Working Dog Forums banner
1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,548 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay, okay, I feel like a big hippie, but having sat through Karen Pryor's 3 hour talk yesterday at the APDT's conference in Kansas City, I thought, what the heck, I'll give it a try with Zoso as both Petco and Petsmart were giving out free clickers at their booths at the expo. I had kinda tried marker training a teeny bit with words ("yes") and clicking my tongue since I didn't want to have to hold something else in my hand besides the leash and hotdog/cheese. However, the clicker is just faster than even doing it with my tongue and unintentionally I tend to vary how I say yes (like "Yeahas" sometimes and sometimes "yesssss"), so I think I'll just stick with that since it is all about timing and all.

So last night I primed Zoso with the clicker with a quick bit of real basic fun obedience in the living room. Then this morning at Schutzhund, we ran through what we had been practicing with food and watch me, and his focus was like twice as good. Especially as we are walking back towards the people, he tends to get distracted, but it was much better today. Needless to say, I'm pleased so far. Don't worry, guys, the prong collar isn't going in the garbage and I'll still say "no" and "nein" to my dogs every now and again. :D

However, I'm kinda wondering how one would incorporate a clicker into a tug, especially a two handled one for drive work. Holding one while having the tug in your hands just doesn't seem to be a good way to do it without dropping it. Plus a basic clicker is rather loud (there are others out there that aren't as sharp) and it would need to be not as sharp if it's close to the dog's head. I know Triple Crown makes the Click and Play Squid that has the clicker incorporated into the toy, but not quite what I had in mind for tugging. Maybe if there was a way to attach one to each of the handles on a two handed tug? Hmmm... :?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
21,869 Posts
I've seen clickers that have a wrist strap. Would that help?
What are you clicking to reward in bite work?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,548 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hadn't even gotten to thinking about using it for bitework though I could possibly think if the dog is high enough in drive at that time, they might physically hear the clicker without mentally "hearing" the clicker (though I think the sound of the clicker might be better for it than a verbal command as many tend to talk a lot or too much during training?). I was thinking for the time being just in drive work/obedience.

I think it would be nice to have a clicker built into the tug so you could mark the right behavior if you were using it for a reward for obedience (click to mark and then toss the tug or whatever) eas well as to mark the tugging if you wanted to encourage a good grip for drive work, for example. But in the second case especially, you would probably want a quieter/less sharp click as the standard ones are pretty loud close to the head.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
21,869 Posts
YOu could always wrap the clicker to your thumb with duct tape. Always in the ready position. :eek: :lol: :lol:
Although I haven't used the clicker, I do like the speed and the fact that it takes the emotion out of the marker.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,452 Posts
I've always heard that the click signifies the 'end' of the exercise, and the reward immediately follows. If you're using food as the reward, and click for a good grip on the tug, the dog is going to let go in anticipation of the food reward, no?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,548 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I'm thinking more on obedience here, but yes, biting the tug or a short game of tug is still the primary reward. So for a toy motivated dog for example, if they heel how you like, you might normally say "good dog" or whatever and throw the toy. Instead of using praise to mark the correct action and then tossing the toy, you click instead and then toss it (although you can click and praise if you prefer or if your dog prefers). If you're just starting them out on heeling, it would be after 3 or 5 steps maybe then click and toss. Then you work them up to longer before clicking and tossing. Alternatively, you could use food and the clicker and as Lyn said, click and use the toy as the jackpot for a longer heel or down stay or whatever you were doing while clicking and treating in the in between time to shape the bigger overall behavior of a heeling with attention on the handler, down stay, etc.

The clicker doesn't necessarily signify the end of the exercise in all situations like a release word. Like if you were teaching sit with food, you could do the put the food over the dog's head thing and click and treat as its butt hits the ground. So yes, that would signify the end of the exercise. But you can also use it for shaping an overall bigger behavior like heeling at attention, which is what I noticed just after one day was easier.

