Clicker Training next stages...

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bunny
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Clicker Training next stages...

Post by bunny » Wed Jan 13, 2010 9:49 pm

Please let me know if it would be better to post this on a new thread.

How do you begin to transition away from clicker training? In other words, when I start to feel like my dog is mastering something, what are the next steps?

Thanks!

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Re: Clicker Training - Heres How!

Post by emmabeth » Wed Jan 13, 2010 11:15 pm

I will move this to its own thread, because its a good question!
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Re: Clicker Training next stages...

Post by emmabeth » Wed Jan 13, 2010 11:29 pm

Like magic.... ta da.

Ok, first of all how do you mean mastering something?

I dont start asking for a behaviour outside of a clicker training session, until not only do we have that behaviour on cue, but it is on cue in a variety of locations and with a variety of distraction levels.

So we might start off training in the kitchen with no distractions, but even when we have added in the cue for this new behaviour, I don't consider that we have mastered it until we have it on cue in the livingroom, the bedroom, the garden, the front garden, with the other dogs around, on the street, on the street with people walking by, when he would potentially rather do something else (like nag my OH to make his dinner faster!).

Also, I dont wait until we have the behaviour on cue to start working in other locations, sometimes I might but not always - I do usually wait until we have it on cue before I up the distraction level though. Its probably just my personal preference (and of course the dog I am working with makes a difference too) but I like to leave it as late as possible to add in the cue or I find I ask for the behaviour by name when he hasnt really learned it properly yet, not sufficiently to give it a name anyway.

Once I am willing to bet a pretty large sum of money on him doing the behaviour when given the cue, then its time to ditch the clicker and use the new behaviour though again, I wont chuck a dog in at the deep end and ask him for something really difficult outside of a training situation right at the start and I do make sure we have treats available pretty much immediately for him complying with the cue (if its not something where the behaviour itself is the reward).

If you meant 'i think my dog has the idea of what it is i am clicking for... what next' - then the next stages are location, duration, distraction (location and duration you can swap around as suits and dependant on the behaviour you are working with, distraction I would always leave until last).

To increase the duration of a behaviour, withhold the click a little longer - break it down though dont leap from a 1 second sit to a 5 minute sit, go from 1 second to 3 seconds or even 1 second to 2 seconds, it depends very much on your dog. My best 'clicker' dog (ie the one I find easiest to work with myself) will make big leaps, though sometimes that has us in trouble, like people who skip bits when reading!, one of my other dogs needs each tiny stage clicked for or he gets disheartened and switches off.

Hope this helps!
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bunny
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Re: Clicker Training next stages...

Post by bunny » Thu Jan 14, 2010 8:48 am

Yes, both answers are helpful.

Oxford has gotten to the point where he can do sit in lots of locations with distractions (dogs, toys, etc.), so I feel pretty good about giving up the clicker on that one. So, if I'm understanding you correctly, I say "sit"with my hand cue, and then if he does it, he gets a treat minus the click, then I go that way for awhile longer going through the location, duration, etc. this time without the clicker. Then eventually it will be OK to ask him to sit with giving him nothing but a pet on the head or a "good boy"?

I realize this will probably take a considerable amount of time, but I just want to make sure that I continue to reward Oxford and make him feel like his responses are appreciated. I would hate to one day go back to having the same problems I started with because I am not giving him the praise he deserves. He has made a lot of improvement with the positive training, although we still have a ways to go....

Thanks, Emmabeth!

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Re: Clicker Training next stages...

Post by emmabeth » Thu Jan 14, 2010 11:50 am

Yep just start using the cue without the clicker being involved.

I wouldnt do this IN a clicker session dont start mixing up clicker and none clicker, and ... rewards.... You can start varying the rewards at this stage.

Varying rewards means ... sometimes you get a 'good boy!' and sometimes you get a scritch behind the ears and sometimes you get a delicious bit of cheese and sometimes its a bit of sausage and sometimes its a dog kibble and sometimes its a toy... AND.... sometimes you get these things immediately, sometimes you do three things before you get it, sometimes five, sometimes Mom goes out of the room to get the reward...

So you are no longer a predictable treat machine, you are variable, you are unpredictable - you are (to blatantly pinch this from someone else) your dogs fruit machine! Get a good mix of great stuff, ok stuff, no stuff, JACKPOT... and your dog is addicted to you and working for you.

