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Sports & Agility > Does Anyone Compete With a Rescued Dog?
ARCHMX Asher RL1X RL2X RL3X RL

we will dance in- the ring without- words
 
 
Barked: Wed Jan 23, '13 10:09am PST 
Yay, Rigby!!!! hamster dance
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Sports & Agility > Does Anyone Compete With a Rescued Dog?
ARCHMX Asher RL1X RL2X RL3X RL

we will dance in- the ring without- words
 
 
Barked: Wed Jan 23, '13 9:48am PST 
Duncan, don't let ANYTHING or ANYONE discourage you. There are several venues that welcome rescues (and disabled dogs and disabled handlers) with open arms.

APDT rally was one. I can not predict what World Cynosport Rally will be like as they have not yet completed the transition, but I will be judging my first Cynosport Rally trial in February and I expect it to remain status quot for at least a bit.

C-WAGS is another welcoming venue, very exhibitor friendly, very dog friendly. And they offer Scent Detectives and Rally (I will be judging my first C-WAGS Scent Detective trial and C-WAGS Rally trial in May) as well as Obedience. They recently added a BUNCH of fun Rally games, like teams and Black Jack.

Can't answer much on the side of agility. I have not explored that sport too much, but plan to in the near future.

And, if you are worried, Cyber Rally is a great place to get started, less stress for you, less stress for the dog. There are venues for Freestyle where you can video tape preformances and submit them. there is also a virtual agility league.
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» There has since been 70 posts. Last posting by , Jan 10 6:00 pm


Sports & Agility > Does Anyone Compete With a Rescued Dog?

ARCHMX Asher RL1X RL2X RL3X RL

we will dance in- the ring without- words
 
 
Barked: Wed Jan 23, '13 8:57am PST 
I started competing in Rally because of Asher. And I saw a lot of rescued dogs in APDT Rally. Some hosts even give special awards to rescued dogs.

Asher himself made National Rankings 3 times.

And I will continue to compete with my NEW rescue in C-WAGS Rally and probably in Cynosport Rally too (and aim to start him out in C-WAGS Obedience and some Agility venue, probably CPE.

Do you plan to compete with Duncan sometime soon? You should try it.
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Behavior & Training > Perch Work Youtube Videos?

ARCHMX Asher RL1X RL2X RL3X RL

we will dance in- the ring without- words
 
 
Barked: Wed Jan 23, '13 7:39am PST 
Rigby, just do a youtube search on perchwork and dogs. I think Risa's mom has one there!!

Don't know if this will take you there, but it should:

http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=dogs+perchwor k&oq=dogs+perchwork&gs_l=youtube.3...1062.4034.0.4429.14.14.0.0.0.0. 200.791.12j1j1.14.0...0.0...1ac.1.iWpmK6HDzOw

here is Risa's mom's:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CZ3GDrYw7aY
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Behavior & Training > Clicker training question

ARCHMX Asher RL1X RL2X RL3X RL

we will dance in- the ring without- words
 
 
Barked: Wed Jan 23, '13 3:27am PST 
Clicker training is a methodology. Training with a clicker is just...training with a clicker. No different than training with any other marker (and a clicker is not the required marker for clicker training).


Those who think that one HAS to click/treat after every behavior in a chain do not understand what clicker training is. In fact, one of the final tests for Karen Pryor Acedemy graduation is a 10 behavior chain (with at least 3 different types of cues). The reward comes at the end of the chain.
And if you backchain, that makes perfect sense because each cue in the chain rewards the behavior before it.

And Bob Bailey has said repeatedly that he is not a clicker trainer. Why doe she not consider himself a clicker trainer? Because he acknowledges that, less than a dozen times in his long career, he HAS used positive Punishment when life and limb depended on it and the owners insisted. In fact, in spite of the fact that he ran chicken camps for dog trainers, Bob Bailey does not think a clicker is needed for dog training at all. He views a clicker as a laser scalpel.

