Pets.ca - Pet forum for dogs cats and humans 

-->

clicker training

kigndano
August 2nd, 2008, 03:49 PM
went out and bought the "idiots guide to positive training" a few months ago...didnt work, dog was avoiding me everytime i tried to give him a treat after i clicked!


tried again today....and my dog goes still into complete avoidance mode at the sound of the clicker?:eek:


turns his head away and the whole 9.:eek::eek:

i had been thinking when i first tried it was because i snap my fingers sometimes as a correction.:shrug:

since i bought the book in...um...i think it was april? maybe? something like that...i have NOT stopped snapping as a correction, am i on the money with my diagnosis as to why it failed from the start?

Chaser
August 2nd, 2008, 04:22 PM
I'm not really sure as to the reason, but I know some dogs don't particularly like the click. I've always used the verbal marker "Yes!" instead. :shrug:

Positive training can still be very effective without an actual clicker.

kigndano
August 2nd, 2008, 04:26 PM
well i always taught with treats but i thought that the click was more reproducable or something?

i dunno.

i felt like i was wasting my time with the click since i couldnt get past stage 1 of click = good thing.

pitgrrl
August 2nd, 2008, 05:21 PM
I'm not really sure as to the reason, but I know some dogs don't particularly like the click. I've always used the verbal marker "Yes!" instead. :shrug:

Positive training can still be very effective without an actual clicker.

If he doesn't like the click, just use a marker word like Chase_Mom suggested, the principles are the same, just a different sound (I guess you could make the case for the clicker being un-effected by emotional inflection, as your voice is, but ya know....)

Lissa
August 2nd, 2008, 08:43 PM
Previous posters are bang on! Some dogs do not like the sound of a clicker - it could be because your dog is relating it to your snapping sound or if could be completely unrelated.
You can buy clickers with volume control or you can try wrapping it in a dish towel or like others have suggested you can use a different type of marker... Markers can be your voice, a laser pointer or anything in between that is quick/easy to say/do and consistent.

Having said that, its also possible that other things are amiss... For example - what kind of treats were you using? Did you start in a non-distracting environment? How's your timing? Was your dog bored/stressed before starting a session?

BTW - I abandoned clicker training early on too for similar reasons. By the time I joined an OB course when Dodger was 4-5 months, he already new the basics (using positive reinforcement). My trainer did not explain clicker training well so the first day of class when she handed me a clicker and told me to click when my dog sat, I was confused! Why on earth would I need a clicker to mark a behaviour that my dog already knew? I was further discouraged when after numerous sessions, Dodger was not responding to the clicker (especially when the trainer said "all dogs get what the clicker in 15 minutes or less"):laughing::laughing:... So I forgot about clicker training (although not positive reinforcement) until Dodger was 8 months or so and I was teaching him how to spin. I had spent days trying to teach him how to spin without any progress to show for it. I took out the clicker as a shot in the dark and that same session he was spinning. After that, I deepened my understanding of clicker training and its application and have been able to teach complex behaviour chains in minutes... Never was positive reinforcement alone that effective.

kigndano
August 3rd, 2008, 08:30 AM
i def had the treat like right in front of his mouth, and when i clicked i opened my hand.

i was just using regular treats that i have always used by the way.


i started the first go round way back in my kitchen, just the two of us were home. he didnt like it at all.

far too long ago to know if he was bored at that time. i think yesterday he was bored for sure though, we had a long day i took him all round town and to petco plus the usual long weekend walk etc.

i thought tired was the right time to train a dog?

allymack
August 3rd, 2008, 10:49 AM
Geeze clicker training, i could write a book about it, i've read all of the books about clicker training i could get my hands on. It is known that some dogs dont like the sound of the clicker. At Pets Unlimited ( not my normal stop for pet supplies, but i liek to go look at the toys for Enzo and see the puppies, even though its sad :sad:) they have a red clicker that has an adjustable volume on it, you may want to look in to one of those. As Chase_mom said you can just use a verbal marker like "Yes!" or "Good!". Another thing you can use, if you dog just doesnt like the sound of a clicker is use a pen that you have to push to use ( if that makes sense, the ones where you have to push the button on the top to make the pen come out).

