Who does clicker training?

(45 Posts)
Imsosorryalan Wed 28-Nov-12 22:09:34

I have just started today! And am totally hooked. Within an afternoon. Alan dog can now sit, lie down, stay and come <just a pup>
She is either pretty clever or clicker training is just amazing!!

ajkula Thu 29-Nov-12 06:17:00

Clicker training is amazing - I've just bred a litter of pups, and each new owner has got a clicker and an acme whistle in his/her puppy pack. I think it just makes it so much easier for the dog to understand you.

Clicker training saved my sanity with LittleDog.

I had never done it before but he turned into the teenage dog from hell and I tried it on the advice of the doghouse and it actually works most of the time

Cuebill Thu 29-Nov-12 07:53:51

Clicker training is fantastic - the quickest easiest way to train any animal

see what you can do with clicker training - Nana

driventodrink Thu 29-Nov-12 08:27:14

Cuelbill that is so cool, right I am getting my clicker back out

SpicyPear Thu 29-Nov-12 08:33:12

Me too. Has been great with the pup, and big dog too once we'd conditioned her not to be terrified of the click!

GoldenOrangeWhippoorwhill Thu 29-Nov-12 08:52:40

Oh I love clicker training. The two dogs I had when I discovered it were adults but learned all sorts of things. The old dog learned to yawn on command which was hysterical. The other one had a range of tricks that she would run through when she wanted something. This proved a bit of a problem when you were cooking and she was attempting to earn a bit of sausage by begging, leaping, bowing, spinning and whacking everything in sight with her paws. grin

It proved to be a godsend with our rescue Goldie. He wasn't nearly as bright as the girls but learned the basics very quickly and got very good at lying on his mat 'at' you.

We've been using it with Pupiranha from the start. She can sit, lie down, come when you call her, touch your hand with her nose, walk quite nicely on her lead, let go of things she is holding, make eye contact when you say her name and we are working on 'leave it' and on sitting quietly while I hold her paws and touch the nails with the nail sander and on being in the room while the nail sander in on. This is going to take some time... the sander is the scariest thing ever! Also while working on leave it I've accidentally captured a head turn with snooty look which is priceless and I'm hoping I can isolate it.

D0oinMeCleanin Thu 29-Nov-12 09:31:13

Clicker training is magic.

It's fun. It's easy for both trainer and dog. Dogs seem to learn super fast. It's very hard to get wrong.

D0oinMeCleanin Thu 29-Nov-12 09:35:07

Spicy we had to teach Whippy not be frightened of the clicker. Even now if I am teaching her something she doesn't know she has to be taught from under the safety of the dining table. Look dog is not easy to train from under a table grin

She's not scared of the clicker anymore. She sits the instant she sees the clicker as soon as she realises I don't want sit, I want a new behaviour, she retires to under the table. I tried to train loose lead walking with clicker. It went fantastically with puppy and Devil Dog, Whippy just hid behind me because we were outside and there was no table to hide under whilst learning the scary new command.

Imsosorryalan Thu 29-Nov-12 11:23:33

Cuebill, I have you to thank for introducing mewink today we will learn chase your tail I think.
I need a number of party tricks in time for Christmas. < as my dcs don't perform anymore>

driventodrink Thu 29-Nov-12 15:49:30

We have dusted off the clicker and drivendog can now roll over, beg and wave after 5 mins in the kitchen with the clicker and some cheese

Cuebill Thu 29-Nov-12 18:20:24

grin "as my dcs don't perform any more"

Teaching limp is a great trick to impress show your friends.

If you have a hand shake or paw, ask them to give the paw when standing up rather than sitting down, then ask when you are a bit ahead of them, they tend to limp to you. Make the distance very short to start with.

I love my dogs limping into the vets surgery - well it keeps me amused smile

Cuebill Thu 29-Nov-12 18:21:40

You can get quieter clickers for those dogs that are afraid of them.

tazzle22 Thu 29-Nov-12 18:26:16

*waves ... me too

and with my horses wink

actually do more withe the horse than the dog.

great as its a positive motivator for doing "scary " stuff

yes clicker training is amazing stuff Im

D0oinMeCleanin Thu 29-Nov-12 18:30:06

I started out with Whippy using the clicker in my pocket, to muffle the sound a bit, she loves to be clicked for sitting now, it's new things she is scared of.