As to what anyone else does, well, that is their personal choice.

And again, the question was I was under the impression you always had to reward right after the click otherwise it ruins the effect?

And the answer is that you do not get the same changes in brain chemistry if you do not reinforce every click. You weaken the response (earlier I said counter condition and that was obviously wrong, you desensitize). That does not mean you can not USE the to mark, it is still a conditioned reinforcer, it is still effective, but it is not AS effective.
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Behavior & Training > Clicker training question
ARCHMX Asher RL1X RL2X RL3X RL

we will dance in- the ring without- words
 
 
Barked: Tue Jan 22, '13 5:12pm PST 
I am pretty much in line with Bob Bailey, who, when asked :

How do you define clicker training?

Responded:

I don't. Karen Pryor does, in my book.
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Behavior & Training > Is my home the right home for duke

ARCHMX Asher RL1X RL2X RL3X RL

we will dance in- the ring without- words
 
 
Barked: Tue Jan 22, '13 4:52pm PST 
Duke, I was asking if you are committed. And it is a question you really need to ask yourself.

As for me, I would NEVER give up one of my dogs. I would move heaven and earth to solve problems and behavior. But that is me. Some people give uo when the work gets too hard.

I am very glad to hear that you are NOT that type of person. I would expect to be doing a LOT of work with Duke in the future, but it can be an enjoyable, bonding experience and I can promise that the journey will be worth it.
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Behavior & Training > Clicker training question

ARCHMX Asher RL1X RL2X RL3X RL

we will dance in- the ring without- words
 
 
Barked: Tue Jan 22, '13 4:45pm PST 
The question was about clicker training. I think Gail Fisher addressed the issue very nicely:

While I am clearly an avowed clicker trainer (a true believer – one might say a missionary), I have no ill feelings for trainers who lure continuously to get a behavior. Or who choose to mark the behavior simultaneously with presenting the treat. Or who use the click as a “keep going” signal or “praise marker.” Or who reward the dog only in position. Or who lure to help the dog when he’s confused rather than using the clicker to allow the dog to figure it out himself. I have nothing against people who use clickers with other methods of training. Just please, please, please don’t call what they do “clicker training.” It robs the rest of us of being able to clearly communicate who we are and what we do. We are clicker trainers.

And Kathy Sdao's's article on the differences between clicker training and training with a clicker from Karen Pryor's site is pretty clear:

Are You Clicker Training, or Training with a Clicker?
By Kathy Sdao on 10/01/2006
Filed in - Fundamentals - Training Theory

I began teaching people how to clicker train their dogs in 1996. At that time, most pet owners had never heard of clicker training and few class instructors took it seriously. Mine was the only advertisement in the local Yellow Pages that mentioned the word "clicker." I had to persuade students to even try this novel gadget.

A decade later, clickers are now common in dog training classes. But, I suggest, clicker training still is not common enough.
Are You Clicker Training, or Training with a Clicker?

I do believe "clicker training" is an unfortunate term for what we do. It's misleading in two ways:

You can "clicker train" without ever touching a clicker. I did this when I trained marine mammals. During those 11 years, I used various behavioral markers, including an adjustable-pitch Acme Silent Dog Whistle (with beluga whales), an underwater acoustic ping (with US Navy dolphins in the open ocean), the word "good" said with specific pitch and inflection (with a walrus named E.T.), and a single silent clap—a visual marker (with the dolphins at the University of Hawaii's Kewalo Basin Marine Mammal Laboratory).
You can use a clicker for training, yet be doing something quite different than "clicker training." I've met trainers who see nothing odd about holding a clicker in one hand and the transmitter of a remote shock-collar in the other. Their carrots are backed up by big sticks. Clearly, this is not clicker training.

