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  #11  
Old 03-29-2005, 05:13 AM
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mrose_s mrose_s is offline
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um... clicker training, i had not herd of it before a week ago, very interesting, all our dogs are just taught with treats and verbal praise... what is the great advantage to using a clicker?
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  #12  
Old 03-29-2005, 05:33 AM
Agility23 Agility23 is offline
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clickers are the best thing for trick training and stuff all the top obedience and freestlye people use alot of clickers
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  #13  
Old 03-29-2005, 05:52 AM
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where abouts would i get one in a small australian town? would i have to order?
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  #14  
Old 03-29-2005, 05:53 AM
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a clicker i mean
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  #15  
Old 03-29-2005, 02:25 PM
Saje Saje is offline
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mrose_s I'm sure you could find them at any pet store. You can order them as well. And I've even heard of people using snapple bottle tops because they also make a clicking sound. You know the ones?
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  #16  
Old 03-29-2005, 08:43 PM
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CreatureTeacher CreatureTeacher is offline
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Mrose, a clicker is a little box that makes a noise when you press the metal tongue inside. A lot of people know that "clicker training=good", but they don't really know what it is and why it works.

The clicker itself is basically a signal to the dog that means, "that's right". Easy as that. Because people are such verbal animals and we reinforce--or encourage--behaviors we like in so many different ways, a clicker (which makes the exact same noise every time) is a way for the dog to cut through our primate communication "static" and understand what we're trying to tell them. Once a dog knows what the clicker means, he will have a very clear concept of what you do and do not want him to do. It requires pretty impecable timing to work properly; you have to click at the right moment for the desired behavior to be reinforced. A clicker trainer with bad timing can actually slow training.

The click is what behaviorists call an "event marker"; something like a camera that catches behavior at the exact moment it occurs. They work on the behavioral science concepts of operant conditioning and positive reinforcement. You condition the dog to associate a previously meaningless sound (the click) with reinforcement, encouraging the desired behavior to happen more often. Eventually the clicker itself becomes the reinforcer, and can be used to train behaviors and then abandoned once the behavior is learned. A good clicker trainer can teach the desired behavior without ever touching the dog. It's a very exciting science that encourages cooperative relationships. The traditional sort of training--with all the physical punishment and abuses we grew up with--is obsolete.

Positive reinforcement training (clicker training) is faster, easier, and more humane than traditional techniques, but it's very important to understand the behavioral science involved before you attempt clicker training. http://www.clickertraining.com is Karen Pryor's website. She is a pioneer in the field and she has a lot of information about the training process. Her book, "Don't Shoot the Dog", is also excellent. If you want a quick and easy breakdown of clicker training, get "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Positive Dog Training" by Pamela Dennison. (I make a lot of my clients get that one before we start obedience lessons.) I have a lot of other book recommendations, but those two are the best to start with to learn about positive reinforcement.
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