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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar. 26, 2006
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    532

    Default Clicker, er, Clucker Training

    I enrolled my GSD in a "Good Dog Manners" class. We meet once a week, and last week was the first class/human orientation. We get "homework" assignments. Week 1 includes "loading" the clicker. Cick/Treat, at least 100 times over the week.

    Well, I discovered that Heinz is afraid of the clicker noise. For him, it's negative conditioning "OMG, I want the food but she KEEPS MAKING THAT NOISE" and eventually he's 10 feet away and looking completely stressed out.

    So, OK, I need to use a verbal signal, and the instructor warned us if we do that, make sure we don't change our tone. (e.g. it's a simple "yes", not "YES" one time and then "YEAAAHHHH" when we get excited ).

    Then I realized, I can "click" on my own. I do it all the time when I'm riding!

    So now my husband has to put up with me clucking at my dog and stuffing his face full of treats. I think this might work.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan. 20, 2007
    Location
    Northern Kentucky
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    862

    Default

    I had a clicker that was scary loud and then I got one of these

    http://www.amazon.com/US-Toy-Bug-Cli...ricket+clicker

    I think the clicker is more immediate and a different sound than we can make.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul. 21, 2006
    Location
    South Carolina
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    5,064

    Default

    You might also try the i-click, sold by Karen Pryor (the lady who started this method way back in the day, with dolphins). She says it works better for sound-sensitive dogs.

    I agree that it's much easier to mark the behavior you want using a mechanical device. It's quicker, more precise, and the sound is more consistent.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov. 1, 2007
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    Tampa Fl.
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    Default

    how is a clicker more immediate?

    Whether you click or cluck, its a condition you are training your dog to pay attention too. Honestly, I always have my clucker with me, I am not always have my clicker with me. So I chose to cluck instead. Snapping your fingers makes the same sound as your cluck. A clicker is something you have to spend $$ on and your clucker is free!

    I see no difference in a click or a cluck as long as you and your dog are getting it on and the communication is working use it.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr. 1, 2008
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    4,558

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MunchingonHay View Post
    how is a clicker more immediate?

    Whether you click or cluck, its a condition you are training your dog to pay attention too. Honestly, I always have my clucker with me, I am not always have my clicker with me. So I chose to cluck instead. Snapping your fingers makes the same sound as your cluck. A clicker is something you have to spend $$ on and your clucker is free!

    I see no difference in a click or a cluck as long as you and your dog are getting it on and the communication is working use it.
    actually there is a difference, brain biology is involved. See the link below. That said, if the dog is clicker shy, I'm glad you are still using the principles involved.

    http://www.clickertraining.com/node/72



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul. 22, 2012
    Location
    CA
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    829

    Default

    I use clicker training for both my horses and dog. I've always just used a clicker with my dog, but have trained my horses to respond to a verbal cluck - it's much easier under saddle, and this way I don't have to have a clicker with me 24/7. I've seen the same results using both. I vote clucker all the way.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan. 2, 2012
    Location
    Wairarapa New Zealand
    Posts
    370

    Default

    ONly time that I use a clicker with my dogs is when I am starting to train a trick - just so they know that the word/hand-signal/trick are together. Every other time, I dont use it as a "ahHA" is my "not right" and Cluck when they get it right.

    Most of my studentS at domestic obediene have started using "ahHA" - even tho' I told them that came from the horses
    Still Working_on_it - one day I will get it!



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul. 21, 2006
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    South Carolina
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by threedogpack View Post
    actually there is a difference, brain biology is involved. See the link below. That said, if the dog is clicker shy, I'm glad you are still using the principles involved.

    http://www.clickertraining.com/node/72
    Interesting article. So it appears that the subject learns quicker with a clicker.

    Actually, I meant it's easier for me to mark the behavior with a clicker than by clucking my tongue or snapping my fingers. A click only requires me to move my thumb, so less movements involved. Easier for the less coordinated among us.

