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 To "clicker" or not to "clicker"

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kwdrysdale
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Male Join date : 2015-07-29
Location : Portage la Prairie, MB

PostSubject: To "clicker" or not to "clicker"   Thu Sep 03, 2015 9:57 am

So...that's my MAIN question. Smile We have had Akira for about 1 month and to be completely honest, she is doing pretty good. Typical puppy issues but learning quite well. My question about the clicker is because there is a day workshop at a training place in my area that works with both kids and puppy together. It helps the kids learn how to work with the dog to help them learn not to be her chew toy and a few other issues we have been dealing with lately. This place uses a clicker in the class and wants the dog to already understand the clicker. The main reason we haven't used a clicker so far is you always need it with you to reward good behaviour rather than just saying "good."

Has anyone here used a clicker? Did you find it worked good? Do you need to use it forever or do you transition away from the clicker as they become better trained? Thanks
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capellalayla
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Female Join date : 2013-09-24
Location : Billerica, Mass.

PostSubject: Re: To "clicker" or not to "clicker"   Thu Sep 03, 2015 11:13 am

Clickers have been scientifically shown to work faster and more effectively than marker words ("good," etc.) alone. We used one when first training Layla as a puppy. You don't really have to do a lot to get a dog to "understand" the clicker. Just use it a few times with the puppy at home and they'll get it pretty quickly. I used to volunteer walking and training dogs at a shelter, and with new dogs we would "charge them up" on the clicker. Take about 10 to 20 treats and sit down with the dog and just keep clicking and feeding. It's all free food; the dog doesn't have to do anything for it yet. At that point they should understand what the clicker is for, and then you can try a few tricks. The key with the clicker is you need to "mark" the behavior with the clicker at just the right time or it will be ineffective. I'm sure the class will teach you that.

By the way, if you start training with a clicker you don't have to continue with it. The object is that eventually you will be able to take the clicker away once the dog has mastered a command or trick or skill. I'd go for it! It's always good to learn something new, both humans and dogs!
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RedFlashFire05
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Join date : 2015-05-19
Location : manteca, ca

PostSubject: Re: To "clicker" or not to "clicker"   Thu Sep 03, 2015 4:19 pm

well said, out trainer said the same thing. i started using the clicker and once he learned the behavior well enough you use it less.  when you use the clicker you need a marker word with in our chase it was "yes".  

I think you click and treat about 10 times without any words and then you add you marker word and you marker, click, then treat about 10 times. also very good tool when teaching new behaviors like trick training or new things that he or she is learning they learn them very fast this way. Cool
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CoraTheHusky
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Location : Toronto

PostSubject: Re: To "clicker" or not to "clicker"   Thu Sep 03, 2015 4:54 pm

I won't repeat what everyone above me has said as I agree with it all, as a new trainer on the floor I always use my clicker and encourage my clients to use a clicker!
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GeorginaMay
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Female Join date : 2013-04-08
Location : New Zealand

PostSubject: Re: To "clicker" or not to "clicker"   Fri Sep 04, 2015 6:47 am

I am definitely pro clicker Smile I started clicker training with Orion the week he came home and at 2 1/2 years old I am still clicker training him lol absolutely everything I have taught Orion has involved the clicker, it is a wonderful tool especially for initial straight behaviors with puppies.

Like the others have said - once you have started with the clicker and started getting results you can wean off it and go to voice command or you can use it in conjunction with voice commands depending on how you want to structure your training and what you want to teach your dog Smile

Let us know how you get on and have fun Smile
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AnnieChan91
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Location : KCMO

PostSubject: Re: To "clicker" or not to "clicker"   Fri Sep 04, 2015 9:27 am

This was a really interesting read because the classes I've been taking Nya to use clicker training. I was unsure of it at first because I had the mindset that she would become reliant on it. But at home, I often times forget about the clicker, and she does my command without it (albeit a bit slower sometimes, but mostly with the same quickness as using a clicker). Once Nya understood what the clicking meant, she was extremely attentive.
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kwdrysdale
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Location : Portage la Prairie, MB

PostSubject: Re: To "clicker" or not to "clicker"   Fri Sep 04, 2015 9:58 am

Thanks for all the input! These responses have really answered some of my main concerns and I will get a clicker right away and start using it
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kwdrysdale
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Location : Portage la Prairie, MB

PostSubject: Re: To "clicker" or not to "clicker"   Mon Sep 07, 2015 10:34 am

Just a little update for anyone that may be following this, or find it later. We got a clicker on Saturday and she picked up the concept really quickly. On Sunday we were working with her outside and had one of the most successful training sessions to date! We could have her sit (she was already really good at that), tell her to stay and turn our back and walk to the other side of the yard (at my parent's house), turn around, wait, and then call her to come. I know it isn't JUST the clicker because we've been working on this, but usually she would just end up following us or as soon as we turned around come running for a treat. Next major milestone to beat is to get her to come all the time when called. lol Too often she won't come to us while in the back yard. She will just ignore us completely or run to the opposite corner of the yard. We've been noticing that if she is on leash she is WAY more obedient than if she is off leash - both inside and outside.
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Pandora_Watcher
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Female Join date : 2015-12-05
Location : Saint Louis

PostSubject: Re: To "clicker" or not to "clicker"   Mon Dec 07, 2015 2:57 am

I used a clicker with my shepherd-Pitt mix Odin an he turned out to be one of the most amazing,  well trained dogs I ever had.  After about 2 months using it I switched it to a snap of my finger and still followed it with a yes reinforcement. I also coupled his commands with signs so I didn't always have to verbally communicate what I wanted him to do.  I completely support positive reinforcement training ( you never have to yell at or hit your dog). And there's a lot of great youtube videos out there (look for a user called kikopup) that are fantastic ways to inspire new commands and actions.  I also intend on using positive reinforcement and a clicker with my brand new puppy Legion. Good luck to anyone or there with this same question.
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amymeme
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PostSubject: Re: To "clicker" or not to "clicker"   Mon Dec 07, 2015 9:22 pm

@kwdrysdale wrote:
We've been noticing that if she is on leash she is WAY more obedient than if she is off leash - both inside and outside.

Hmmm...I had 3 kids that were also way more obedient close at hand than out of sight... lol!
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joemamma474
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Male Join date : 2015-02-28
Location : Michigan

PostSubject: Re: To "clicker" or not to "clicker"   Tue Dec 08, 2015 12:39 pm

I went to an Ian Dunbar seminar this fall and he mentioned he tends not to use the clicker with his own dogs because when you are around a bunch of other people using clickers your own dog won't recognize which click is for them. A click is just a mark for the exact moment the desired behavior occurs, which means a word can do the exact same thing. Either way they are both vulnerable to the same problem, which is that most people have poor timing. There is nothing magic about the sound of the click as compared to the sound of the word "yes" (which is what I used with my dog), but people just find it easier to be more exact with a click, and the sound is consistent every time. I think they are great to use, but I went with my voice instead and it worked out just fine and in some ways it makes him more responsive to my feedback, since I can provide DIFFERENTIAL feedback with my voice which I couldn't do with a clicker.
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