily forthcoming.

Hope this makes sense and I'm not rambling LOL
 

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This is exactly how it works with me. The thing I'm getting at with this subject is if you don't have a marker to let the dog know they are doing what you want and to keep going. How can you build a complex behavior or routine.

So in the simplest explanation I can think of, If I wanted to make my dog sit, and then down. I would say Sit(dog sits) Good, Down(dog downs) Yes, and reward is given. This being the simplest form of using the term. I now use it to link together the different behaviors that make up a complex routine(the BH). So it is evolving into a exercise that goes through multiple behaviors (heeling, sits, downs, recall, sit/down in motion, pace changes while heeling and so on). Now we are far from doing the whole exercise as one routine but the goal is to have the whole routine in the end to be one big exercise. So that is my current training goal and what behaviors I am trying to build into one routine. My question is if your training a routine or series of behaviors how to you bring them together.

Thanks for all the input everyone.

Easy to explain, difficust to do. BASIC position!! Attention to you, eye contact in the begining then the dog focused on you. That attention is the link between exercises and is the most important thing in our sport. Every exercise begins and ends with "FOOS!!!" you have that attention, you are halfway there..
 

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This is exactly how it works with me. The thing I'm getting at with this subject is if you don't have a marker to let the dog know they are doing what you want and to keep going. How can you build a complex behavior or routine.
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Can you give an example? My first instinct is to say I'd break it down into pieces and slowly extend duration.

Oops I should read more first before posting. By the time I'm doing more than one behavior, the dogs are way past knowing what the behavior is and do not need a reward after every single "jump" or sit, etc. I'd start this like in agility but doing jump jump, reward. jump jump jump reward. I only use the clicker to teach a new behavior. Does that make sense?
 

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Adara that makes plenty sense and is what I am doing. I just find using a marker whatever it may be in-between to let them know to keep going helps so much. It especially helps with a dog who is on the timid/soft side. I also am the same in that the basic behaviors I know he has a full understanding will not get a yes, they will get a "good" and be left at that. Really the stuff I'm talking about it when shaping and building a behavior. Good does just as you mentioned in helps with duration. I think it also helps the dog to understand more. I feel like if given the time, I can get Rocko to understand most anything within his ability.

RCM, not quite sure what you were getting at in your post?

As a side note I'm not seeking advice I'm very confident in the method I use and have no problems with it. I however am very curious at the methods others use and what results they see. It's also important to realize that results with different methods will vary depending on the individual dog. That is what sparks my interest in peoples methods.


Thanks for the input.
 
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As a side note I'm not seeking advice I'm very confident in the method I use and have no problems with it. I however am very curious at the methods others use and what results they see. It's also important to realize that results with different methods will vary depending on the individual dog. That is what sparks my interest in peoples methods.


Thanks for the input.
I love talking "dog" - I find I learn something most of the time even if I already like my methods. I have been using YES when my dogs hit their weave entrance. Yes is slightly different than a click in that it doesn't always mean the behavior stops. It seems to be working. For me 99% of the time click means the behavior ends. I have on occasion used the click as a keep going signal but not often. Havoc, my very soft Vizsla, had some trouble at one point in the teeter and I clicked when his front feet got on but rewarded at the 2o2o.

I find each dog makes me a better trainer. I LOVE Havoc dearly but he's too soft for my ideal dog. That being said he is wicked smart and can learn something easily. He was doing the entire set of 12 weaves in just a few lessons. But he can get startled easy and then start to shut down. It's taken me to new levels in training though. I remind myself that when I get frustrated. Out of all my dogs, he's gotten his agility titles the fastest, he just isn't the most 'fun" for me to run :)
 

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I also use the clicker mainly for new behaviors. Then start using just a marker with yes. But lately I have pulled the clicker out about once every two weeks for behaviors they already know for fun. The terriers get so excited when its taken out.

I also use good when she starts doing something right and almost has it. Kyrah is a softy so I say "uh-oh or yuk" for her to retry or when shes being a brat.

I am not sure if this is what you mean and I know its a little different. When I wanted Kyrah to learn to open the fridge. I thought of all the things she would need to know to do it. So I started when playing tug telling her "pull" when she was tugging hard. I taught her "touch" to the palm of my hand. I started teaching her "take it", "bring it", "fetch" & "hold it." Then I tied her special stuffy to the fridge handle, swung it, told her to "take it" and then "pull." Took a few tries after the initial training of behaviors were done but she got it. She started out pulling the rope, that still hangs from the fridge, to originally close it. But now knows how to use her nose to push it. So my idea when trying to teach a complex thing is to think of all the steps that will lead up to the finished behavior. Teach them individually and then link them together. I was teaching her to fetch beer from the fridge. She was just getting it and did it a few times but trying to keep beer in the house was a harder trick than training her. :)

ETA: As I just read some more. All 3 of my dogs are trained differently. Cujo we even wondered if he had a brain. Clicker training has been a bridge for him. He has actually learned several things from it. Where as it took almost 2 weeks to teach him shake before I started clicker training. I was beating my head against the wall.
 
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