    And of course, with horses one must make a cluck that sounds different than the normal kiss-to-canter; cluck-to-trot signals the horse may already know. I've tried making a kind of "thlock" sound in the roof of my mouth - but a clicker is just easier for me. I wear it on a little lanyard on my wrist so I don't have to hold it all the time.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov. 29, 2007
    Location
    Virginia
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    Default

    Lots of options for sound-sensitive dogs. I-clicks are definitely softer and you can adjust volume AWA choose different sounds. There's also been a style that is a blue plastic cartridge with an orange button (not a metal lever) that's larger than a box clicker but IIRC produces a softer sound. You can also audition clickers at the store -- even with the same brand, some will be softer than others. But if you have a loud box clicker, you can also put some small pieces of masking tape on the top of the metal clicker level, on top of the fulcrum, to greatly deaden the sound. Yet another option is to use a click-style ballpoint pen.

    Or cluck! Have fun with your class!



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan. 4, 2007
    Location
    TX
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    Default

    Some use a ballpoint to click with noise sensitive dogs, is milder then regular clickers.

    A voice is never as good as a clicker, but it will do also, once the animal understands it is a marker, nothing else.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar. 26, 2006
    Posts
    532

    Default

    Thanks for all the suggestions! I have to pick up pet supplies for the zoo today anyway, so I'll see if there are some less obnoxious clickers to test.

    I'm looking forward to the class. I've posted about this dog before - he came to us as a stray and I suspect he's got a lot of training installed already. I just need to learn how to be more consistent in working with him. Plus I really want to work on getting him listening to me in high-stress environments, hence the group class.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan. 20, 2007
    Location
    Northern Kentucky
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    862

    Default

    [QUOTE=Actually, I meant it's easier for me to mark the behavior with a clicker than by clucking my tongue or snapping my fingers. A click only requires me to move my thumb, so less movements involved. Easier for the less coordinated among us.:

    And of course, with horses one must make a cluck that sounds different than the normal kiss-to-canter; cluck-to-trot signals the horse may already know. I've tried making a kind of "thlock" sound in the roof of my mouth - but a clicker is just easier for me. I wear it on a little lanyard on my wrist so I don't have to hold it all the time.[/QUOTE]

    This is what I meant by more immediate and a specific sound too.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov. 1, 2007
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    Tampa Fl.
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    Default

    After reading the article, I understand where you are coming from. I suppose that I did not explain myself enough. A click, cluck, snap (to me) is a quick precise sound; which is why 'I' did/do not see a difference, and I guess may be after decades of clucking my clucker is pretty sharp and quick



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun. 7, 2006
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    9,037

    Default

    Alexandra Kurland I think uses her clucker.

    I think a "clucker" is different from voice.

    I've been using "There!" with my horse but may switch to a clicker after reading this. I don't want to use the "clucker" because I could never keep that straight under saddle. For year that noise has meant, "A little more gas pedal please."



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Oct. 12, 2001
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    Center of the Universe
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    Default

    Oddly enough (or perhaps not, considering the studies on how clickers work vis a vis the brain) I find my dogs learn measurably faster if I use a very loud box clicker than if I use a softer sounding clicker like the i-click, and even there they learn faster than if I use any noise I can make myself, so it might be worth the effort to de-sensitize your dog to the sound- start off with a very quiet click device, and as the dog gets used to that gradually move towards a noiser device?
    also it's not uncommon to encounter people using loud clickers with THEIR animals out and about in the world, and it's nice to own a dog who isn't frightened of the noise.



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jan. 8, 2007
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    1,139

    Default

    When I 1st started training my Sheltie, he was afraid of the louder clicker too. I then realized it was not just the sound but he didn't understand what I wanted and why I would click and throw food on the floor. He is a bit "soft." I realized I didn't quite get the timing of how to use the clicker and it wasn't make sense to him, so I had to start over with the i-click and shaped behavior (did this with a box and just rewarded anything he offered/did), and now he thinks the clicker is the best thing ever.