Clickers can be very effective in training if used properly, if not they can be extremely confusing for the dog. First you have to start off like you are, conditioning him to the clicker. you dont have to set special time aside for this and he can be in any position ( not necessaryily a sit or a down) then click and give him a treat. If you dog is refusing the treat, try giving him a special treat, just to get him started and likeing and understanding the clicker.

Using a clicker, when properly condition, is so effective because it is marking the behavior right as it happened, with a verbal marker you may not get it bang on, so oyu have to pay attention. I'm not saying that verbal markers arent good, but again, like the clicker they have to be used at the exact right time.

Prehaps you could to to a dog training school and ask them if they could help you condition King to the clicker. Most places will offer to do it for free ( i mean for some reason, trainers can get a dog to do anything within a few minutes, and it takes you a few days:rolleyes:)


i thought tired was the right time to train a dog?

You dont want King to be completely tired when your trying to train him, which it sounds liek he had a pretty tiring day, which is also good for him. If he is too tired then he wont be able to focus on you, as he will be wanting to sleep and relax. If you plan on training him, do it after he has had maybe a good 20 min walk, that will get rid of all of his immediate extra energy but he will still be able to focus on you, and more easily since he isnt really tired or full of tons and tons of energy.

hope this helps, if you have any questions, just ask :)

kigndano
August 3rd, 2008, 10:55 AM
i will just work for a week or two on the clicker+treat thing



side note:

i have no faith that this will help with his walk excitement vs. other dogs; but i want to try and teach him cool stuff like up and roll over; cant seem to do it with just hand motions and stuff.


i keep trying to wave treats in front of his nose to distract him on the walk....zero interest

allymack
August 3rd, 2008, 11:02 AM
i will just work for a week or two on the clicker+treat thing

I really hope it works, when you click does he try to run away, or jsut not take the treat?


side note:

i have no faith that this will help with his walk excitement vs. other dogs; but i want to try and teach him cool stuff like up and roll over; cant seem to do it with just hand motions and stuff.

Surprisingly it actually can help. If you have a good solid sit stay, just put him in to it and then click and treat away, this is the start of teaching him to be calm aorund other dogs. I use this technique with Enzo, mind you he isnt anywheres near a hundred percent yet, but if i can get him in to the sit stay early enough he will almost always hold it, then i constandly click and treat.

i keep trying to wave treats in front of his nose to distract him on the walk....zero interest

Clickers are good for teachs neat tricks liek that and just plain old obedience.

kigndano
August 3rd, 2008, 11:14 AM
doesnt run away, just turns his head away from me/the treat.

kigndano
August 3rd, 2008, 11:14 AM
BTW

my dogs name is cassius, im the king:o

allymack
August 3rd, 2008, 11:15 AM
A dog that doesnt want a treat :eek:

prehaps try using cheese or a little piece of meat?

allymack
August 3rd, 2008, 11:17 AM
BTW

my dogs name is cassius, im the king:o


:sorry:..maybe i am confused then, i thoguht someone here had a dog named king:o but i remeber reading your dogs name before in one of your posts, but since i have a crappy memory :rolleyes:


...:sorry: Cassius

kigndano
August 3rd, 2008, 11:37 AM
he'll take treats if i do an "old school" training session of ours with verbal commands, its weird.

allymack
August 3rd, 2008, 01:18 PM
Hmm, Try asking him to do a command ( verbally) and then click as son as he does it and then treat, prehaps he just needs a different way to associate the click with a treat.

Lissa
August 3rd, 2008, 11:57 PM
i was just using regular treats that i have always used by the way.

What exactly are "regular" training treats? You need something that is extra special, possibly exclusive to clicker training given your dog's disinterest.

It's also important to note that treats are the most popular reward to use because they are quick, easy and have the right effect on the dog... However, there are thousands of dogs out there who are not food motivated... If your dog is one of them, the first thing you need to do is find out what motivates him and then how you can turn that into a tangible reward. Clicker training doesn't = treats. You should never limit yourself to just 1 reward anyway - especially if its not one that means all that much to your dog.

i keep trying to wave treats in front of his nose to distract him on the walk....zero interest

As I have said numerous times, that is absolutely the wrong way to "train" your dog. That is bribing not positive reinforcement. You are setting your dog up for failure and then thinking that +R isn't working when in fact its the application that's the problem NOT the method.
Aside from never wanting to bribe a dog, you never want to set your dog up for failure (and as an aside, you are also setting yourself up for failure because you are proving to your dog that you are less interesting than everything else). If your dog won't take treats inside, then he sure isn't going to take them outside - you need to BUILD VALUE before you attempt to use it as a reward away from home.

he'll take treats if i do an "old school" training session of ours with verbal commands, its weird.