So we're left trying to define genuine "clicker training" in order to distinguish it from "training with a clicker." Before I attempt this, let me acknowledge a few things:

Clear definitions matter. They allow us to talk about abstract ideas with as little ambiguity in our conversations as possible.
Definitions are social constructs. They aren't handed down from on high, etched into granite tablets. We—everyone who uses the language—create them, through discussion and consistent usage, though the opinion of experts does tend to carry more weight.
Clicker training is a powerful behavior-modification process. It warrants delineation from other training approaches.
It is needlessly divisive to define "clicker trainers" (versus "non-clicker trainers"). We are talking about a method and a philosophy, not a classificatory label. Though I passionately promote clicker training in seminars around the country, I sometimes use other training techniques (e.g., classical counter-conditioning). When working with animals, sometimes I'm clicker training and sometimes I'm not. Whether I (or anyone else, for that matter) should be labeled a "clicker trainer" seems beside the point.

And so, when you use a clicker to train your animal, are you clicker training (CT) or training with a clicker (TWC)? To answer this, consider the following questions:
Clicker training is a powerful behavior-modification process. It warrants delineation from other training approaches.

Is the click an event marker?

CT: The click pinpoints a behavioral instant, a moment of muscle movement. (With clicker-savvy animals, the click may sometimes be used to mark instants of non-behavior.)

TWC: The click is used in a less precise way, as a general signal that the animal has earned a reward.

Is the click a release?

CT: The click informs the animal that his movement met the trainer's current criterion; that is, his behavior was "enough" to earn reinforcement.

TWC: After a click, the trainer may require further behavior from the animal before paying up (e.g., after clicking, the trainer withholds reinforcement because the animal didn't stay in place, or didn't finish the weave poles).

Is the click meaningful?

CT: It is essential that the animal recognize the click as an independently meaningful signal. Therefore, great care is taken to ensure that the sound of the click occurs in a sort of "stimulus void."

TWC: The click is often overshadowed or blocked by other stimuli salient to the animal, occurring simultaneously with the click (e.g., the presence of a food lure on the dog's nose, the trainer's intention movements toward food). As a result, the animal becomes desensitized to the sound of the click; he will not react to it in ways that indicate anticipation of food or play (e.g., flicking the ears, looking toward the source of the click, wagging the tail).


Does the click predict a strong positive reinforcement?

CT: The click is paired with the animal's deepest desires: food, toys, interactive games, social companionship, etc.

TWC: The click is often paired with weaker reinforcements such as praise and petting.

Is the treat delivered "in position"?

CT: The emphasis is on delivering the treat as soon as possible after the click (though never simultaneous with the click). The treat is delivered regardless of the animal's position subsequent to the click. The trainer knows that the animal's position at the instant of treat delivery is reinforced, and so, when planning a training session, considers various ways to provide the reinforcement.

TWC: The emphasis is on delivering the treat while the dog is still in the correct position. Treats may be withheld if the dog moves out of position when hearing the click (e.g., the dog forges ahead of heel position or gets up from a sit).

Who is doing more work: the trainer or the trainee?

CT: The trainee is the more active participant, moving more than the trainer who remains relatively passive. The animal's job is to behave, that is, to move; the trainer's job is to observe the animal and to deliver timely, consistent, frequent reinforcements.

TWC: The trainer is the more active participant, moving more than the animal who remains relatively passive. The trainer is focused on making behavior happen, and uses food lures, body language, and physical prompts to "help" the animal.

Is speed of acquisition of a few key behaviors the most important goal of the training process?

CT: Each training session is an investment in the animal's future ability to learn. Knowing this, the trainer sacrifices instant compliance to gain momentum toward the goal of accelerated learning, when the animal has "learned to learn" and training becomes virtually effortless. This is often accomplished by allowing animals to get "unstuck" on their own, without lures and prompts from the trainer.

TWC: The priority is getting the animal to perform a particular behavior (e.g., getting a dog to lie down quickly and completely). Lures, prompts, and physical molding—all behavioral antecedents—may be used to speed this process. The animal may learn this initial behavior quite quickly, but also may be hindered in future learning situations by a tendency to remain passive, waiting for "hints" from the trainer.

