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Right now I'm experimenting with something based on a "300 peck pigeon experiment" where a pigeon was built up to ... 1. I'm using it for stays. Sit, stay, 1 step, click. Sit, stay, 2 steps away, click., etc. It's fun!

I sometimes train with a clicker, sometimes don't. I find it most useful for shaping a behaviour that isn't part of the natural repertoire... (fetch, come, down, etc.)
We used it to shape "ring-the-bell-on-the-door-when-you-want-to-go-out." Of course, then, with Storm, who wants in, and out, and in, and out all day, we were treated to a non-stop symphony of ringing bells.

We chose to put the bell away during the times of the day when we didn't want to play that game.
Kate
What if a certain k9 has some undesirable traits that need to be corrected; let's say he is very mouthy, to the point of drawing blood. That would be a behavior that shouldn't be tolerated. With my dog, who at one time was that way, I simply give a command that stops that behavior, but I have not used positive reinforcement exclusively. She knows what the "no" command means because I back it up constantly. For someone who uses clicker training exclusively, and it seems that many profess to doing so, how do you stop that behavior? Do you wait for it to stop and then reward?
ANY time you want to stop a behaviour, there is another behaviour you actually want the dog to perform. Teach to that behaviour.

Good point.
What if a certain k9 has some undesirable traits that need to be corrected; let's say he is very mouthy, ... profess to doing so, how do you stop that behavior? Do you wait for it to stop and then reward?

Actually the most common way to stop mouthing is to let out a very loud Yelp or ouch.
Clicker, or not, that is how many trainers stop this behavior.

Now one can ad the clicker and the treat the minute the "yelp/ouch" stopped the mouthing.
Gwen
Im seriously considering clicker training after reading these threads, so keep up the good work!

Here's my standard spiel on clicker training/operant conditioning :
Have you ever played the "hot and cold" game? The children's or party game where the object is to get one person to find and touch an object in the room, and the only clue that can be given to to say "warmer" or "colder" as the person moves away or towards the object?
Clicker training- and operant conditioning in general- works exactly like that, with the click or the marker word functioning as "hot". Clicker purists and PP'ers work only with "hot".
Many trainers, however - and I'm defining "trainer" here as "person who trains any dog", not "professional who makes a living teaching others to train dogs"- prefer to also use "cold" in the form of no-reward markers and corrections.
A no-reward marker (most people use a simple "oops" or "uh-oh" or "try again") tells the dog "That wasn't it; try something else." A correction (which can, again, be as simple as the word "oops" or a mild "anh") tells the dog "that is something NOT to do".
My personal experience is that my dogs learn faster and with far less frustration if I provide them with information about wrong choices and what I don't want as well as about what I do want.
Correlary note: one of the most important things to remember about giving corrections is that the correction should immediately be followed with praise/reward when the dog responds. Continuing with correction after the dog responds is one of the commonest mistakes I see people making. Classic example: dog at the park doesn't immediately come when called. Owner raises her voice and says "ROVER! GET OVER HERE!" Rover stops, and turns back towards the owner. At that point, the owner should immediately* respond with "Good dog!", and continue to praise as the dog comes towards the owner, going back to corrective tone only if the dog turns away again. A *smart owner will run backwards, getting the dog enthused about returning, only reverting to the corrective tone if the dog turns away again, and reward when the dog gets there.
Unfortunately, many people continue to scold/berate the dog, some even going so far as to grab, smack, or leash the dog as it gets close.
Many trainers, however - and I'm defining "trainer" here as "person who trains any dog", not "professional who makes a ... provide them with information about wrong choices and what I don't want as well as about what I do want.

I agree. But the no-reward marker must be neutral. It should not be associated with punitive actions or emotion. In fact I usually make it very cheerful.
Of course, then, with Storm, who wants in, and out, and in, and out all day, we were treated to a non-stop symphony of ringing bells.

He and Franklin would get along very well. If I had a dog door, I would be treated to an all day symphony of fwap-fwap-fwap-fwap. He'd live outside if I'd only move out there with him!
Janet Boss
Best Friends Dog Obedience
"Nice Manners for the Family Pet"
Voted "Best of Baltimore 2001" - Baltimore Magazine www.bestfriendsdogobedience.com
. But the no-reward marker must be neutral. It should not be associated with punitive actions or emotion. In fact I usually make it very cheerful.

Yes- I should have specified that, and didn't. Too used to giving the spiel in RL, where it's evident from my tone of voice.
What if a certain k9 has some undesirable traits that need to be corrected; let's say he is very mouthy, ... profess to doing so, how do you stop that behavior? Do you wait for it to stop and then reward?[/nq]I don't use clicker training but stopping nipping etc can be done very effectively without any confrontation or "bad dog". For instance a while ago when Roz had cut her front paw I wanted to examine the cut, I asked her to "down" and roll over on her side, when I touched her paw she became distressed even though I wasn't hurting it, she bared her teeth and had a snap at me, I had anticipated she may act this way and had my right hand ready to block any contact.

Now instead of making an issue of it and berating her I considered her circumstances and asked her to lie down again, I sritched her behind her ear and spoke to her telling her to calm down, good girl etc and at the same time gently rubbed the sore paw avoiding the sore bit. This kept things calm and I made it clear to her I was going to examine the paw and she wasn't to bite me or even be stressed about it, soon she had calmed completely and I was able to look at it.

This built an enormous trust and now I can examine her anytime I want even if she is hurting and she doesn't react or have any desire to react.

Sam my other dog used to mouth when playing and sometimes bit too hard, to discourage this behaviour I kept my arms and hands well out of his reach and offered him a toy to play with, before long he would come up carrying the toy and we would play that way, the mouthing behaviour simply disappeared without any confrontation on my part.
Paul
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