We have a lot of boxes atm, I am going to start doing 101 things to do with a box, to build her confidence up, although knowing Whippy she will be scared of the box. We've had her since 10 weeks old. She has never been shouted at or badly treat or punished in anyway. She is scared of everything from rain to wind to new toys. She used to come everywhere with us as a pup so it's not lack of socialisation. Dd2 was still in a buggy when we first got her so she would literally be with us whenever we left the house, sitting in dd2's lap in the buggy.

Cuebill Thu 29-Nov-12 18:47:54

Thats a good idea using the clicker in your pocket. Bless her, start with a little box. smile

She sounds like a "what if" dog I had. But what if the box does something scary, what if I get stuck inside it, what if........... obviously a sign of very high intelligence.

Have you had your practical weeks yet Dooin at Bishop Burton?

Stealth boasting, Donkeys also love clicker training, mine eeyore for their dinner and will stand on a bucket (front legs only obviously) and do the dogs agility jumps. Our geese with twist and spin.......I just luuuuuuuurve clicker training.

My Dc's, bugger, doesn't seem to work on them

SpicyPear Thu 29-Nov-12 19:15:40

D0oin sounds just like SpicyDog. I've trained (well, almost!) puppy to press a buzzer to be let out for the loo and thought I'd teach her too. In a week we have got as far as eating a lump of cheese off the floor near the scary buzzer. She still won't touch chicken, ham, cheese or sausage on the buzzer [sigh]

D0oinMeCleanin Thu 29-Nov-12 19:15:47

The first one is next week <eep> Poor dd1 is devastated and has been crying in school today sad

driventodrink Thu 29-Nov-12 19:16:20

Cuebill the only thing clicker training has taught my 4 DCs is that if you hear the clicker mummy is with the dog so distracted, therefore you can raid the cupboard, fridge, garage for tools and create general havoc grin

Cuebill Thu 29-Nov-12 19:37:15

D0oin you will love it... poor DD1 still she will be very proud of her Mum when she qualifies. If any of the sessions clash with halfterm we know of a great cheap holiday home you could all stay in, on a farm maybe she could be bribed told of that option.

Driventodrink grin yep think mine have learnt that too

RedwingWinter Thu 29-Nov-12 20:25:23

That's a great video Cuebill. My favourite bit is the birds on the nose.

I love the cats v dogs one too, especially since so many people think you can't train cats: www.youtube.com/watch?v=G5dIB2oF6sQ

My husky can limp. He's very keen on shake paw and you have to watch it when he offers it unexpectedly as it can seem like he is trying to thwack you.

Dooin I hope you have a great time at Bishop Burton.

Urgh, Dooin and Spicy, I think my Pupiranha is going to be like that too.

We got her at 8 1/2 weeks, she was really well socialised by the breeder, she has been gently exposed to all sorts of things and lots and lots of people. She loves people but strange places, things and sounds she just freezes or hides and shakes.

I did try 101 Things to do with a Box but so far all we've managed is hide under a chair from the nasty box and hide behind Mum from the nasty box. She did pluck up the courage to approach the box earlier in the week but Old Dog came past it and it made a noise and that was too scary.

Even going for a walk is problematic. Poo bins in the park are terrifying, trees are apparently scary, strange dogs that are bigger than her are worrying, dogs running in the distance are also bad. Car rides are the scariest thing ever.

I've never had a nervous dog before, the others have been pretty outgoing and confident in most situations. It is quite strange. She's a Curly Coated Retriever so is going to be quite a big dog and she shakes like a chiuaua when she's scared. grin

Is there any hope for her or do I have a big baby?

rusmum Thu 29-Nov-12 22:47:49

ok whats clicker training?

RedwingWinter Fri 30-Nov-12 01:13:24

You use a clicker to make a 'click' sound when the dog does the right thing, and follow it up with a treat. The advantage of the clicker is that it enables you to mark the behaviour very quickly, so the dog gets good feedback when it does the right thing. So basically it's training based on positive reinforcement.

