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Clicker Training for Beginners Lesson 6

BraveheartDogs

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Clicker Training for Beginners Lesson 6
Hopefully at this point your bird is to the point of being able to follow the target stick. So, we are going to add the cue now.

Before we add the cue I want to point out just a few things. Always hide your target stick in between trials, even while you feed. If the target stick is out and in the birds view and they can't get to it, you may be weakening the desire to touch it. Also, try to click right as the bird is touching or just before. The moment the bird touches is best but slightly before is better than after. I'm not getting to see what everyone is doing so I just want to put that out there as a reminder.

The "cue" is the stimulus that causes a behavior to happen. In this case, at the moment the "cue" is simply presentation of the stick. In other words, the stick coming out cues the bird to follow it. We will add a verbal cue too so you are familiar with how to add verbal cues.

When adding a cue you say the cue or word just before the animal performs the behavior. In this case, we know that presentation of the target stick causes the animal to touch the stick, so we can reliably predict that it will do the behavior. So, as you are presenting the stick or just before the bird can see it say "touch" and then present the stick. Continue to click and treat after they touch it.
 

Sharpie

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Cues are good! They are not my strong point though. I've been wanting to 'name' things and still can't quite figure it, so I think it's part of my problem. So I say 'touch' present the stick, bird touches/click and then treat is the sequence we're going for?
 

BraveheartDogs

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Cues are good! They are not my strong point though. I've been wanting to 'name' things and still can't quite figure it, so I think it's part of my problem. So I say 'touch' present the stick, bird touches/click and then treat is the sequence we're going for?

Hi Sharpie,

So, cues are important if you want behaviors on "stimulus control". This means that the behavior happens only when you say the cue, not when you say other cues. So, a dog may sit on his own but if it's on stimulus control he will sit when you say sit and not when you say, down, come here, off, etc.

The correct way to add a cue or change an existing cue is to present the new cue, in this case, the word "Touch", then present the old cue, in this case the target stick and then click and treat after he does it.

If there is no prior cue then you wait until the behavior is being offered to point that you can predict it and then you say the word when you can predict when the animal does the behavior and then click and treat.

Does this make sense?
 

Cynth

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I have been silently reading along. End of school and vacations are keeping me crazy around here. Thank you for the good explanations in this lesson. Provided clarity.
 

BraveheartDogs

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How is everyone doing on their targeting? Is the bird reliably targeting the stick when it's presented? Will your bird travel to get to the target stick? Will your bird following the moving stick? Have you added a verbal cue or did you just let presentation of the stick be the cue?
 

rocabird

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I took a little break from training Eco. Summer just seems so hectic sometimes, but I started back up this week. One thing I changed was I did away with the treat and went to head scratches. He would ignore the treats or pick it up and drop it no matter what I offered. He loves head scratches above and beyond treats apparently and it's been working well. He's moving toward the target stick now when I say "Touch" and even moved to it today when I held it at the top of his cage and he had to climb a few inches off his porch to get to it.
 
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