[nagdu] Clicker training

Raven Tolliver ravend729 at gmail.com
Sat Jul 20 16:04:43 UTC 2013

Hi Steph,
Targeting is basically a type of luring. You teach the dog to touch
something with its nose. That something, also known as the target, can
be your fist or a targeting stick. When the dog touches its nose to
your fist or the targeting stick, you give the cue "touch." The dog
learns to associate this cue with the action, and thus you can use the
cue to train all sorts of behaviors.
Clicking and treating is used for capturing behavior, meaning the dog
offers the behavior with little or no guidance, and you click and
treat as a result. Some people charge or load the clicker, which is
simply associating the click of the clicker with a reward. This is
easy, and involves just clicking and popping a treat into the dog's
mouth. You do this until the dog consistently responds to the click by
looking at you or approaching you when it hears the sound. The clicker
now serves as an event marker, and the dog knows that a click means a
reward is coming. When you start clicking for behaviors, such as
sitting, laying down, or coming to you, the dog will realize that
performing these desired behaviors yields a click and reward from you.
Targeting is used in conjunction with clicker training. When you give
the cue "touch," and the dog touches its nose to your hand or the
targeting stick, you click and reward the dog. This is how dogs are
taught to locate and stop at curbs, and to find doors, stairs, chairs,
and so on. The only difference is that a different cue is introduced
several times after the dog starts performing the behavior. For
instance, to teach a dog to locate a chair, you would place your fist
on a chair, say "touch," and reward the dog for touching your fist
with his nose. Do this several times, then start introducing the word
"chair." Give the cue: "Chair, touch." Do this several times, and soon
you should just give the cue: "Chair." If the dog obeys these cues
consistently and successfully, you can then just tell it: "Find the
chair," or "to the chair." This can be incorporated into a dog's
regular obedience routine, and can be practiced in different places
with varying levels of distractions and with different types of
chairs, benches, sofas, and the like.
Treating can be used in conjunction with targeting and the clicker.
Some people choose not to, and sometimes, dogs are motivated by
praise, play or toys rather than, or more than, food rewards. It is
not necessary to use a clicker or target with treating, but in some
situations, such as with locating objects or places, it works quickly
and efficiently. It also just works to treat at a certain place, such
as a turn, driveway, or door. And simply practicing approaching this
spot and rewarding for it works too. Regardless, I have found that an
event marker, whether it is a click, the word "yes," or whatever is
very helpful during training. It lets the animal know it did something
desirable, and gives you a bit of time to grab up a treat or toy,
since you do not want to have these things in your hand seeing as they
can be a distraction for the animal.
Hope that helps.
If you have any further questions concerning clicker training
specifically, email me.
I would also suggest you look into texts on clicker training, such as
the works by Karen Pryor. Her work is available on Bookshare.


Original Message:
Sent: Fri, 19 Jul 2013 19:29:52 +1000
From: Stephanie Mitchell <naturelovingmom at gmail.com>
To: "NAGDU Mailing List,	the National Association of Guide Dog Users"
	<nagdu at nfbnet.org>

Hi all,
I have a few questions.  First, where do i find the email list?
It doesn't seem active any more.
Also, what's the difference between giving a treat for targeting
and using a clicker and a treat? Why do both?

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