Are all four quadrants of the operant conditioning grid used equally?

CT: Clicker training is an intentionally "unbalanced" form of operant conditioning. It has a preferential option for positive reinforcement (i.e., the trainer adds stimuli the animal desires), and, to a lesser extent, negative punishment (i.e., the trainer removes stimuli the animal desires). In most cases, clicker training avoids using positive punishment (i.e., the trainer adds stimuli the animal dislikes) and negative reinforcement (i.e., the trainer removes stimuli the animal dislikes), knowing the fallout that can result. Clicker training gets rid of unwanted behaviors using extinction, the training of replacement behaviors, management, and negative punishment.

TWC: The four possible consequences are used in proportions that are more equal. Positive punishments such as collar-pops, physical manipulation, and verbal reprimands are used to get rid of problem behaviors and to deal with the animal's non-compliance. These aversives are interspersed with clicks and treats.
I've met trainers who see nothing odd about holding a clicker in one hand and the transmitter of a remote shock-collar in the other. Their carrots are backed up by big sticks. Clearly, this is not clicker training.

Is the main emphasis control or communication?

CT: Clicker training is an elegant and effective method for communicating with animals in a coherent way. It challenges humans to strip away the constraints of verbal language and to tap into a more universal way of conveying information. Control of the animal's behaviors then flows as a by-product of consistent, clear communication and effective motivation.

TWC: Behavioral control is the principal goal of training. Communicating with the animal is the means to this end.

Is it important to realize the animal's full behavioral and cognitive potential?

CT: At its best, clicker training maximizes each animal's potential. It strives to make the animal a fully active, thinking participant in the training process. It encourages the presence of "the other" by constantly expanding animals' behavioral repertoires and by providing ever-greater cognitive challenges.

TWC: Training with a clicker may also aim high, attempting to tap into the animal's maximum potential. Often, though, the ultimate goal is a specific repertoire of discrete "obedience" behaviors, performed reliably on command.

Of course, when you come right down to it, a clicker has no inherent meaning. It can be used in all sorts of ways, both within animal training and outside that realm (e.g., US Airborne troops in World War II used clickers to identify friendly forces; Catholic nuns before Vatican II used them to cue the movements of students in church). My hope, though, is that the term "clicker training" will come to have a standardized meaning and that my colleagues who "train with clickers" will call their method something else.


One of the things I have noticed is the desire of traditional trainers to co-opt the language that force free trainers use to distinguish themselves.
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Behavior & Training > Clicker training question

ARCHMX Asher RL1X RL2X RL3X RL

we will dance in- the ring without- words
 
 
Barked: Tue Jan 22, '13 12:42pm PST 
The really lovely thing is that if you are a TRUE clicker trainer, the cues themselves become tertiary reinforcers and you can use cues to reinforce each behavior in a chain till you get to the end where the click comes. Of course, if you add aversives, you shut down the ability to use the cue as a reinforcer (Karen Pryor talks about this in her book, Reaching the Animal Mind). The cue will no longer activate the seeking circuit, so becomes "poisoned". I realize there are a lot of people out there that believe a poisoned cue is one to which the dog reacts negatively, but it is not. it is simply a cue that no longer does activate the seeking circuit.

And there are lots of trainers who use clickers out there. That does not mean they all are clicker trainers.
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Sports & Agility > Confused about Some APDT Rally Rules
ARCHMX Asher RL1X RL2X RL3X RL

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Barked: Tue Jan 22, '13 12:32pm PST 
Wow, I have never seen that as related to APDt Rally, and I am on a LOT of groups related to Rally and have a LOT of exhibitors and judges as friends. Again, maybe it IS a venue thing?

Of course, I also understand how an individual could see others doing it to them and emulate. But then the people who began the snarking really have no right to complain, do they?
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