This is a pretttty crucial part of training, the addicted dog takes a gamble, comes back to you despite there potentially being something more rewarding on offer. The not addicted dog KNOWS exactly whats on offer and can (and usually does) choose the 'other option' (non compliance, however that takes its form).
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Re: Clicker Training next stages...

Post by Mattie » Tue Feb 01, 2011 3:55 am

Bumping this up
[url=http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v312/Nethertumbleweed/PIXIE.jpg][img]http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v312/Nethertumbleweed/th_PIXIE.jpg[/img][/url]

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Re: Clicker Training next stages...

Post by Daytona » Wed Nov 18, 2015 3:58 am

Brillant ! thanks emmabeth, I've just realised that I'm a treat machine rather than a fruit machine.

Shalista
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Re: Clicker Training next stages...

Post by Shalista » Wed Nov 18, 2015 4:55 pm

Im definitely a vending machine for my dog >.< i dont have alot of faith in him tbh and i dont think he'd do it without the promise of a reward.
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Re: Clicker Training next stages...

Post by Nettle » Fri Nov 20, 2015 3:58 am

Shalista wrote:Im definitely a vending machine for my dog >.< i dont have alot of faith in him tbh and i dont think he'd do it without the promise of a reward.

Consider what you are doing with him, and what's in it for him (as opposed to what's in it for you). Some dogs/breeds like doing pointless tasks we set them, such as sit-stay-roll over etc. - many don't. They just do it because we want them to, and to get the reward. To get a dog really working, the reward has to be in the task. I bet yours would love some of the games in our pinned 'Exercise the Mind' thread. :)
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Re: Clicker Training next stages...

Post by Shalista » Fri Nov 20, 2015 3:46 pm

I bet yours would love some of the games in our pinned 'Exercise the Mind' thread
Since he's so picky and needs such a high value reward (liverwurst) to really work, i've often wondered if he really IS food motivated at all. How would you go about useing something like a mind game as a reward? Many of them involve a certain time investmant. i can't imagine giving Bax a whole treasure chest to unpack for just one 'sit'.
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Re: Clicker Training next stages...

Post by Nettle » Sat Nov 21, 2015 4:17 am

Mind games are cheap as chips! :lol: newspaper, cardboard tube middles of paper rolls, paper cups, old towels, a bag of tennis balls, a bun tray your Mom probably already has.....and each one takes about ten minutes, so no excuses there!

The reward of the mind game is that the dog 'succeeds' at a dog-friendly task - rummaging, finding things, following scent, shredding paper and cardboard. These activities release endorphins - feelgood hormones. The dog feels good about himself, these feelings happen in your company and with your help, so he feels good about you, he becomes more confident and then household upsets don't affect him so much.

Obeying commands doesn't make every type of dog feel good, but the mind games work for all dog types. You have to do them with him, though, and remember, he can't get them wrong - so if he doesn't feel brave enough to do something, you help him with it.
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Shalista
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Re: Clicker Training next stages...

Post by Shalista » Sat Nov 21, 2015 8:58 am

oh yeah, i love using mind games but i'm wondering about the efficiency of using them as rewards. with treats you can do a "sit" 10 times in as many seconds and reward promptly after each one. is it really efficient to have him "sit" then do a ten minute game, then have him "sit" again? am i missing something?
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Re: Clicker Training next stages...

Post by Nettle » Sat Nov 21, 2015 12:34 pm

I am not explaining properly, so I'll try again. :)


Many breeds/types find obeying pointless (to them) commands such as sit-stay - roll over etc. very boring and dreary, and so only do them for a high-value reward. So instead of repeatedly asking him to perform these exercises, do some mind games together. It's much more fun for your dog and so he will be a lot happier.

Many dogs would point-blank refuse to do a 'sit' ten times in as many seconds.

I am sure there are things you find pointless and boring :wink: so you can empathise with him.
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Re: Clicker Training next stages...

Post by Shalista » Sat Nov 21, 2015 12:59 pm

hahahahah i think i'm being exceptionally dense today. so just don't train him to do those commands?
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Re: Clicker Training next stages...

Post by Nettle » Sun Nov 22, 2015 5:17 am

Think about WHY you want him to do those commands.

State your answers here :) Note I am not criticising, but seeking information.
A dog is never bad or naughty - it is simply being a dog

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