This is actually quite common in dogs who are trained using compulsion methods... "Old school" training tells a dog when its wrong, whereas positive reinforcement tells a dog when its right. So when you try and introduce +R to a dog that is used to being corrected - you tend to get a dog that is too shut-down to work with. It will take time for him to learn that treats are good things that be EARNED and are no exclusive to "old school" methods!

kigndano
August 4th, 2008, 07:20 AM
my dog is not shut down, period.

when i say "old school" i mean where i give him a command verbally, like we used to do when he was a pup.

he takes the treats happily then, and i really still do not appreciate you trying to imply that my dog is a robot that has "shut down" because i have corrected him.

so freakin annoying.


anyways, i found the treat reward that works, and its deli meat.

i was pretty excited about it actually, and i started going through all the commands we know with clicker "marks" yesterday. worked like a charm.

on the walks deli meat seems to work too, when i whistle for him to "come" like i do in the house he stares at my hand (turkey in palm of course) and i reward.

i still needed to correct some general misbehaving...trying to bite flowers as we walked by peoples yards etc.

i also hate that you refuse to understand that i have not solely used postive punishment as training.

you are a very frustrating personality, and you are very condescending.

kigndano
August 4th, 2008, 07:25 AM
just FYI lissa

i read through an entire book on Postive Training ( the idiots guide one)

so i do know all about the methods, contrary to what you have stored in your head about me. i do not enjoy correcting my dog, it ends up being necessary to stop self-rewarding behaviors at times.

he is a little :evil::evil::evil: sometimes.

Lissa
August 4th, 2008, 10:07 PM
my dog is not shut down, period.

when i say "old school" i mean where i give him a command verbally, like we used to do when he was a pup.

he takes the treats happily then, and i really still do not appreciate you trying to imply that my dog is a robot that has "shut down" because i have corrected him.

so freakin annoying.

Sorry but "old school" methods to me, mean compulsion - not verbal commands. :shrug: That's the trouble with the internet!

Shut down can simply mean unsure/confused about offering different behaviours. Or he could be uninterested in offering behaviours because in the past that is not what has been rewarded. I don't mean that he is afraid of your shadow... I simply mean that he will need to transition from a reactive trainnig style (ie: enforcing commands with physical force etc...) to a method of training that requires him to think for himself and figure out how to EARN a reward. Clicker training puts the control on the dog - their behaviour is what makes you click, it is a completely different way of training and there will be a transition period.

anyways, i found the treat reward that works, and its deli meat.

i was pretty excited about it actually,

That's great - I am glad to hear it!


i also hate that you refuse to understand that i have not solely used postive punishment as training.
you are a very frustrating personality, and you are very condescending.

It is not my intention to come across that way but I will not apologize. I don't sugar coat anything, especially when it comes to a dog's best interest. We will likely never agree on much but this is a public forum - you can always put me on the ignore list so you don't see my posts!;)

just FYI lissa

i read through an entire book on Postive Training ( the idiots guide one)

so i do know all about the methods, contrary to what you have stored in your head about me.

I am glad that you have read a positive training book but your posts tell me that you do not understand it completely (examples below). I am not going out of my way to patronize but when I see misinformation about +R/CT and its evident where the issues are, then I will post everytime - regardless of what someone thinks of me.:) I may be a nuissance to you but a lurker could very well be learning something.

Example #1:

and i started going through all the commands we know with clicker "marks" yesterday. worked like a charm.

Clickers are meant to be used when teaching a new behaviour or for precision behaviours NOT going over one's that are already known (unless you are marking an amazing example of a known behaviour - but even then jackpots will do)... If we use clickers for everything a few things happen:
1. we get sloppy/inconsistent
2. they can lose their effectiveness
3. you can become dependent on them

(Also, I would be worried that the clicker is not properly charged since you've been having problems getting him to associate it with a reward... However, that is an assumption - your dog may well have had his lightbulb moment after your last post yesterday):)

Example #2:
like i do in the house he stares at my hand (turkey in palm of course) and i reward.