I was primarily thinking obedience work here (which is why I put it in this folder), but it is getting me thinking with your comments about how else to use it. Thanks all!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
20,210 Posts
Maren Bell Jones said:
.....The clicker doesn't necessarily signify the end of the exercise in all situations like a release word. Like if you were teaching sit with food, you could do the put the food over the dog's head thing and click and treat as its butt hits the ground. So yes, that would signify the end of the exercise. ....I was primarily thinking obedience work here....
I think the clicker is a marker, and not a release word. Or at least, that's the only way I have seen it used (and use it with one ob client). The clicker is just "yes". The release word is a different word, so I see a possible clash if you used it for a marker and a release.

I see what you mean about the "yes" being pretty much the end of a short exercise like "sit," but that doesn't make "yes" a release word, right?

Say you use yes and OK as marker and release. The clicker replaces the yes (followed by treat/reward if you're rewarding). But I can't see how it can replace the "OK" too. Two different functions, I think?

So I think what Maren is saying about the clicker "doesn't necessarily signify the end of the exercise" can be expanded to "the clicker isn't used to signify the end of the exercise."

Bob said something about taking the emotion out of the marker. Is this a good thing? I never thought about that. I keep the marker ("yes") pretty pleased-sounding. :lol:
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
21,869 Posts
Connie Sutherland said:
Maren Bell Jones said:
.....The clicker doesn't necessarily signify the end of the exercise in all situations like a release word. Like if you were teaching sit with food, you could do the put the food over the dog's head thing and click and treat as its butt hits the ground. So yes, that would signify the end of the exercise. ....I was primarily thinking obedience work here....
I think the clicker is a marker, and not a release word. Or at least, that's the only way I have seen it used (and use it with one ob client). The clicker is just "yes". The release word is a different word, so I see a possible clash if you used it for a marker and a release.

I see what you mean about the "yes" being pretty much the end of a short exercise like "sit," but that doesn't make "yes" a release word, right?

Say you use yes and OK as marker and release. The clicker replaces the yes (followed by treat/reward if you're rewarding). But I can't see how it can replace the "OK" too. Two different functions, I think?

So I think what Maren is saying about the clicker "doesn't necessarily signify the end of the exercise" can be expanded to "the clicker isn't used to signify the end of the exercise."

Bob said something about taking the emotion out of the marker. Is this a good thing? I never thought about that. I keep the marker ("yes") pretty pleased-sounding. :lol:
The way it was explained to me is to often newcomers to training don't think about how different they give a marker from one time to the next.
My own marker is "yes".
I don't allow the dog to interpret the marker as a release. All it means is the dog has hit the correct position for the command and a reward is comming.
I may or may not give a release after the reward. Depends on what I'm trying to do at the time.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
20,210 Posts
Bob Scott said:
.....The way it was explained to me is to often newcomers to training don't think about how different they give a marker from one time to the next. .....My own marker is "yes".
I don't allow the dog to interpret the marker as a release. All it means is the dog has hit the correct position for the command and a reward is comming.
I may or may not give a release after the reward. Depends on what I'm trying to do at the time.
Ah, I see about the different tones to the marker (and mine too is "yes"). Yes, the clicker would eliminate the tone variations. (I've also heard it explained as a good tool for a drill-sergeant-type voice who can't say "yes" in a pleased, "up" way.)

The second part of what Bob says is what I was trying to say, only he said it clearly! :lol: The marker for the right position or response, but not a release.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
21,869 Posts
I look at clicker training as a gimmick that works.
Another tool in the box at it's least.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
10,196 Posts
Mike Schoonbrood said:
Biting is the reward. Using a clicker to reward biting doesn't make sense to me.
And all of God's children say, Amen.

DFrost
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
632 Posts
MAN SHOW DOGS REALLY PISS ME OFF THEY THINK THEYRE SO TOUGH AND THEY AINT SH*T!!
I'm just kidding just kidding don't send Cuje on me I swear I was kidding!!!
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top