Clickers??
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Thread: Clickers??

  1. #1
    nyindallas is offline Member
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    DefaultClickers??

    It's been a long time since I had a puppy. I keep hearing references to 'clickers.' Sounds interesting. I assume that the owner clicks in a positive setting? Or click in conjunction with saying 'good dog'?

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  3. #2
    kaytris is offline Senior Member
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    If you've ever seen a dolphin/orca show, you've seen clicker training.

    Dolphin jumps, trainer blows whistle, dolphin swims to side to get its fish-reward.

    In dog training, same principle, different tool - dog does desired behaviour, trainer clicks, then delivers reward (NOT just verbal praise, the reward should be something intrinsically valuable to the dog - food or a toy)

    Karen Pryor's clickertraining.com has tons of articles on this method, and her new book is a fascinating exploration of the science behind it.

  4. #3
    Bob Pr. is offline Senior Member
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    Yep, Karen Pryor is the expert and author of several books on Clicker Training.

    When I got Puff, I planned to use clicker training since it's so powerful and effective so I bought a DVD program, "Sniffy, the Virtual Rat," to practice on to get my responses and timing down correctly. "Sniffy" is still available and was written to give psychology students laboratory-like experience in using operant conditioning/Skinnerian methods to train and alter beahvior. I'll ETA its link in case anyone's interested in trying it → http://www.wadsworth.com/psychology_...iffy/about.htm
    (You might Google Sniffy the Virtual Rat -- there are a lot of links and sources.)

    I gave up on it and clicker training because I was too clumsy and inaccurate in timing -- utterly disastrous in clicker training. Possibly if I'd practiced a couple hours a day for a month or two I might have improved my skill up to an acceptable level.

    BUT, since I'm already able to train effectively using conventional instrumental learning methods, conquering my inability by that much work with no guarantee of success wasn't that appealing.

    Jean Donaldson's "Culture Clash" is the gold standard of using the dog training methods I most comfortably use.

    I wish it wasn't written with quite so much a 'smart ass' tone but, tone aside, everything she describes in various protocols is mainstream psychology of learning principles and techniques. Her book would have been slightly more valuable if she'd also discussed postive and negative transfer of training but most other standard things are covered.

    Last edited by Bob Pr.; 10-11-2009 at 02:54 PM. Reason: add link
    Puff [YF, AKC field line (from competing HT/FT breeder) 62 lbs, dob: 8-'01]

    Bess [BF, AKC bench line (from competing show breeder) 55 lbs., 1967-1981] "Poor Bess, the Wonder Dog":
    http://forum.justlabradors.com/showt...?p=748#post748

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    kaytris is offline Senior Member
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    Clicker training is not very difficult, and the video/computer game isn't truly a fair comparison - the live animal responds much differently than pixels on the screen. Timing is important, of course, but as in tennis or photography, your mechanical skill will improve with time and as you see progress (clickertraining is reinforcing for BOTH sides of the training team)
    Last edited by kaytris; 10-11-2009 at 04:18 PM.

  7. #5
    Bob Pr. is offline Senior Member
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    Clicker training is not very difficult, and the video/computer game isn't truly a fair comparison - the live animal responds much differently than pixels on the screen. Timing is important, of course, but as in tennis or photography, your mechanical skill will improve with time and as you see progress (clickertraining is reinforcing for BOTH sides of the training team)
    Thanks!

    I may give it another try.

    I taught Bess to go left (one lower pitch whistled ♪) or right (2 short higher pitched ♪♪) within a few weeks when swimming when she was a year old. I've been working on Puff for 7 years and she still barely gets it --- sometimes.

    So I don't have anything to lose.

    I'll "charge up" a clicker for a week and then see if we can get some better results.

    But Pryor and Donaldson are not incompatible -- just 2 different ways for accomplishing the same thing.

    Puff [YF, AKC field line (from competing HT/FT breeder) 62 lbs, dob: 8-'01]

    Bess [BF, AKC bench line (from competing show breeder) 55 lbs., 1967-1981] "Poor Bess, the Wonder Dog":
    http://forum.justlabradors.com/showt...?p=748#post748

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    kaytris is offline Senior Member
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    choose something at random (a paw lift, a turn of the head, touching somethign with a paw or nose) and start clicking for it - I don't usually bother to charge the clicker (where you click/treat for nothing, to teach the dog click=treat) - the dog will pick it up within a few minutes, in my experience.

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    Baloo317 is offline Senior Member
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    I've used both a verbal marker "yes!" and a clicker and am consistently amazed at how much easier it is for the dog to decipher what I want using the clicker. Sometimes it truly leaves me with a gaping jaw.

    It's funny Bob, Donaldson's dry sarcasm is what makes that book stand out to me, I LOVED it. Took some potentially rather dry material and made it a fun read.
    Kate
    Baloo - 5 year old black lab
    Peanut - 7 year old minpin
    Monster - 3-ish year old frenchie/jack, rescue
    We're Superdogs!


  10. #8
    kaytris is offline Senior Member
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    Kate, pick up a copy of Pryor's book, it's very interesting - there's a biological/neurological basis for what you describe.

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    brody is offline Senior Member
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    I love clickers - I'm a BAD trainer in that I don't use them much but the things I've needed to teach fast (very fast - like learn a trick in 15 minutes so you will do it being filmed when the break is done, or for tomorrow for a public show) I have put to a clicker and it astounds me the way it gets picked up
    http://andrea-agilityaddict.blogspot.com/

    “I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do something that I can do.” H. Keller

  12. #10
    nyindallas is offline Member
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    Very interesting, I wonder if I could use a clicker to get my teens to clean their rooms? I click, they clean, and then they get the spending money????

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