Like I mentioned in my last post, there is a difference between bribing and positive reinforcement/clicker training. With +R/CT, a dog should never know when a reward is coming, otherwise not only does it become a bribe but he will likely NOT "obey" unless a suitable reward is offered. If he is staring at your hand, its because he already expects a reward which means it has turned into a bribe - it will take time to undo that! You also need to start a variable reinforcement schedule almost immediately - you never want to get in the habit of rewarding each and every behaviour. Not only is the dog not earning anything (and will get bored/unmotivated) but you are not setting standards.... Like you have been doing, I rewarded recalls a lot and I still reward the occasional one - however, I pick and choose the BEST of the BEST so that my dog continues to improve rather than reward for all recalls and get mediocre results.
Also, I never train with food on me unless I am in a training course and even then, I try and leave my rewards on a shelf or chair so that I know my dog is not simply following me because I have the yummiest smelling treats.

i do not enjoy correcting my dog, it ends up being necessary to stop self-rewarding behaviors at times.

Once again I am glad to hear that... while I may not be big on corrections, I appreciate what you are saying!

sugarcatmom
August 4th, 2008, 10:50 PM
Excellent post, Lissa. Very informative. And I don't find you at all condescending.

luckypenny
August 4th, 2008, 11:10 PM
I think so too Lissa. I actually picked up a clicker for the first time today :o . Any suggestions for good/preferred reading material?

And kigndano, I'm glad you start some of these threads. A lot of us can learn some things from them.

allymack
August 4th, 2008, 11:39 PM
LP, i have read a quite a few clicker books, so i will tell you the more informative ones.. and a website link..

http://www.clickertraining.com/15tips

Clicker Magic - Karen Pryor this one is a dvd though.

Click for Life , Clicker training for the Shelter Environment- Karen Pryor, Emma Parsons, Dee Ganley, and Nancy Lyon ( althoguh you may not be in a shleter its still quite informative)

Click to Calm, Healing the Aggressive Dog- Emma Parsons

Clicking with Your Dog: Step by step in pictures - Peggy Tillman

Chaser
August 5th, 2008, 12:46 AM
Great site allymack! :thumbs up I may pick up a clicker and give her tips on loose leash walking a try, since nothing else has worked for Chase in that department :frustrated: Only problem is we haven't been using a clicker because I hate the sound of them, not him! :laughing: Oh well, I'll try anything at this point. Thanks for sharing!

kigndano
August 5th, 2008, 07:37 AM
lissa

good point about the lurkers, i cant argue with that at all.

after all this is about whats best for the pets :thumbs up

the whistle is a relatively new command on a walk, but i dont think that starting at my hand is a sign of expecting a treat.

i have been teaching him to look at my hand (closed fist) and when he does i reward, either with a treat or a pat on the head.

i have been click/treating old commands because i feel like it will help him associate the click/treat as a positive since he already knows how to sit/down etc. if it works to charge the clicker where is the harm?:shrug:

also, i have been working on "stop" while we walk with the clicker, and since i never did OB mid walk before i have been rewarding 90% of compliance with sit/down and the hand-watch whistle while walking. because as someone mentioned earlier, environment counts for a lot.

i also took him to the dog park and did the same, just so he gets used to paying attention to me outside too. isnt that the idea?

i can always transition to a variable reinforcement schedule once i feel that the behaviours have been trained properly right?

also, i could not for the life of me get my dog to stand from a sit.

once i had the treat in hand and in front of his nose and pulled away he didnt follow the treat. he definitely got frustrated he couldnt get it, so i gave him a "down" and rewarded just to keep things on the up and up.

any other method anyone know for teaching stand?


lissa - i think that you have a wealth of knowledge to offer people. but i do not like you judging me and my dog and our relationship when you have never met/seen us before.

have i ever said "boy, you let your dogs chase squirrels...that makes you such and such an owner and your dog is definitely such and such behaviour"???

it just comes across as a very "nose in the air" type of comment and way of addressing people.

also, since you are a pos. reinforcement guru, i expect you to respond to posts about these things, its just the way you address that gets under my skin.

like i said earlier, it is all about what makes the dog happy/balanced.