Kikopup has a good video that explains it: www.youtube.com/watch?v=_wv1uvvqaSw

QuietTiger Fri 30-Nov-12 08:46:24

We clicker with the dogs, horses and cats. Clicker with cats is not quite as effective as a food motivated dog, as the cats look at you with a "WTF? The expect me to do WHAT?" and then walk away! wink

Our sheep dog puppy learned to sit in 5 minutes flat. Cheese as a reward will do that! grin

D0oinMeCleanin Fri 30-Nov-12 09:25:44

Dd2 is clicker training our cat. She's taught him to jump onto her bed on command and lay down on a pillow up to now.

I've been encouraging her to do it at meal times and use his actual meal, so he is hungry enough to perform for her.

I've just started working on clicker training my Sphynx cat as a bit of practice before we get a dog. Have also tried to 'clicker' train our deaf cat using a torch instead of a clicker, when we first got him.

Deaf cat learnt nothing - to be fair, I gave up as he's a nutter and never looks in the same place long enough to see the torchlight!

Sphynx cat has learnt that being in the lounge means tasty treats. He also comes to me when he hears the clicker. I was trying to teach 'sit'.

Think I need more practice grin

RedwingWinter Fri 30-Nov-12 16:50:19

Training our cats to go in their basket on command was the best thing ever. Now trips to the vet don't have to begin with chasing the cat round the house!

I taught sit in the same way as teaching the dogs, by moving my hand up - their eyes follow the hand and bottom starts to go down automatically. Then you can build on that.

merrymouse Fri 30-Nov-12 17:00:05

When you start phasing out the reward, do you only click when you reward, or do you sometimes click and not reward? (So must click always be accompanied by a reward?)

D0oinMeCleanin Fri 30-Nov-12 17:12:08

Click must always be followed by reward. The click tells the dog he's 'won' there is no point winning without a prize to win grin

I phase out the click first and then the treat but only once they have the behaviour down 100% even then I will still click and treat it occasionally.

We always finish on a high so I at the end of a training session I run through a few commands I know my dogs know and click and treat for them, so they end on a lot of wins.

tazzle22 Fri 30-Nov-12 17:34:37

the click means yes reward is coming... must treat if you click, its a promise grin

great to hear so many cats doing it ...... I dont have cats now but would love to try it. When I first used it with me horse it was unusual and most folk though I was nuts and it would never work grin

we do stuff like stuff

and with Taz

merrymouse Fri 30-Nov-12 18:09:21

Thanks for replies.

If you wanted to use a non food reward (e.g. throwing a ball), would you therefore not connect this to the clicker?

Shesparkles Fri 30-Nov-12 18:13:53

8 week old pup here, Is it too early to start?

Tortoise Fri 30-Nov-12 18:23:36

Is there a quick easy guide to clicker training? I bought one and tried using with my jrt but didn't get far. He's nearly 4.smile

tazzle22 Fri 30-Nov-12 18:51:07

yes you can use non food rewards merrymouse . It has to be something that it high value to the dog and something you only ever do when CT to be really effective. Yes you can connect it to the clicker it just has to be within 3 seconds to make the link the best.

I would think 8 weeks should be fine sparkles but I dont have experience of doing it that early so maybe someone else has experience of it with such young pups. I started mine at about 10 - 12 weeks if I remember ( twas a long time ago grin and the other rescue dogs were all older when I got them.

what guide do you have tortoise... the ones I had were in more detail cos I love knowing all the learning theory behind it anyway.. adn imo if you do understand at least th ebasic thoery it makes more sense when you are trying to plan the stages of a task. If th ebook you had did not make sense to you maybe thats why you did not get far ??? Sometimes a different explanation can make all the difference.

Maybe try videos..... some people are more visual in learning and do better than from a book ?

one .... you can get lots lol


tazzle22 Fri 30-Nov-12 18:52:35

merrymouse . the first video definately explains about using toys/ play as reward.

