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Thread: Clicker Recall Training

  1. #1
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    Default Clicker Recall Training

    I have found the clicker not particularly useful for recall training. But I'm wondering if that is because in general I still struggle a bit with getting past the first stage of enforcing behaviours.

    I know that at first you are supposed to click as soon as they turn around to come towards you. Is the idea that you then click later and later until you get to the stage where you only click when they have returned to you?

    Or is recall one of those things where the clicker doesn't make much of a difference and I might as well do it without it?

    I have been varying the rewards so she gets more rewards if she comes when there are lots of distractions and/or she does a very fast recall. I've also been encouraging her to run towards me - instead of strolling - by jumping up and down like an idiot encouraging her in a high pitched voice, which seems to work rather well.

  2. #2

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    We have got a clicker to and what I am going to say is this.
    I am so glad to have grandkids as at least it will be used.
    Just can't get it into my head on how to use it right.
    Maybe this is due to me getting older and don't want to change.
    Or maybe I just find these things more annoying than what they aare worth.
    I much prefer to give the verbal or food reward.

  3. #3
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    I first did training with it and then without it for a while. And I found that my dog is much more focused if I use the clicker. It is very effective for calming her down sometimes. And she also seems to get the hang of it faster.

    I find the first stage pretty easy. The clicking as soon as they "get" what you tell them to do. Like sitting down when you say sit. But the hard part I find to fine tune their behaviour using the clicker. So waiting longer until you click for a sit so they get the idea that they can only get up when you tell them to. I think I start feeling sorry for the dog when she suddenly has to wait for her reward!

    But I do use praise and food too. The clicker is not the reward. It's just a way to let them know exactly what they are being rewarded for so you don't accidentally reward them for another behaviour that they happen to be doing straight after or before.

  4. #4

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    With recall, I wouldn't be doing the click when she turns about to come back to you. Click when your dog gets to about half way between where they were and you if your using the clicker.

    I don't use my clicker for recall training. I just call her and when she gets back to me I praise her excitedly and give her a treat. I mix up everyday treats with an "awesome" treat, so something that is worth more than a day to day treat, like a chicken neck. So sometimes they get a much higher reward for their recall, it just helps solidify a solid recall (because they never know when they are going to get a super awesome treat for coming so they always come). I do this mainly at home but when going to the park will often take a chicken neck with me to use on one recall also.

    Also be careful what you are calling her for, remember if you want a solid recall you cannot call her to you to do "bad" things ie: bath time, giving tablets, leaving the park. If you have to do something bad then go and get your dog. Only use your recall for good things, otherwise you will poison your recall and your dog will not always come back.

  5. #5
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    Yeah, I try to do lots of call and release ones. Just have to remind myself to do them often enough and in a variety of circumstances.

    When we go back to the car, we got into the habit of doing a heel for the last 20 metres. My dog seems to love this. So much so that if I forget, she will just start doing it anyway. And then she gets a jackpot for getting into the car without a fuss. Seems to work very well so far.

  6. #6
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    I use the clicker with recall...All my new Rescues are taught that way. It is progressive. each time you click when they have done a little more. So first it is turn around, click/reward, get that happening (in the house) and throw a treat at them. allow this about ten times and after that wait for a step or two towards you and click and treat, again throwing it at the dog or walking up to the dog...Again let them be comfortable and do it quite a few times. And on to doing it by them coming even closer to you to all the way. We start in the house, go on to the verandah. Do it out of play with the other dogs and so forth......But remember, to always release and allow to go back to play.
    I call this proofing...We get more distractions and try it in different environments. Sometimes in a new environment, you have to start at the beginning. Dogs do not generalize and each area/situation is initially different for them.
    I try not to have a pattern, so the dogs never know when the re-call is the end of all the fun. So sometimes short, with no go back to play and sometimes lots of recalls with lots of go back to play/sniff/or whatever.
    Katy has picked up a bad habit, which is click is recall to her. Which is bad for my long-distance Obedience training, because she tries to come back as soon as I click anyone or for anything. It is new and we are trying to work our way out of it. Because the clicker should not always mean come to me or a "reward now". It should be able to be discharged a couple of times before treat with a established dog. She used to be like that, but retraining Lukey has made her think she can also get a treat every time. We are getting there again.....So you see, everything has its problems

