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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just started Chloe on clicker training 2 days ago. I spent the first 4 sessions "charging" the clicker (approx 40 rep's per session). I have now moved onto commands she already knows (she is 8 months) and rewarding them with a click and a treat.

My question is "when can I stop pairing the click with a treat", and also "when can I move onto commands that she does not already know". Also, when can I start to spontaneous click desired behaviours like loose leash walking.


I have tonnes of questions about proper clicker training, but I'll start with these ones first.


Many thanks
L.
 

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I do click training with Lucky(and by no means am an expert....actually going to a class to be taught more). Anyways, I never have clicked Lucky for doing something he already knows how to do such as sit.

I have not clicked on certain things I want him to do yet (like loose leash walking) but according to everything I read you can do that anytime....just be consistent. So do not go out on a walk to try to teach him one day and let him pull you all over the place the next day....

You can start teaching him new tricks now with the clicker. I would work on something very simple at first (but that is my opinion). In class, we started with touch. You do not start calling it a command. So you hold out your hand and when the dog touches his nose to your hand (at that exact moment) you click. Once he starts to touch his nose to your hand at other times is the time you can introduce a name for the command. (touch has worked wonders on getting his attention when he is in crazy mode or I want him to leave guests alone. It also will help in building on different tricks.)

I hope this makes sense. I have handouts and stuff from my class if you would like me to send them to you.

Like I said I am not an expert and learning as I go too. I am sure some will have very valuable advice.
 

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Brady Aedan Finch and Wren
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You can start working with different behaviours now, but I would only shape one behaviour at a time to prevent confusion. If I were free shaping multiple behaviours, I would have multiple sessions working one desired behaviour at a time.

I frequently use my clicker as a marker during training rather than free-shaping so I can train multiple cues in the same session.

After 8 years of using the clicker, I still pair a click with a treat and periodically recharge the clicker. You can treat without clicking first, but I don't think clicking without treating is a good thing; the treat doesn't have to be immediate but it it usually bridged with a treat (or game or life reward etc).

Have fun :)

BTW: Many of us who use clickers also train 'Yes' - this is a very useful marker when you do not have your clicker - you can use other words as well, but the word basically acts like a clicker.
 

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The simplest easiest game to play, that will help teach your dog to offer behaviors, and teach *YOU* good timing is "The Box Game"!

All you need is a box and a bowl of treats ! What can your dog do? put 1 foot in ? put 2 ? 4 and sit? push the box with your nose jump the box.....the possibilitys are endless!


The easiest place to start is to click/treat when you first set the box down, what's your dog going to do? Look at/ sniff the box! Click another look, click a step to the box! If your pup stalls move around a little or go back to clicking eye/ head turn to box. WORK IT ! and be PATIENT!

A small aside, I have had a few goldens that responded badly if the box "flipped" when they put a foot in. I have wooden boxes for obedience that I substituted for cardboard .You could use something like a towel instead for a lot of games!

Clicker is a powerful tool!
Good training!
glddog04
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
ok, so now I'm confused...so I should NOT actually use verbal commands when getting her to do what I want, but just wait for the desired behaviour and then click?

Wouldn't clicking for things she already knows just reinforce that when she does an asked for behaviour she gets a positive reward (click and treat)?

sorry so many question, I just want to get this right the first time around.

L>
 

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You wait for the behavior, click and treat. Dog sits (no verbal ,no prompting) click treat. When your dog is showing you he understands "I sit for a click -treat", you put a word to it "sit".

This(above) is how you *TEACH* sit with a clicker. If your dog all ready *KNOWS* sit , use a verbal command "sit" click and treat.

Does that help?

glddog04
 

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What you do with the clicker depends on how you're using it. For example:

Are you free-shaping? In a nutshell, that's basically playing hot-and-cold with the dog and creating a behavior by c/t (click/treating) approximations of the finished behavior. For instance, for a sit, you might c/t when you see the dog start to offer a lowering of his butt to the floor (whether or not he actually sits is irrelevant at this point). Do that several times 'til you see the dog start to connect the fact that lowering his butt toward the floor is making you c/t. Then raise your criteria. Decide you want the dog to move his butt closer to the floor and ONLY c/t the closer responses. The dog will likely do the first activity (the one that initially got him paid) several times thinking, "Hey! This used to work... what's up?" Then, out of frustration, they try just a little harder, and that extra effort = butt closer to the floor. BINGO! You c/t that. And for the next however many reps (until you see the dog consistently offer THAT version of butt-toward-floor, you ONLY c/t that version. Raise the criteria again, maybe to butt-ON-floor, etc. That's shaping.

You can also jump-start a behavior by luring a handful of times (say, no more than 5) and still c/t when you get the behavior. So, for the sit, you use cookie on nose, raise over dog's head to lure into a sit and then c/t as the butt hits the floor. After about 5 lure trials, just sit and be patient and see if the dog "offers" a sit... BINGO! c/t... and continue.

There's really no right way to "clicker train." The "purists" will say it should be about shaping, but other segments of the reward based (R+) population will say that it's also a strong marker signal that is far more salient to the dog than a verbal marker, which allows it to be beneficial even in lure-reward training (the cookie-on-nose technique).

In general, it's best not to name a behavior in the early stages. Let your training (shaping or luring) make the behavior happen and when you see the dog start to reliably offer it and you can predict that the dog's just about to do it, then you slot the name in a nano-second before. If you start naming it too early, the dog doesn't know it yet, so the words potentially get associated with the unfinished version of the behavior.

A really good resource is www.clickertraining.com.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
thanks for all the great advise. Used the clicker to work loose leash walking last night.....she seemed to finally understand what I was wanting her to do..it was really amazing...I could almost see the lightbulb go on on top of her head!

will apply the techniques above. Many thanks again!

L.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
new clicker problem!

ok...so the clicker has done wonders for loose leash walking, but for some reason when I use it to teach her something "new"...she seems TOTALLY confused. She just sits, staring at me, and then walks away and lies down?:doh:

I've tried even the most simple of "tricks" (touch my hand with her nose and get a click and a treat). I repeated it 15 times and when I put my hand out she just stared at me and then started sniffing the dish towel:doh::doh:

I've watched alot of videos on clicker training and the dogs in the video seem to pick up alot faster. Has anyone else ever experience the "blank stare" of confusion?

L.
 

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You wait for the behavior, click and treat. Dog sits (no verbal ,no prompting) click treat. When your dog is showing you he understands "I sit for a click -treat", you put a word to it "sit".

This(above) is how you *TEACH* sit with a clicker. If your dog all ready *KNOWS* sit , use a verbal command "sit" click and treat.

Does that help?

glddog04
Yup. That's another way to use the clicker. You can capture a behavior (capturing defined as basically waiting around for it to happen on it's own, C/T-ing and looking for the dog's ah-ha! moment where he figures out that sitting is what's earning the C/T.
 
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