Tortoise Fri 30-Nov-12 19:22:34

Only the leaflet that came with it and google but so many different opinions on best way to go about it.
With a treat in my hand I can get sit, lay dowb, roll over, beg and paw. Sit and paw he will do even if I have no treat.
I'd love to be able to teach 'quiet' because he barks madly anytime some one walks past the house or someone parks outside or knocks on the door. But not sure best way to go about that one.

tazzle22 Fri 30-Nov-12 20:23:33

you sure will get lots of different views on the "correct" way... and thats why its important to look at quite a few videos and books. Within clicker you can freeshape ( that some trainers believe is the only true purely positive way) or you can shape a behaviour using prompts / clues which can involve various levels of pressure ( not just physical but psychological / mental) so in order to make your choice as to trainer to follow it depends on your set of beliefs / ethics sometimes. So sometimes it does pay to read a bit before you start and understand where the trainer is coming from. One can get quite "deep" into it .... or choose to keep it simple and follow the basics.. but you still need to undertand basic learning principles imo to "get it right".

If you are using just the treat in you hand it is luring the dog to do the action ( some call it bribery) and the dog is not using its brain as much to work out what its getting the treat for..... it works but its not clicker training and the principle gets lost when you are asking the dog to do something you cant lure it to do.

the teaching not to bark can be done basically either by rewarding the dog for not barking when someone rings the bell or walks past ..... teaching it to bark on cue then to cease barking on cue...... or specifically enlisting support to have training sessions where someone rings bell, you wait till dog stops then reward and repeat for quite a bit then do that on frequent training sessions. Thats the principles of three ideas, not exhaustiveand not in detail ......... and each principle has its pros and cons . You need to plan this stuff out after the dog and you have really got the principle of clicker established on other activities as its quite a hard ask for you both as newbies to clicker.

some people swear by karen pryor but many find her books kinds "heavy" this one looks like it might be good


tazzle22 Fri 30-Nov-12 20:25:40
tazzle22 Fri 30-Nov-12 20:27:01
RedwingWinter Fri 30-Nov-12 20:49:14

Tazzle it's great to see clicker training with a horse!

Just wanted to say that clicker training works brilliantly with 8 week old puppies. I started with Pupiranha the day after we got her. Call your puppy to you, click and treat. Very quickly they get that click means treat. Then wait till the pup sits... click and treat. Do it every time their bums hit the floor and pretty soon they should be sitting 'at' you for a treat. Once they are doing that you start adding your cue word ie. sit. Obviously they are very small so tiny treats and very short sessions. Then work on whatever else you want them to learn.

My pup is 12 weeks old now and we are mainly working on confidence building because she is very, very timid but she can sit, lie down, touch your hand with her nose, let go of whatever she has in her mouth (totally vital because she is an evil biter!), put her front feet onto something, put her feet back on the floor after jumping on things, sit and wait for me to put on her collar, you get the idea.

It is so cute when they are following you around hopefully throwing sits in your direction. smile

Cuebill Fri 30-Nov-12 20:58:25

8 weeks is a great time to start clicker training. 7 week old lab being clicker trained although I do have a few issues with the length of this training session!

You can reward with toys but to start with it is better and clearer for the dog to learn the clicker with treats.

Simple guide to clicker training:-

The dog offers a behaviour eg sit you click immediately and then treat - simples grin

To start with just click and throw a treat. I generally never ever fed my dogs from bowls, all meals are training session. So first day just click the clicker and throw a bit of the dogs meal.

Once the dog realises the clicker means good stuff they will try to make the click happen. You are now rolling!

I think luring is great to start with. So if teaching a sit lure into a sit by holding the treat above the dog as the dog sits click, gradually stop luring and the dog will then offer the sit, do not ask for it, do not say the sit, just wait. When the dog has worked out its behaviour makes the click you can then start freeshaping.

Re barking when someone knocks on the door. I would work on offering an alternative behavior rather than try to stop the barking. So get someone to knock on the door, have the dog on a lead and run to his bed and give the best treat ever. DO this time and time and the dog will run to his bed when the door is knocked rather than bark.

Shesparkles Fri 30-Nov-12 21:01:49

I've done a bit of googling and reading over the past couple of hours and I'm now convinced! I'm going to order a clicker and start as soon as it gets here.
I'm just sooo determined that even though he's a small dog, I don't want him to be an annoying small dog!

Tortoise Fri 30-Nov-12 23:13:58

Thanks for advice.
cuebill I like the idea of lead on and taking him to his bed but, lead=walkies and he goes loopy at the sight of his lead! It's hard enough to get him to keep still to put it on! grin

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