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  #1  
Old 09-09-2008, 09:20 PM
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MericoX MericoX is offline
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Default Question about Clicker Training

I havent used the clicker in ages, and am now trying to use it. I'm a bit dusty on things and need help on two things.

When do I click:
For teaching stay?
And for teaching them speak?

Stryder already knows how to speak, but I'm not sure when to click to reward him when he's "done it". Mind you, its not a quick bark I taught him.. but this growly thing he does. Do I do it at the end?

And when do I use it for stay?

TIA!
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Old 09-09-2008, 09:30 PM
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The best way to think of a clicker and when to click is to use it like a camera to take a picture (click) of the behavior as soon as it happens.

For a stay, the first several reps should be done without taking any steps away from the dog....because STAY really means don't move.
So..you have your dog in a sit (for this example), give your stay hand signal (stop sign, palm facing the dog), then click for your dog not moving. After several reps like that, you can add take one quick step back with your hand signal, return to your dog CLICK, REWARD...and GOOD STAY!

For speak, just capture the speak with the clicker at the moment that it happens and then reward (treat) and GOOD SPEAK!

Remember, the click must be followed by the reinforcement EVERY TIME, but the clicker is only used until the dog understands what is being asked and captured. I usually only use a clicker for between 6-20 clicks per new behavior. The value in using it at all instead of a reward marker word is that the click is a crisp, clean and consistent sound that once the dog knows what it means, needs no time to process.....making clicker training so much faster in many applications.
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Old 09-09-2008, 09:37 PM
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For staying you click/treat for the initial staying right after the command and then every few seconds (more or less depending on how far along you are in the stay training, you may be at the point where he needs to wait a minute between clicks) for actually staying put. This clicking throughout prevents the dog from learning to break the stay in order to be put back into it for a reward.

If your dog already knows what speak means you should not be clicking anymore. Clicking is only for learning the behavior, once the dog understands it you stop using the clicker (you should still reward of course until you've faded out the treat properly). but if you were teaching a dog to speak you would do it as soon as he barks. If your dog actually makes the moany/grumbly noises then it's up to you how long you want his speak to be, that is when you click. Start small, clicking as soon as he makes the noise than slowly increase the time before you click so he learns to drag it out to get his click/treat.
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Old 09-10-2008, 08:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maxy24 View Post

If your dog already knows what speak means you should not be clicking anymore. Clicking is only for learning the behavior, once the dog understands it you stop using the clicker (you should still reward of course until you've faded out the treat properly).
I disagree with this. I will occasionally click for known behaviours, it seems to really recharge the dog and speed up latency.

Also I never totally fade out the reward. I might only reward (and not just food any reward) sit once every 100 sits, but there is still a chance at a reward.

As for training stay. Remember anything the dog does after the click is ok. So if you click and the dog moves-that is fine. I start with a sit then with hold the click for 3-5 seconds. Then gradually increase the time/distance. The dog knows to wait till you mark (the click). Once the dog will stay for 15 seconds and I can move away 3 feet then I start to lable it 'stay'. I just used this to teach Bounce a stay. She got the concept in 3 sessions of less than 2 min each. To the point that at the rally trial (she was not entered) I could leave her and do a recall in the warm up area.
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Old 09-10-2008, 04:02 PM
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oh yes, I reward occasionally too, but I still do fade the treat.
Quote:
I disagree with this. I will occasionally click for known behaviours, it seems to really recharge the dog and speed up latency.
Do you generally do this to "fix" something (the dog is starting to do it slower or sloppier) or just randomly? If it's random can you tell me more about what this does for the dog, I'm curious is all, I'm still pretty new at clicker training to be honest I've always been told to stop clicking when the dog knows the command, but I would definitely understand brining it back to clean something up. I suppose I just wanted it to be known that the clicker is not *needed* for every time the dog does the command after he knows it as this is a popular misconception. The people against clicker training often use this as ammo "I don't want to carry a clicker and treats around for th rest of my life" which as we all know is not something you need to do.
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Old 09-10-2008, 04:36 PM
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I do it for known behaviours. To keep them really sharp. There is something about the clicker that reallllly excites my dogs. It increases the excitement and decrease latency.
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