Opinions?

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Postby maberi » April 3rd, 2010, 7:34 am

HappyChick wrote:I did go ahead and send her an email apologizing because, I don't want to leave a bad impression with her regardless if I choose to take Reno to her training or not. She and I both work at the University and I don't need to make enemies there.


I'm sure you did not offend her in any way. If she is teaching basic obedience classes she should be well aware people looking into her classes probably don't have degrees in behavioral science. When I go to my mechanic with car trouble I have no idea what the hell I'm talking about, and I'm pretty sure I've never offended them with a simple question.

I still want to know if Matt finds any other trainers in my area and what they have to offer.


I found one person on a training board that lives near you. They are going to send me some suggestions to pass along.
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Postby airwalk » April 3rd, 2010, 8:11 am

it's not just a bunch of happy hippies making noise and stuffing treats in their dogs faces


LMAO That cracked me up!
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Postby TheRedQueen » April 3rd, 2010, 9:01 am

If you are confused about clicker training...here's a nice Fact vs. Myth article on clicker training...

Even if you chose not to go this route, I like for people to understand how it works. :)

http://www.clickersolutions.com/article ... myths2.htm

And here's a clicker training primer:

http://www.clickersolutions.com/article ... primer.htm
"I don't have any idea if my dogs respect me or not, but they're greedy and I have their stuff." -- Patty Ruzzo

"Dogs don't want to control people. They want to control their own lives." --John Bradshaw
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Postby HappyChick » April 3rd, 2010, 9:31 am

Thanks, Erin. I don't know if you remember, but I did ask you awhile back about clicker training and Karen Pryor. I did some reading on it, but I still don't really get it. I'm definitely open to continuing to figure it out. I also watched your videos with Fig. Those videos are what really got me interested in it. And thanks for the opinion from the other side of the fence.

BTW, I've been called a hippy plenty of times myself! :wink:

Thanks, Matt for everything! I can't wait to find out more about what your training person suggests for me.

Can't a person use a mixture of different types of training with one dog? I would guess the dog would not be confused if the method used is consistant, i.e. prong collar always used for walks, but not for other things. Yes, I know I don't get it all yet, but I will be doing some serious reading this weekend!
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Postby TheRedQueen » April 3rd, 2010, 9:50 am

Well, this is a good place to ask clicker questions! There are a lot of us that use the clicker now... :D

I'll try and get some video of Oreo today...I haven't introduced the clicker to her yet, so it'll be a video of a dog trying it for the first time. :)

Can you mix methods? Of course you can...you can use P+ (positive punishment) to give a collar correction while on a walk with the dog...and then in the next moment, you can use R+ (positive reinforcement)...click/treat the dog for walking nicely next to you. Will it work...sure...but will the dog be confused...very likely. :|

The myth is that positive reinforcement trainers use ONLY R+...which is not true. The opposite side is P-...meaning Negative punishment...taking something away that the dog likes. I chose not to use P+ for the most part (I do use aversives...I'm a big yeller...runs in my family)...I don't use collar corrections or things that physically apply an aversive to my dogs. I'm sure there are things that I do that my dogs FIND aversive, but they're not ladeled out on a daily basis. (Fig HATES being scooped up and held if something is interesting...so that's aversive for him, but it's sometimes the easiest way to get the little crap away from something he shouldn't be doing).

Training is about timing...but using R+ techniques are much easier on the dog if your timing is off...a badly timed punishment can be a really bad thing...and most of us don't have superb timing. Which is why I don't teach my classes with prongs and choke collars...it takes TOOOOOO long to get normal every day people to learn how to use them not just properly, but WELL. Have I had dogs in my classes with chokes and prongs...yes. Do I help them to use them, no...I recommend that they switch to something better for my clicker-heavy class. I don't have the time to educate on those pieces of equipment...there are plenty of trainers who use them. lol

Really nice articles on positive punishment in dog training by Susan Garrett:

http://susangarrettdogagility.com/2010/ ... nd-it.html

http://susangarrettdogagility.com/2010/ ... -cons.html
"I don't have any idea if my dogs respect me or not, but they're greedy and I have their stuff." -- Patty Ruzzo

"Dogs don't want to control people. They want to control their own lives." --John Bradshaw
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Postby HappyChick » April 3rd, 2010, 12:05 pm

Thanks for the articles! I am starting to understand the concepts a little better after reading them. I forgot to tell you guys that I did clicker train Leni to sit whenever she is next to me. I will call her and she comes to me and immediately sits, or she will be following me around and she sits when I stop and look down at her. She is doing it now without the clicker and treats, just a rub on the head and praise. Except when she is really excited like when I first get home and then she wants to jump on me over and over again. :rolleyes2:
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Postby TheRedQueen » April 3rd, 2010, 12:18 pm

