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Thread: Clicker Vs Voice Markers

  1. #1

    Default Clicker Vs Voice Markers

    Hi All,

    I was after what everyone's opinion was of both training methods. I realise each have their advantages and disadvantages, however is one more efficient than the other?

    I look forward to everyone's response.

  2. #2
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    I don't think there is really a difference? As long as you make the voice marker unique, ie. something you only use to mark wanted behaviour. I used a clicker at first but now I usually use a high-pitched "Yay!".

    I think as long as you make the difference between the marker and just praise - eg. 'good girl/boy' - I really think it doesn't matter.

    ETA: I do think that for me the clicker was better to start with because I was still getting my head round how it all worked and I think it was easier to get the timing right by a physical movement then by voice, if you know what I mean. But now I do have the hang of it, I think it's the same.

  3. #3
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    I think it comes down to personal preference and the trainers ability to be accurate. I personally prefer to use my voice 'yes', but then I'm not a person who talks a lot to my dogs, it's readily available and goes everywhere with me.

    I normally also have a lot of things in my hands already, ball or tug toy, so for me also juggling a clicker is not something I want to do. I also train mainly in a class situation so clickers going off everywhere is also not something I'm interested in.

    However when initially training other people to use a conditioned reinforcer I find they have better initial success with a clicker if they can juggle lead, clicker and managing puppy.

    I've often thought of being like the dolphin trainers and trying out a whistle, but don't fancy having a whistle hanging constantly out of my mouth.

  4. #4
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    I agree with Beloz I have not started using clicker training yet with my own dog as I don't own one yet but I did do work exp in a puppy school and I think it all depends what the situation calls for ......

    I've often thought of being like the dolphin trainers and trying out a whistle, but don't fancy having a whistle hanging constantly out of my mouth
    I want to use a whistle but I can't decide between a sheepdog whistle or what ppl call a Silent whistle aka the high pitch dog whistle

  5. #5

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    I am not an expert, but one of my club's trainers has studied in this area and she said that there is a difference in the physical reaction of a "click" and a "word". The "click" is processed by the brain as a short, sharp noise. The "word" is processed as language which takes a different path and therefore takes longer. Makes sense to me!

    I generally don't use a clicker because I am always losing them but I think that they are a great tool.

  6. #6
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    I use both and to my dogs "yesss" is the same as "click". I always have my voice ready, but the clicker works much better long distance, such as when I send my dog away and they do what i want them to do. I can tell them the exact moment they did it right too. "yesss" does not carry far.

    When I do concentrated training I often click. as it is louder. But my dogs often do something well and like I said I always have my voice with me, so I use it.

    As to a whistle, we used whistle on our work dogs, but we used our own whistle and with that we used directional guides too. One of my gundog training friends uses a silent whistle. It does not matter what you use, as long as you use it the same way all the time. Dogs will adapt to anything. Just see how your dogs react to a smile, most dogs know what a smile means. It is a visual approval, not noise. It is why calming signs work so well on dogs.

    When we have our Beginners lecture, I use Katy just to show people how the word "yesss" and the click are the same to her. She will be roaming around in the class, saying hello. And it will be noisy, with several people talking, I have primed everyone into watching her reaction when I say "yesss" or click and they can see how her head just swivels and looks straight at me and she thinks what did i do right to get that "yesss"/click.
    Pets are forever

  7. #7

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by newfsie View Post
    When we have our Beginners lecture, I use Katy just to show people how the word "yesss" and the click are the same to her. She will be roaming around in the class, saying hello. And it will be noisy, with several people talking, I have primed everyone into watching her reaction when I say "yesss" or click and they can see how her head just swivels and looks straight at me and she thinks what did i do right to get that "yesss"/click.
    That is very facincating - how were you able to train them to have the same reaction for both? Ideally this is something i would like to achieve but I'm afraid of confusing the little pup.

    From my understanding and research a trainers marker word is not consistant everytime depending on the trainers mood or other factors...

    So... if i were to say "yesss" and click everytime at the start would i be able to use either by itself at anytime?

  8. #8
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    I think the key is just to charge both, separately.

    If you always reward when you use either, the pup will get it. And yes, there'd be some fluctuations in how you say the marker word, but in a training situation they'd most likely only be subtle changes and dogs are smart enough to cope with that. Just like a dog learns to react to commands even when they are said with different intonation.

    But as mentioned before, it may be better to use the clicker exclusively if you're just starting out. That definitely worked for us. Now I usually use my voice only but I rarely use food rewards anymore for the everyday type of behaviours - just praise. If I do a training session to teach/enforce new behaviours, I still use the clicker sometimes and always use rewards.

  9. #9

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    MMMM very interesting i use both with my guys
    a clicker for a start and once the idea is there just the word
    i find that the clicker get the attion that is needed
    then the word come after it
    some times i just get the clicker out and when my guys are on the other side of the yard or doing something i will click and yep they come back right away
    but i think its like people we all learn very diffrently


    good1

  10. #10
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    I did find that the clicker had the advantage that it is something visual that gives the dog a sign that there are rewards to be earned. When I get the clicker and treat bag out, I immediately have my dog's full attention, even before the first click. I also find it easier to use when we are somewhere where there are a few or lots of people. I have used the clicker whilst having a conversation with someone and - even though I still had to give the dog cues - found it disrupted the conversation less than it would have if I was using a verbal marker.

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