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I have never taken clicker training. I have watched some videos on youtube but wonder if anyone here has done clicker training.

My basis question is, I read that a click and a treat are as good for a dog as "good boy" etc. So when you first start clicker training, do you just use the click and a treat - or do you start with "good boy" click and treat?

If anyone has links to a good website with clicker instructions, I'd like to check it out.

Thanks.
 

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I use verbal praise when I use the clicker, mostly for time when I'm not able to have a clicker with me.

I also will "load" the clicker the first session I do with my pups. Basically sitting down and clicking (just clicking, not clicking for anything) and treat, and they quickly learn that click=treat.
 

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Thank you. I am going to try clicker training with my Mini poo when I get her. I don't have a clicker. I looked at some and figure that the ones with the spirally things that go round your wrist would be best because then you have it handy.
 

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I love clicker training- nearly as much as my dogs do. To reduce it to the essentials:
First you teach the dog that the click ALWAYS signifies a reward. Food is quick and easy, and appreciated by most dogs, but if your dog is very much into toys then a quick game may be equally rewarding.
Second - you click the behaviour - or step on the way to behaviour, that you want, and TREAT. Click always means a treat, remember.
Third - when you are getting consistent behaviour, you only click and treat the best 50-60%. The knack is to reward often enough to keep the dog interested, without rewarding poor/sloppy responses.

I need more practice - my timing is not good, and I am not very good at recognising the right moment to start reducing the reward rate. I am still convinced it is a brilliant training method, though!

If you start by looking at anything by Karen Prior, you won't go far wrong.
 

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yup, there's loads and loads of info online about clicker training for more in depth info! I LOVE it as a tool, but it's not the only tool I use, nor do I rely on it for everyday stuff and I mainly only use it for actually training a behaviour.

"do you just use the click and a treat - or do you start with "good boy" click and treat?"
just click and give the pup a treat straight away. Pause a second, click and treat. Pause.... click and treat. Make sure you pause, and make sure the treat quickly FOLLOWS the click (but NOT at the same time or the click will be totally ignored in preference for paying attention to your hand and body language offering a treat!) Do that a fair number of times and leave it. Later, do it in different rooms at different times of the day, and go out into the yard and stuff too to generalise that the click ALWAYS means a treat is coming. They learn fast, trust me! They'll soon be very quick to prick up when they hear the click!

When you are training, if you stuff up and click the wrong thing, you still give the dog a treat; it was YOUR fault for stuffing up the timing of the click, NOT the dog! Yes you've just confused the issue for the dog, but you'll just have to be better next time! If you click, you reward. No questions.


It's a good idea to practise clicker timing without the dog too. Get someone to bounce a ball randomly (rather than rhythmically) and you have to click when it hits the ground or wall or where ever it's bouncing off; you get a feel for predicting it's movement and clicking at the right time. Get your friend to vary how fast they bounce it too. Try getting them to drop something else (a bit of paper, a set of keys) for different speeds etc too. Or try clicking on the SECOND bounce of a ball... Or you can pick a word while watching tv, and click every time it's said..... It does get better with practise! Just make sure your dog isn't around when your'e practising timing or you'll confuse the heck out of them! LOL!
 

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when loading the clicker- a click then treat click then treat you do this until when you click the dog gives that "TREAT?" look now the dog hs learned that the click brings a tret.

The reason we use the clicker
1- it is bridge- if we're teaching sit and say "goodboy" on a dog who's having trouble learning to sit- his butt will be bck in the air before we finish our GOOD BOY. With the click it's short- distinctive sound cn get the timing much better then a verbal cue
2- with clicker training you can SHAPE behavoir and correct issues in training quicker- ie if a down is not 'quick' it is easier to correct wtih the clicker IMO then other methods.

It's a fabulous tool that IMO a lot of people who use it do NOT know how to use it for it's full benefit
 

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I usually use the clicker when training behaviour that may need very accurate timing. For instance, I used it when training my dog to bow (I use the word bend so not to confuse with down). When a dog is going to lie down, it usually puts its front legs down first. At that point, you have a bow, but if you don't click at that point the dog continues to finish the down movement. The clicker very accurately marks the absolute time you got the action.

You can also use it in a sort of free style session. I introduced the girls to a skate board. If they were timid, I would click and treat when they went anywhere near it. As they are not timid, I sat and waited for them to approach, clicking when they touched it - for the first few touches. Then I waited for them to do something else. They climbed on board and got their click and treat. I then turned it over and only clicked when they spun the wheels, and then only when they went to each individual wheel - spinning the wheels one after the other is quite a family pleaser.

One good thing about clicker training is that you can see the dogs working out just what you want from them.
 

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I like clicker training. The first puppy class Darcy and I went to was a Karen Pryor Academy, so it was all about clicker training. One thing the instructor taught me is that when you're shaping a new behaviour you click as they start to do the right action, not when it's done. Click them in the act.

A book I bought and recommend is this one: Amazon.com: The Power of Positive Dog Training (9780470241844): Pat Miller:… She walks you through all the basic commands (and a few advanced ones) using a clicker/ positive reinforcement.
 

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I also like clicker training because the clicker is the same sound every time and not affected by mood,how tired you are, etc. I'm on a medication that makes me slur my words a bit and makes me stutter so clicking is much easier than trying to get out a yes or good girl/boy. And I've only been able to train my cats with a clicker, never with my voice.
 

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If you search 'kikopup' on Youtube, you'll find an excellent series of videos on clicker training, each focused on a different training topic. Someone on this forum turned me on to kikopup, and she is fantastic!
 
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