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Marker question

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by Monkeypuppy, May 18, 2021.


  1. Monkeypuppy

    Monkeypuppy PetForums Junior

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    Pls can anyone explain the difference between using a clicker as a marker and just using the word "yes"?
     
  2. CheddarS

    CheddarS PetForums VIP

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    They are the same. Generally the clicker timing is more accurate and consistent hence using it. I use both depending on the circumstances
     
  3. O2.0

    O2.0 PetForums VIP

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    A clicker is a marker :)
    Clickers are easier to use if you're looking for very precise movements, like an eye blink or specific muscle twitch to build a behavior, but you can really do pretty much do the same stuff with a clicker as a verbal noise.

    Also a lot of dogs (one of mine included) find the noise of a clicker to sharp and aversive to be useful as a reward marker. A verbal yes, yip, good, whatever works much better for this type of dog.

    The biggest thing in marker training is that the dog is confident and happy to offer behaviors and try things. If your marker training is peppered with punishments for wrong choices, it becomes really hard to build that type of confidence and motivation.
     
  4. Twiggy

    Twiggy PetForums VIP

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    They both do the same job and both have advantages and disadvantages depending on each individual dog and handler. With either timing is critical. Personally speaking I use 'yes' because I would need three hands when teaching a lot of exercises.....LOL
     
  5. Maurey

    Maurey Maine Coon Madness

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    As mentioned, they’re interchangeable. I prefer the clicker, as it’s a fairly unique noise, and not a word I might use in everyday speech that could confuse my animals :>
     
  6. O2.0

    O2.0 PetForums VIP

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    This is something that comes up a lot, but in practice it's actually not that big of a deal.
    I've sad in so many clicker classes with multiple handlers using a clicker and every dog knows which click was theirs. It's actually really fascinating. They get the context.
    I say yes and good all the time in every day speech and never had an incident where the dog or cat thought I meant it as a marker.
    I'll clicker train one dog while others are in the room and the other dogs know the click doesn't apply to them. (I do have one dog who protests when I clicker train the other dog instead of him, but he's not confused, just not patient to wait his turn :D )

    Some people will say their marker word lost power because it was too common a word that the dog heard too much, but IME it's not hearing the word outside of training scenarios that causes issues, but poisoning the marker with punishments, purposeful or accidental that causes it to lose power.
     
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  7. Maurey

    Maurey Maine Coon Madness

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    I noticed I used ‘good’ in the same intonation when speaking to my little brother and some of my friends as I did marking Jum’s behaviour, and she’d run up to me for treats lmao. I agree it’s not a common issue, but in my case, using a clicker seems to cause less confusion, haha. If I didn’t have the same intonation, I assume she wouldn’t have reacted, to be honest. I just found it simpler to switch to priming and using a clicker in my specific situation.
     
  8. McKenzie

    McKenzie PetForums VIP

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    I use ‘yes’ but neither of my dogs have ever mistaken it for a marker out of a training context. I just figure my dogs know when I’m talking to them and when I’m not.
     
  9. Maurey

    Maurey Maine Coon Madness

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    Chips doesn’t give a damn, but if I say a word in any context that Jum knows relates to food, she’ll be there in an instant if she’s hungry (she knows the words food, eat, hungry, treat, paste (malt paste, but she reacts to the word paste more than malt lmao), and good relate to food). Might be because she’s a cat, but I imagine a really food-motivated dog might have a similar reaction.
     
  10. O2.0

    O2.0 PetForums VIP

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    Oh my dogs know lots of words to the point that sometimes we have to spell things instead of say them, or speak in full code after the dog then learns to spell, but they're not confused about being marked for a behavior, they're just being opportunistic about a chance for food or interaction.
     
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  11. Maurey

    Maurey Maine Coon Madness

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    Ahhh, that does make more sense than her being like “oh I did a good behaviour gimme treat now”. I’ve found Jum is less reactive to the word good since I’ve started a clicker to mark her the majority of the time, though, so I’ve found that beneficial :>
     
  12. O2.0

    O2.0 PetForums VIP

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    It is my experience that dogs and cats who have been clicker trained (with a clicker or not) tend to become more involved with their handlers outside the context of training because they've come to really enjoy the interactions themselves. So it doesn't surprise me at all that a clicker trained cat becomes more in-tune to what you're saying and doing and shows up to see if she/he can join you in whatever you're doing :)
     
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  13. Twiggy

    Twiggy PetForums VIP

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    Oh never a truer word..... Well said.
     
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  14. Monkeypuppy

    Monkeypuppy PetForums Junior

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    Thanks all very interesting. All quite new to me but I'm finding it all fascinating and it's taking me back to my a level psychology with the stuff about behaviour.

    We too are reaching the point of talking in code because he's learnt to spell the words that we were having to spell lol.
     
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  15. Twiggy

    Twiggy PetForums VIP

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    It is fascinating. I love watching dogs learn.
     
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  16. Sarah H

    Sarah H Grand Empress of the Universe

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    Our old terrier used to go nuts if we said the word 'walk' or 'walkies'. We did start spelling it but he got wise to that too :Hilarious

    On the marker subject I use both clickers and marker words, and don't have a problem with the markers in every day speech (I use 'YES', 'niiiiice', and 'goooood'). What might happen is that another dog who isn't involved hears the markers and wants to get involved! This is why I teach them to stay on a bed or mat while I train them separately and they take turns. Clickers I use most if I'm teaching a new behaviour and want to be precise, I tend to drop the clicker once it's a known behaviour.

    I was at training the other week and was using Puzzle as a demo dog and stooge, one of the owners said 'down' to her dog and Puzzle (who was mid run back to me from retrieving his toy) immediately went into a down :D
     
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