:highfive:

kigndano
August 5th, 2008, 07:59 AM
also, today we walked down the sidewalk on the same side as a woman walking two dogs, boy was i glad i had the illusion on my guy.

one of the dogs was being aggressive, and cash will simply not put up with that at this point. hes quite the dominant little guy with other dogs.

Lissa
August 5th, 2008, 11:18 AM
Clicking with Your Dog: Step by step in pictures - Peggy Tillman

I think that book is probably one of the best one's for beginner's - I didn't get my hands on a copy until recently and I was still impressed with the detail and step-by-step instructions!

Melissa Alexander's "Click for Joy" is also an excellent book.

Karen Pryor's "Don't shoot the dog" is IMO a more challenging read than most other positive reinforcement books but it is well worth it. The depth of her writings into learning theory/+R method is amazing!

A couple of sites that are great to refer to:
http://www.clickersolutions.com/
http://www.clickertrainusa.com/

i have been teaching him to look at my hand (closed fist) and when he does i reward, either with a treat or a pat on the head.

That sounds fine, although I am curious why you want him looking at your fist and not making eye contact? I think there is potential for it to become a bribe so I am glad you are varying the reward.

i have been click/treating old commands because i feel like it will help him associate the click/treat as a positive since he already knows how to sit/down etc. if it works to charge the clicker where is the harm?:shrug:

Hmm... I am not sure. If your dog finds it rewarding to obey commands than it could work but I think you could be lessening the "sacredness" of the click. I assume you are also giving him a tidbit as you click? I am not convinced that its the ideal way to go but I hope it works!!

isnt that the idea? i can always transition to a variable reinforcement schedule once i feel that the behaviours have been trained properly right?

Absolutely... whenever you up the criteria (change the environment) you have to make something easier elsewhere. It's great to use the clicker in the beginning stages of learning but most clicker trained dogs get their lightbulb moment fairly quickly - in as few as 6 clicks - at which point the clicker goes away and variable reinforcement starts... Obviously I do not know how many repetitions you have done or where the behaviour stands now but variable reinforcement does need to happen fairly quickly. It keeps the dog motivated and learning.

any other method anyone know for teaching stand?

There are a few ways - I prefer to capture or shape or use a target. All you do for capturing is mark and reward whenever he is standing on his own (an easy way to do that is when you end a session - most dogs when release move somewhere rather than just stay in place - at which point you mark and reward for a stand - this requires good timing because you want him to know that you are rewarding the stand and not the movement!). Shaping is where you mark and reward approximations of the final behaviour until he is offering the right behaviour. If he knows how to target your hand or a target stick, then teaching stand is a snap because he already knows to follow the target.

Luring is definately the most common so its funny that he didn't follow the treat. Where were you standing (in front, to the side?). Could he have been waiting for a release command? Perhaps you need a different reward (doesn't always have to be food)?

Another way to teach a stand is to stand beside your dog and use your toe or arm to tap his side/under his belly - most dogs tend to stand up immediately which gives you the moment to mark a reward (you can even have your lure in front of his nose so that you can fade the physical cue first, then the lure etc...). Its not my preferred way of teaching a stand but it works.
Another way is to work beside your dog but have him in a corner (so that there is a wall beside him and behind both of you)... Get him to back up - you can use a lure or your leg to guide him - he will likely feel the wall and stand/move forward which is where you mark and reward. You can do the same thing but work on a step - he will have to stand or have his feet slip off the edge.

but i do not like you judging me and my dog and our relationship when you have never met/seen us before. it just comes across as a very "nose in the air" type of comment and way of addressing people.

I have to get this off my chest - EVERYONE - I am a judgemental snob - you've figured me out - I can finally stop living in the shadows.......Were we just talking about judging people? Seriously?:laughing:
All kidding aside - you are entitled to your judgements...I mean opinions about me! ;)

have i ever said "boy, you let your dogs chase squirrels...that makes you such and such an owner and your dog is definitely such and such behaviour"???