    I should have said that you initially train a dog to charge the marker word/click, but if you been having a go at clicker you should know that
    Pets are forever

  7. #7
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    I didn't follow all those steps, but have a pretty reliable recall already. So maybe I'll just click when she reaches me now or just don't use the clicker at all. Don't trust on it enough yet to always use it when I need her to come though. If I suspect she is just too distracted, I will not say come, but will instead try to use lots of calling her name and jumping up and down and silly voices. If that doesn't work I'll just go get her. The other day another dog owner grabbed her by the collar for me because she was just away with the fairies after running around like a lunatic with the man's puppy. It was only when I stuffed a treat in her mouth that she snapped out of it and became aware of her surroundings again and obediently followed me when I walked away. Funny creatures...

    I obviously made a mistake with the "leave" command. Banjo now thinks it means come too. I'll have to try that again, maybe change the cue and try throwing the treats at her when she turns away from whatever it is that I want her to leave.

    The other one I'm struggling a bit with is the giving her treats when she follows me after playing with a dog. Or sometimes even after chasing birds. I've greatly encouraged her checking up on me on walks and choosing to come with me instead of following other dogs or people by giving her a treat every time she returns to me even when I don't call her. But I'm not quite sure how and when to decrease the number of treats I give her for this. She scores a lot of treats like this and I noticed the other day when I forgot the treat bag (first time!) that she is actually more responsive without the treats. Though I know that wouldn't last yet, it's probably an indication that I am giving her too many treats that are earned too easily.

  8. #8
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    If my dogs do something "bad"...i will do a little obedience before i give them a treat. They have to do about ten-twenty seconds of good.

    Yes you do wean them off treats...my older dogs, Tessa and Annabelle hardly get any..They get "good girl"or a "give five"/"table'' which are tricks Annabelle gets a real kick out of. They only occasionally get a jackpot, when they are awesome. Like after a whole trial pattern of good heeling.
    Treats and rewards can get in the way....And like ihave now with Katy, I am needing to step back and rework some of her clicker training. She is a little food obsessed at present.....I think this has come about with Lukey being in the Beginner Training and getting more reats. She thinks so should she. Sometimes we have to step back and sort what we are doing wrong and re-start
    Pets are forever

  9. #9
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    My dog has such a strong association linking treats and her name and the word "yes" and a few other recall words that she tends to show up whenever I say her name or "yes" - looking for a treat.

    Which is a bit hard when you're trying to train her to go away from you.

    I've been trying to train Frosty to stand on a telephone book wrapped in a towel as part of "body awareness" skills and so at first I say "yes" when she looks at it - and she comes and gets a treat, and then I say "yes" when she goes near it, (and she gets a treat) and then I say yes when she runs over it, then paw on it, then two front paws, then two back paws, then three paws - then she sat on it... gave her lots of treats when she put two paws on, and lots of treats when she sat on it etc.

    Ie only reward the actions that get you towards where you want to go.

    But for recall - the way I usually do it is conditioned response ie when you know the dog is already going to get it right (already coming your way), say your word and when the dog arrives - give a really super yummy treat and try to make it last 30 seconds and all the while tell her how clever she is... repeat three different times each day. When you have no mistakes for a month (90 repeats) - try your word in the field. But (I'm not sure about this) the conditioning or automatic response is strongest the less you use the word when you're not sure about the outcome ie each time you call and she doesn't come - you untrain the word.

  10. #10
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    katrinbellyeu

    we need the step by step video of how you trained your dog to do that. And your dog doing that when there are whole lot of other fun things to do - like chasing the bird flying over you, or sniffing for mice in the bushes, or out at the park where there are lots of other dogs to play with. And what you do when things go wrong.

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