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Old April 27th, 2011, 08:16 PM
LynnI LynnI is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Ontario
Posts: 13
Excellent post about clicker training and 'treat training' and I would love to add just a little.

A re-inforcement base trainer, doesn't always use food/treat rewards, it is the dog that determines what is reinforcing not the trainer. It is the goal of the trainer to find out what motivates a dog and a simple example is sniffing. Most dogs love to sniff and for good reason it tells them what is going on in their world, Facebook for dogs . So many people struggle to stop their dogs from sniffing, where they would have a great deal of success by expecting their dogs to give them a nice loose leash heel for a few steps (in the beginning only) and the give them a release cue to go sniff. Three rules apply for being allowed to sniff, 1) don't pull me 2) Stop when I ask 3) Wait for me to give you permission again without pulling. (and in the beginning of this training when the dog is told to 'off/leave it' to stop sniffing, they should be given another reward for doing so). Sniffing is highly rewarding to most dogs and you can use it to train your dog for the behaviours that you want i.e loose leash walking.

There is a huge difference between luring (bribing) and reward based training (toys/play too) With luring (bribing) the dog controls the behaviour and the consequences i.e they'll only sit or come when a treat is offered first. Where as in reward based training the dog controls the behaviour and we control the consequences. Meaning the dog does as we ask and they have a chance of earning a reward. At first there is a high rate of reinforcement and then we go to a variable reward system and the dog doesn't know when, what or where they are going to be rewarded. But keep in mind that with reward based training it increases the likely hood that the dog will want to offer the desired behaviour, therefore having a 100% success rate when trained correctly. Then the reward is faded and very seldom used, therefore we don't need treats or other rewards to get the dog to work for us

The cool thing about clicker training or marker training with rewards, is the countless and cool things you dog will offer to do. You can train them within minutes for a new behaviour and then the fun is just starting. However, dogs that have been trained with corrections are often reluctant to offer behaviours in fear of doing something wrong and then getting corrected. So they can take a bit longer to free shape behaviours with. But that is different than just using the clicker/marker word for the right behaviour given
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