Loading A Marker Word

Discussion in 'Advanced Dog Training' started by kassidybc, Mar 9, 2014.

  1. kassidybc Experienced Member

    When you first start clicker training with a dog, you "load the clicker". But when you use a marker word, such as yes, do you need to "load" that word? Just curious as to what you guys think, as I'm starting to train other people's dogs, and many are dogs with no previous training, and I didn't know if I should load yes with them or not before using it.
    running_dog likes this.

  2. Ripleygirl Experienced Member

    I would charge a marker word the same as loading a clicker. You still need the dog to associate the marker word in the same way as a clicker.
    running_dog likes this.
  3. brody_smom Experienced Member

    Why would you use a marker word instead of a clicker? If the dogs have no previous training, a clicker is an ideal way to start. It is also easier to teach the owners to use a clicker than to be consistent with a marker word.
    running_dog and Ripleygirl like this.
  4. kassidybc Experienced Member

    I tried using a clicker at first, but this particular dog is terrified of the sound.
    running_dog likes this.
  5. brody_smom Experienced Member

    We just started grinding our own coffee, and Brody hated the sound of the grinder. I decided to use it as a marker for him sitting and being quiet. Now, when I get out the grinder, I get out some treats and call him to me. I grind the coffee in short pulses, feeding him treats the whole time the grinder is running, and stopping the treats when the grinder stops. He has started anticipating the treats now whenever he sees me getting out the grinder. I think you can do the same thing with this dog. Most clickers have a loud and soft click, depending on whether you push with a flat thumb or a bent one. If he is getting great treats every time he hears a click, he will learn to love the sound. Even my cats do, and they are scared of everything!
    running_dog likes this.
  6. kassidybc Experienced Member

    Alright, I'll try that, and hopefully I can get my clicker to be softer. When I click it she takes off running and hides and won't come out for a few minutes, so I don't really have time to give her treat, hopefully she will respond better if it's quieter. Otherwise I might just use tongue clicks. :)
    running_dog and brodys_mom like this.
  7. brody_smom Experienced Member

    I just had to do the same thing with Brody and the power drill. He is fear aggressive, so instead of running away and hiding, he runs toward and barks. He will try to bite, too, if he gets the chance. He will still attack the vacuum cleaner sometimes, if I don't have the treats ready. So I was installing magnetic catches on my old kitchen cupboards, and Brody was running up and barking and trying to bite the drill every time I ran it. I got a handful of treats and put them on the floor beside me and asked Brody for a down. I gave him a warning before I started, "ready?", then started drilling. If he stayed quiet, I tossed him a treat. If he barked or broke his down, no treat. If your little student's owner is with you, you might have them either do the clicking or the treating while you do the other job, just until she realizes that the click means treat. That way the clicker can be further away from her. You might have to toss the treats to her if she really has to run and hide. I had to do that with the coffee grinder and the vacuum cleaner at first, because he would only be quiet when he was at a distance. Now he follows me around when I vacuum, and sits on the floor next to me when I grind coffee. Or use the power drill!
    Ripleygirl, running_dog and kassidybc like this.
  8. kassidybc Experienced Member

    Thank you! That's a good idea! I might have to have her owner in a completely different room clicking the clicker at first, but hopefully after a while she will be more comfortable with it.
    running_dog likes this.
  9. running_dog Honored Member

    Have you tried one of those pens where the point clicks in and out? They have quite a muted sound and they do work as clickers though they tend to give a "click-lick" not a "click".
    Ripleygirl and brodys_mom like this.
  10. kassidybc Experienced Member

    Oh, that's a good idea! I didn't think of using a pen!
    running_dog and brodys_mom like this.
  11. jackienmutts Honored Member

    "Clicker" ball point pens are a good idea, and also experiment with different clickers, some are much softer than others. One of my old dogs was terrified of the clicker, and actually shut down when I tried working with her (she was my mom's dog who came to live with me when my mom died, and had no clicker experience). I finally decided it best to stop the clicker around her, she was that noise sensitive - so clickers aren't for every dog. If the dog is ok with it, by all means use a clicker. It gives the dog a very clear marker and they'll catch on so quickly.
    Evie, running_dog, Ripleygirl and 2 others like this.

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