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We enrolled Squeegee in puppy obedience classes and went to the parent orientation last night. The class seems like it will be really good. I'm so excited! They gave us a clicker and said we would be using clicker training in the class but didn't go much into why it works better than just giving a treat reward after a good behavior. I have heard the theories about operative conditioning, etc but still don't understand why clicking and treating is better then simply treating after the desired behavior. Have any of you guys used it? If so, does it work well?
 

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When Lucy was training as an assistance dog, we used clicker training. It is good because the click precisely marks the desired behavior, and later you don't have to hand out a treat for EVERY little thing. In addition, intermittant rewards are more motivating than consistent rewards (as I remember from psych 101).

Enjoy your class.
 

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The idea behind clicker training is not new - its just the clicker itself that is a more recent invention.

The idea behind clicking is that you are marking desired behaviours. I use marking in my training, but I don't bother with a clicker (it's just one more thing to have to carry around!) - I use a marking word which is yes. I may mark a behaviour when I am training instead of treating because we are in the middle of an exercise, and I want to confirm to the dog that she has done something right, rather than constantly treating (as generally the reward comes after completing a task).

For example - if I am training a one minute sit/stay. During the stay I don't want to treat, but I want to confirm to the dog that they are doing the right thing - so I say 'yes' half way through the minute. This lets the dog know that they are doing the right thing and that the treat/reward is coming.

I start this at a fairly basic level, pretty much the same as clicker training - I am developing drive with a tug toy at the moment and one of the first commands is ok, as in, 'ok you can grab the toy now'. As soon as the dog grabs the toy, I say 'yes' and keep saying yes during the tug session so that she knows she is doing the right thing. Eventually, as you build the marker, the dog learns that 'yes' means they are doing the right thing and this can help build reliability with commands and training.
 

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Originally Posted By: Lucy's MomWhen Lucy was training as an assistance dog, we used clicker training. It is good because the click precisely marks the desired behavior, and later you don't have to hand out a treat for EVERY little thing. In addition, intermittant rewards are more motivating than consistent rewards (as I remember from psych 101).

Enjoy your class.
Yep and its more exciting for a dog when they know that yep you are doing the right thing and more motivating for them to know that a reward is coming. This keeps them trying, and IMO, more willing to learn.
 

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We also do clicker training! It works really good.

Using a clicker in stead of just a treat is to reward at the exact right moment. Over here we make the agreement with the dog: click = treat, so when you click he always gets a treat.
Once the dog knows this, the clicking is a positive signal for him.
When you want to learn the dog a new trick you get results much faster with clicking than with just giving treats, because you can reward much more precise.
I love it, and with the clicker we have learned Charlie and Levi a lot of stupid tricks just to let them think
 
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