POLL: when do YOU introduce the cue?

Discussion in 'General Dog Training' started by tigerlily46514, Dec 22, 2008.

  1. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    Ha, i am trying to post a "poll" not sure exactly how to do this, but here is question:

    When do YOU introduce the "cue" for a behavior/trick to your dog?

    I see many recommend getting the trick down pat first, THEN adding in the cue. Just wondered how many out there are doing it that way? I have been using the cue from the get-go...Maybe is a waste of time, maybe my dog doesn't even listen to that anyway?

    Guess every dog is different, too...

    Ha, anyway, after i hit preview, it doesn't look like i know how to add a "poll" to this, :msngiggle: but dog owners can just write in their answers as "replies".

  2. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    Oh, i really DID add a poll!!!

    Oh, no, wait, i DID add a poll!! WOOHOO! I'm almost as smart as my dog!!:msngiggle:
  3. CollieMan Experienced Member

    I ALWAYS do it from the very fist minute. I know it's not accepted standard but I just find it works best. I'm also training a couple of BC pups (how lucky am I?) and I do the same with them too. Seems to work best for me.
  4. snooks Experienced Member

    I think almost without exception all the books I've read and trainers I use say at 80% success with luring or shaping the behavior you say the word cue exactly at the time the dog starts to do the behavior. Ideally a nanosecond before or just as he moves a muscle to start doing what you asked.

    For example if you were luring a sit, you will have been clicking just as his butt hits the ground. The clicker marks the singular moment in time when he's doing perfect. I fade the treat in the hand and just do the hand movement of luring. By doing this I've gone from luring to rewarding. When the dog will do this with the empty hand gesture 80% of the time while I click/treat. Then I say Sit just as I know he's starting to move muscles to do the sit. This best allows the dog to associate the sound you make with the action of sitting or starting to sit. The click/treat rewards the end result.

    As you give word cue it's important to keep your body and hands still so the dog won't read some other body posture like hand moment or bending over. Dogs are much more visual creatures and will often ignore a verbal cue if you are giving a simultaneous visual cue like hand signal or other body posturing.
  5. Jean Cote Administrator

    I start adding the cue once the dog can perform the behavior. I always advocate in my lessons to (1) train the behavior, (2) create a visual signal, (3) visual signal + verbal cue, (4) only the verbal cue is used. It's a nice progression that is suitable for new trainers who are still learning. Do you remember how hard it was to juggle treats, clicker and leash all at the same time?
  6. maven New Member

    That juggling act is what I'm having the most trouble with in trying to teach Pip some tricks. Add in a targeting stick and it's quite a routine. I know my timing with the clicker isn't good, especially with trying to keep up with all of the equipment, but I keep practicing. I'm also having a very hard time not adding the cue until the trick is learned -- it seems natural to ask him for what I want even if he doesn't know the word yet.
  7. Jean Cote Administrator

    Yup! That is why adding the cue at a later stage can be beneficial. Keep up the good work Maven, with experience you will be able to master all these techniques and as your clicker timing gets more precise and accurate, you will be able to train behaviors faster!
  8. snooks Experienced Member

    Practice clicker timing by having someone at home bounce a tennis ball on the floor and catch it. Try clicking right as the ball hits the ground, they bounce at random timing. Also you can practice by having them make a fist and open wide at random intervals click on open or close. what was very enlightening for me is clicking my husband to do something. I had to pick something like touch the apex of the a-frame in the classroom with his right hand. i had to click which direction he walked and what he did so seeing his confusion and when I was clicking what made it very clear to me how a dog must see the timing and clicker input. it was also very funny... LOL

    Juggling equipment is difficult but developing some tricks makes it easier. I have hand problems so I have lots of tricks. I hold the clicker and 7-8 treats in my right hand, and click with my small or ring finger so I can use my thumb to dispense treats. I hold the target stick in my left hand and pop it under my right arm if I need to or want to pick a treat out of my right hand with an unencumbered left and give the treat. I do hold the clicker hand behind my back. Preloading one hand makes it easier and not using that hand with treats to signal is less confusing. As well as my dogs know some things if I signal with a hand that has a treat in it they just follow the hand and turn off.

    They also make clickers with finger bands and i-clickers have a raised button so they are easier to click than a box clicker which requires a finger inside. I used a phone cord type wrist band for my clicker. another option is a target stick with a built in clicker. I believe www.clickertraining.com (also has finger band clickers) has them but other sites may also. I found this clicker on the target stick a little quiet so wouldn't use it in a very loud location.

    other ideas a hands free leash or carabineer the leash to a belt, tether your dog (supervised only), loop a hair band through the hole on the end of the clicker for a easy finger band. use food or squeeze tubes and or canned squeeze cheese as treats. cake icing tubes or big durable ones are great for squeezing pureed liverwurst, meat/broth/applesauce/cooked yams/boiled chicken liver, liver pate, soft cheese. you just have to food process them until dip consistency that wouldn't break your chip and fill the tubes. it's nice for cold winder days too. The ones I like are at http://www.petexpertise.com/dog-tra...ags/dog-training-food-tube.html?sef_rewrite=1 Though you can buy cake icing tubes at KMart etc I found that the caps came off if the goo wasn't liquid enough and I had to squeeze hard. I've hiking and camping stores also have good goo tubes designed for peanut butter and cheese for human hiking. The dog tubes are dishwasher safe so I liked that.

    in training class we often take 6-7 pieces of treat and put in our mouths so you can teach the dog to catch if you spit one or just put it in a hand quick to give without fumbling for a bait bag. leave the treats on a cabinet out of reach/sight and just take them off with free hand as needed.

    most of these ideas were suggested by someone else and they work great. sometimes the obvious eludes me. :dogbiggrin:
  9. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    :goodpost: all of 'em, sure do appreciate the info!! I don't know what a target stick is, off to google land for me!! but i sure enjoy hearing all your advice and various viewpoints!! You all are so smart around here!!

    Ha, Snooks, i chuckled out loud, about learning with your hubby how it must be for a dog to figure out what IS being clicked, how funny!!

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