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Old 12-07-2012, 04:48 AM
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spiffy spiffy is offline
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I find the clicker to be a more effective marker. I'm a chatterbox and I talk to my dog all the time thus a happy "yes" can be confusing. Unlike a clicker that is more precise, the tone of the "yes" varies and therefore can be misunderstood by my dog.
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Old 12-08-2012, 09:07 PM
Dr. Zombie Snakes Dr. Zombie Snakes is offline
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In formal training sessions, I'm so quiet I'm pretty amazed.

In informal training, I talk. A lot. It's a lot of "Good boy" "Good job" "That's what I'm looking for" "Oh, hey, look a bug! Wait, you can't eat it! Oh my Goddess, I heard it crunch! That's gross, Lobo"

So... The clicker is really useful for us. Lobo LOVES it. And I do, too!
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Old 12-20-2012, 10:24 PM
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Hillside Hillside is offline
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Even though we have tried to use them in the same manner, yes and the click mean totally different things for Nico. At yes, he will completely disengage from whatever behavior he was doing and bounce around like an idiot. A click has him anticipating his reward, but more often than not he will either hold his position (if we are doing something that involves positioning) or keep performing a behavior (if it is a behavior that involves DOING something). Even though they both mean he gets rewarded, he responds drastically different so I've adjusted to using them as each situation dictates.
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Old 12-21-2012, 09:53 AM
SaraB SaraB is offline
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I believe the click is a lot more effective at least with my dogs. I tend to use a clicker for teaching elaborate behaviors or precise behaviors. I use yes when I can't use a clicker but I rarely use it when initially teaching a new behavior. I also tend to abuse my yes, meaning I'll use it and then not immediately reward my dog.

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Old 12-21-2012, 10:22 AM
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Shai Shai is offline
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I use the clicker when teaching very precise discrete behaviors or behavior chains.

Otherwise I use Good as a verbal marker and Yes as a bridge.

To quote our good friend Bob Bailey, "I'm not a fan of the 'ever-clicking' approach to training. The proper application of the clicker is that akin to using a scalpel to make fine cuts. However, the increasing use of reinforcement to get behavior is good, so I guess the prevalence of sloppy clicking is a price paid for trainers thinking more about reinforcement rather than punishment. Most pet owners seldom have need for a clicker, in my option; a clicker can easily get in the way of getting good behavior...I do think that sometime down the road most trainers will learn that the clicker is the most powerful single tool they have, and they will quit beating it to death and learn to exploit it to its highest potential."
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Old 12-21-2012, 11:54 AM
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Shai Shai is offline
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Oh for further reading, if interested:

There was a small study done on 20 shelter dogs to compare the learning speed/efficiency of dogs during free shaping using a clicker vs. a verbal marker. The intent was to eliminate other factors such as relationship between dog and human, previous training history, yadda yadda and just see if the hypothesis that the clicker sound results in faster learning than a verbal marker, all else being equal, is actually true. Their conclusion was yes.

I'm not what (if any) peer review this study underwent and it's obvious they had bias going in but still it is interesting.

Skip to page 9 for the actual experiment.

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