I am pretty sure you inferred that you didn't like it... And that is fine!!! I don't expect everyone to agree with my training ideas and to be honest, I think debate is where the most learning takes place! How stagnant would it be if we all agreed?

kigndano
August 5th, 2008, 11:24 AM
yes i am treating as i click.

also i will try those methods for teaching stand. right now he knows "up" to go from a down back to a sit. but sit to stand hasnt worked out yet. thanks for those.

re: targeting my fist

i just want him to look at ANYTHING that isnt the dog/person/bike he was looking at, my hand, foot, kneecap, whatever. anything that breaks his attention. eye contact was not critical to me there. i do click/reward eye contact randomly though.

so if i hold my hand low, whistle and he stares at my hand, mission accomplished in my mind. then i click/praise for paying attention to me! even if its my hand.

i have also been careful to not repeat commands if he doesnt obey. i simply ignore and wait a few seconds to try a different command. correct approach right?

kigndano
August 5th, 2008, 11:25 AM
oh

and i said "letting your dog chase squirrels?" because i have never heard of anyone allowing it. i dont like/not like it, its just a new one for me.

whatever works for your dog though, i cant say what does/doesnt.

jessi76
August 5th, 2008, 11:43 AM
a side note to other good clicker training treats (besides deli meat)...all approved by my PICKY basenji. :rolleyes:

Liver biscotti (http://www.liverbiscotti.com/)
Solid Gold Training Jerky (http://www.solidgoldhealth.com/products/showproduct.php?id=13&code=313)(can be easily broken into small pieces)
Cheerios (plain)
Pounce or similar cat treats (use sparingly, not very healthy!)
Bravo (http://www.bravorawdiet.com/) freeze dried clams

Dingo
August 5th, 2008, 07:23 PM
You could try putting masking tape on the metal part of the clicker to dampen the sound, or wrap it in a sock or something to make it quieter.

allymack
August 5th, 2008, 09:33 PM
yes i am treating as i click.


re: targeting my fist

i just want him to look at ANYTHING that isnt the dog/person/bike he was looking at, my hand, foot, kneecap, whatever. anything that breaks his attention. eye contact was not critical to me there. i do click/reward eye contact randomly though.

Althoguh you are doing a good thing by breaking his attention and moving his attention to your fist. Eye contact woul be a betetr choice, when they make eye contact it's more like having a 'conversation' with him. Also teaching him to contact your eyes instead of your fist, he can 'ask your permission' to do soemthing, which you might not notice if he is looking at your fist, although i'm not garunteeing you you will notice it if he makes eye contact.

so if i hold my hand low, whistle and he stares at my hand, mission accomplished in my mind. then i click/praise for paying attention to me! even if its my hand.

Its good that you are working on something to break his attention:thumbs up
i have also been careful to not repeat commands if he doesnt obey. i simply ignore and wait a few seconds to try a different command. correct approach right?
As to repeating commands, your doing the right thing on not repeating!!:thumbs up although because he doesnt do what you asked, you dont want to ignore him. That will teach him to ignore oyu anyways, since your not enforcing what you said. So if you say Sit, for example, and he doesnt listen, you should make him do it, by luring your hand over his head. Since he didnt do it when you asked and you had to lure him in to doing it, he doesnt get a click or a treat, you want to verbally praise him for this, not verbal and a treat ( which obviously is more then just verbally) when you verbally praise him just say something like "Good!" in a happy way, this way he knows sitting was the right thing and he will learn that when you ask he might as well do it the first time, since your going to make him do it anyways.

allymack
August 5th, 2008, 09:39 PM
Great site allymack! :thumbs up I may pick up a clicker and give her tips on loose leash walking a try, since nothing else has worked for Chase in that department :frustrated: Only problem is we haven't been using a clicker because I hate the sound of them, not him! :laughing: Oh well, I'll try anything at this point. Thanks for sharing!

i really think this will help Chase alot, i have seen it work basically miracles on many dogs, and equally, i have seen it not work quite as well on other dogs, bbut if your dog is fairly food motivated and conditioned to the sound of the clicker properly it should work out pretty well, if you need any help with this feel free to PM me.

I think that book is probably one of the best one's for beginner's - I didn't get my hands on a copy until recently and I was still impressed with the detail and step-by-step instructions!

I actually just picked up this book again today, just to have another read through it

Karen Pryor's "Don't shoot the dog" is IMO a more challenging read than most other positive reinforcement books but it is well worth it. The depth of her writings into learning theory/+R method is amazing!



I loved that book also, just forgot to include it! It is a bit more of a difficult read as Lissa said but very informative if you can really take the info given in it!