HappyChick wrote:Thanks for the articles! I am starting to understand the concepts a little better after reading them. I forgot to tell you guys that I did clicker train Leni to sit whenever she is next to me. I will call her and she comes to me and immediately sits, or she will be following me around and she sits when I stop and look down at her. She is doing it now without the clicker and treats, just a rub on the head and praise. Except when she is really excited like when I first get home and then she wants to jump on me over and over again. :rolleyes2:


:)

The clicker is a tool for operant conditioning...it's not NEEDED to use positive reinforcement (as you're finding)...it's just a great way to communicate exactly what you want/like (short, precise and a novel noise). There are studies about using a voice marker compared to a clicker...and it's been proven that the clicker seems to help the "student" learn faster. :D

I don't use a clicker with everything that I do...I use it to shape precise behaviors that I want...but I'm not walking around with a clicker and treats all day (I've got 13 dogs here this weekend...I'm not gonna click each one all day)...but I'm using R+ nevertheless. :) When I'm in class, or need the dog to work through something, or we're out specifically to train/socialize, I use my clicker. :) But...on the other hand, I do have a lot of treats around my person at all times, in the car, in my bags, in my purse...so I CAN capture those good moments, and to help them succeed.

As I mentioned, Oreo (foster), hasn't met the clicker yet....lol...I haven't done anything formal with her. But she's been rewarded for good manners/behavior by me being consistent and using reinforcers that she enjoys...going outside, she has to sit before the door opens. I don't use a punisher for her NOT sitting, because she doesn't *KNOW*...the door just doesn't open up until she sits. Same with her behavior in the crate...she wants to come out, she has to sit and control herself. So while I'm not using a clicker with her, I am using operant conditioning. :)
"I don't have any idea if my dogs respect me or not, but they're greedy and I have their stuff." -- Patty Ruzzo

"Dogs don't want to control people. They want to control their own lives." --John Bradshaw
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Postby amazincc » April 3rd, 2010, 1:59 pm

I never thought I'd say this, but - I LOVE my clicker. :D
When I first joined here I really had a hard time grasping the whole concept of clicker training, but now I find it to be sooo much fun for both me and the dogs. I agree w/Erin that the dogs seem to pick up things much faster when you use a clicker to mark/shape a desired behavior... it only took a little over an hour to teach Faust the "you are under arrest" pose, for example, because he is very clicker-savy and he "gets it" very fast.
I also don't use a clicker/treats 24/7... once my dogs know a command or an expected behavior the "reward" is usually what follows next. Crates and doors also don't open at our house until a dog sits quietly and clamly... so the reward is the opening of the door. Food bowls aren't put down unless a dog sits... again, the reward is the bowl being put down and the dog being allowed to eat.
I use treats mostly to enforce important things, like the "come" command... I don't always give a treat for listening to that, but I treat more often than not - just to make sure that coming when called always has extremely "pleasant" consequences and overrides any other "more interesting" distractions. This has REALLY worked for Seppel, whom I used to have to chase around the yard in the middle of the night to get him back in the house. He is now to the point of listening to me immediately, no matter what goes on on the other side of our fence.
Another example is "playing fetch"... all my dogs LOVE to fetch, but if they don't bring the ball back to me - game is over. :| You'd be surprised to see how fast they caught on, even though it took me a lot longer... I used to get frustrated and yell for them to bring the ball back to me, or I used to go and get it myself... they definitely had me trained. lol
Now all of them know that the ball has to be dropped at my feet for the game to continue. :wink:

I am by no means an "expert" in training, but I have found that we all enjoy it a lot more and accomplish things much faster by using a ton of positive re-enforcement... lots is done by clicking/treating to teach a behavior, and the rest is done by the dogs "receiving the pleasant consequences" that result in obeying a command.
It takes time and patience to train that way, but I couldn't be happier... and so are the dogs. :D
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Postby TheRedQueen » April 3rd, 2010, 2:55 pm

amazincc wrote:I never thought I'd say this, but - I LOVE my clicker. :D


*beaming*
8)

Very good point on the recalls...my guys still get lots of goodies for coming to me...no matter where we are, in the house, out in the yard, at the training center, in a flyball tournament...they get random treats...so they're always wanting to come to me, rather than the distracting thing they've found. :D
"I don't have any idea if my dogs respect me or not, but they're greedy and I have their stuff." -- Patty Ruzzo

"Dogs don't want to control people. They want to control their own lives." --John Bradshaw
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