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Can "clicker" training be effective without a clicker?

JornsBergenson

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I need to start training one of our birds from scratch. I have a neuromuscular condition which causes adverse reactions to sharp sounds (called stiff person's syndrome if you are curious) so I have trouble using the clicker.
I've been using a quick "good" reaction in place of the clicker. Any reason this wouldn't be as effective as the clicker?

Thanks in advance!
 
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Sodapop&Co.

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The clicker is simply a tool to "mark" the behaviour you want to reward. The bird learns that the sound means "That thing I did right there was correct and the treat I'm about to get is rewarding me for it". So the clicker itself isn't so important - it's just a simple tool that helps people get their timing right. You can use any sound, word, etc as long as it's consistent. The most important thing is timing, so that your bird understands exactly what was the right thing to do. Using a word you'll want to use the same word every time and say it in the same tone always. You can also just "click" your tongue - it's easier to keep from changing your tone with a click.
 

Destiny

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That should be perfectly fine. The reason why clickers are popular is because they can generate a quick, consistent, and unique sound. Inconsistency and delayed response time can make it harder for the animal to associate the reward to the desired action. And using a common sound or word might create some confusion, if the animal hears the sound outside of training too often.

But there is nothing magic about the click sound itself. You can definitely substitute the click for something that sounds more pleasant or use a verbal command.

Just try to pick something that is quick and easy to say and be consistent in using the same sound each time, so the animal is able to make a solid connection between sound and reward.
 

MommyBird

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@JornsBergenson
yes a click really is better because it impacts the amygdala in the brain faster, but other markers work too.
short answer https://www.themoderndogtrainer.net/click-really-better-yes/
first thoughts 2001 and updated 2005 The Neurophysiology of Clicker Training | Karen Pryor Clicker Training
Karen Pryor has written about it in a book. As I've read many of them, I am not sure which book it was it but I believe it was Reaching the Animal Mind: Clicker Training and What it Teaches Us About All Animals. It's available on Amazon and probably the public library still
 

JornsBergenson

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Wow. Thanks for the responses, everyone.

yes a click really is better because it impacts the amygdala in the brain faster, but other markers work too.
short answer https://www.themoderndogtrainer.net/click-really-better-yes/
first thoughts 2001 and updated 2005 The Neurophysiology of Clicker Training | Karen Pryor Clicker Training
Karen Pryor has written about it in a book. As I've read many of them, I am not sure which book it was it but I believe it was Reaching the Animal Mind: Clicker Training and What it Teaches Us About All Animals. It's available on Amazon and probably the public library still
This is really good to know. I will look into modifying my clickers so that that they are not so loud. For me, the sound is like an electric shock that triggers muscles to cramp and lock up.
 

macawpower58

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I for one go with the others in that the clicker is just the tool to mark the behavior. A word is fine.
'Good' though in my opinion is not good. It's used too often, and may be said at odd times inadvertently.
I'd pick a word that is different when actually training and leave 'good' for everyday talk.

I've used 'fine' in training dogs. It has a nice sound, and is not said much in normal daily conversation.
Any word you chose though will work.
 

finchly

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It can be a word or a click of your tongue. Even a whistle! I had a dog that was terrified of the clicker, so I started saying “yeah!” In a high, excited voice. It worked for us.

Now THAT is an overused word, but the tone of voice made it clear I guess. :D
 

Shezbug

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I need to start training one of our birds from scratch. I have a neuromuscular condition which causes adverse reactions to sharp sounds (called stiff person's syndrome if you are curious) so I have trouble using the clicker.
I've been using a quick "good" reaction in place of the clicker. Any reason this wouldn't be as effective as the clicker?

Thanks in advance!
As long as you get the word “good” said at the right time then you can certainly use that.
If the clicker is something that sets your condition off then bin it and just find another way (such as saying good) to mark the exact moment your bird does what you want.
I often have to work without the clicker and just use the word “good” as Burt is obsessed with getting the clicker and clicking it himself, if he knows I have it he wants it so bad that it’s usually hard to get him to focus on anything but getting hold of it. Good works fine as long as it’s said at the exact moment the desired behaviour is done.

May also pay to try out different brands of clickers if you really want to continue using the actual clicker- I have had three different brands and they each had their own special click- some are a sharper click than others. The press button one I have (somewhere) is not as sharp or loud as the ones with the metal presser that clicks.
 

Just-passn-thru

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I use the words " that's it "
Consistency is key to success in you're outcome.
 

Just-passn-thru

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I need to start training one of our birds from scratch. I have a neuromuscular condition which causes adverse reactions to sharp sounds (called stiff person's syndrome if you are curious) so I have trouble using the clicker.
I've been using a quick "good" reaction in place of the clicker. Any reason this wouldn't be as effective as the clicker?

Thanks in advance!
Just as effective, consistently is what's going to give you the best results. I don't click :joyful: .
We have a routine without clicking.
 

SumitaSinh

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Can anyone provide me link/post/thread regarding clicker training and recall training... I have target trained my bird (but it depends on his mood entirely).
 

Shezbug

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