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jan. 4, 2007
    Location
    TX
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    43,058

    Default

    While we train with clickers, you don't use them all the time.
    I would say most performance dogs in obedience and agility and such today are clicker trained to some extent.
    Still, when performing, you don't use a clicker, you should have an already trained dog for that level of performance and expect the dog to perform without clickers or immediate rewards.

    For some years now, most everyone in our dog club has started puppies heeling without a leash, in a smallish space, with a clicker and treats and the dogs learn amazingly well and without physical restrains about position in space, even very young puppies.

    They also learn about being on a leash, as that is required in many areas of our lives, but it is not necessary any more for real control of where you want the dog.

    Now, in puppy/beginner classes, those concepts are not easy for the dog owner that is new to training, so there we introduce clickers, but not at that level, because of the owner's lack of timing and experience training.



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Dec. 14, 2006
    Location
    VA
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    1,737

    Default been there, done that -he'll have to hear it in class

    Quote Originally Posted by Sunsets View Post
    I discovered that Heinz is afraid of the clicker noise. For him, it's negative conditioning...

    Then I realized, I can "click" on my own. I do it all the time when I'm riding!
    Timber would bolt in an army crawl down the stairs to huddle against the front door shaking and refusing food. Wrap the clicker in tape, a cloth, in your closed fist, shove it under your leg while sitting, behind your back, up your shirt. In a room with no escape or hideyholes, muffle the click then toss the bestest, smelliest, highest value treat to your starving pupil from a distance. Pooch will gradually, over days, close that distance while you gradually reduce the muffling.

    I went through all these lengths because I knew next week we would be a room with a hundred clicks echoing off the walls in a novel, stressful environment. If everyone in class will be wielding clickers next week, get him used to it at home.

    Quote Originally Posted by MaybeMorgan View Post
    I had a clicker that was scary loud and then I got one of these

    http://www.amazon.com/US-Toy-Bug-Cli...ricket+clicker
    I want! Never could find a 'soft' one is stores.

    Quote Originally Posted by MunchingonHay View Post
    how is a clicker more immediate?

    I see no difference in a click or a cluck.
    I was hesitant to add a tool and used my tongue to click. Until I researched more.

    Quote Originally Posted by threedogpack View Post
    actually there is a difference, brain biology is involved. See the link below. That said, if the dog is clicker shy, I'm glad you are still using the principles involved.

    http://www.clickertraining.com/node/72
    Thank you!



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Dec. 29, 1999
    Location
    Harrisburg, PA USA
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    6,546

    Default

    You've got some great options and clucking is fine, too.

    However, I'd be interested in getting this dog over his clicker fear. A GSD should not be afraid of anything.

    Esp. any large formidable dog like a GSD, IMO it's important that they are solid and confident and calm in all situations. Sounds like over-clicking drove him a little nutso (can't blame him). I had a young GSD who hated loud noises. So I dropped empty metal dog dishes on the kitchen floor once a day and IMMEDIATELY placed her already-prepared bowl of food down on the floor for her dinner. Only did the noise thing 1X a day. Day 1 she scooted out of the room, but within a few days she thought, "Hey! Clumsy knocked over the dishes again. FOOD TIME!"



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jan. 8, 2007
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    1,139

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bluey View Post
    While we train with clickers, you don't use them all the time.
    I would say most performance dogs in obedience and agility and such today are clicker trained to some extent.
    Still, when performing, you don't use a clicker, you should have an already trained dog for that level of performance and expect the dog to perform without clickers or immediate rewards.
    I agree completely. I look at the clicker as a training aid to help teach/shape behaviors and then move on. I use it more when I first start training my pups and then to reinforce behavior that may need some attention. Like for example-my Sheltie tends to break contact on the A-frame. At home, we work on that with contact and C/T only when he hits on his own. Or when maybe our finishes in obedience get a little sloppy. He remembers very well what he's supposed to do and it just gives me a nice training aid so I don't have to really correct him, he is so soft that if he think I am saying he did something wrong, he just melts into the ground. Clicker training really helped instill in him training can be rewarding and not frustrating.



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