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Recommend me a book about clicker training please.

(4 Posts)
Tortoise Wed 12-Jan-11 14:01:17

I would like to try clicker trainer with our 2 yr old Jack russell. He is generally well behaved at home apart from barking at people walking past! And if i have a treat in my hand he will sit, beg, lay down, give paw and roll over.

When we are out he is completly different! He pulls on the lead, barks at other dogs which has a quite aggressive tone and he pulls towards the dog (He is fine if allowed to say hello to the dog). He won't follow commands even if i have a treat with me. Won't sit at the kerb. And just drives me mad! Off lead he is quite good, recall not brilliant but only let him off in an inclosed field and he stays fairly close by. Never met another dog while in the field but i suspect he would run over and ignore me totally!

So i am hoping i can do some training with him using a clicker but i don't have a clue where to start! So please recomment me a book which will help me. TIA

Laska Wed 12-Jan-11 19:32:38

I'd start with some videos on youtube.

This was one of the first videos I ever watched on CT, and it's great for understanding how you can shape behaviours swiftly and without stress using a clicker: LINK (It's a mule, but don't let this put you off!).

That video is from Karen Pryor's organisation - she's fantastic so the rest of those videos (esp. the "Tucker Nail Trim") are all worth watching. Her book 'Don't Shoot the Dog!' is also an excellent resource.

It sounds like a clicker would be good for you both. He needs to follow commands not because you have a treat with you, but because he gets used to being rewarded for actions, and this becomes 'proofed' in different situations.

First you will need to introduce the clicker - get a bag of very tiny tasty treats (I use sausages or liver cake cut up vvvvv small - they're smelly and my dog will work for them, whereas most other treats she'd not be fussed! Use the treat your dog will sell his soul for in the early stages - it has to be a valuable reward for him) and your clicker. Use your dogs name and when he looks at you, click and throw him a treat. you want to get him used to the fact that the 'click' sound means that a reward is on its way! Try to click AS SOON as he looks at you, so there's no delay.

Keep sessions short (no more than 5 minutes), and end on a high before he gets bored!

If you can, try to have a one-to-one session with a good clicker trainer, as that will do wonders for your timing - this can be tricky to get the hang of to start with.

Good luck!

Another thought - my dog doesn't like to sit at the kerb (I think 'the princess' gets a cold bum, despite her fluffiness!!), and I don't make her. Lots of dogs aren't keen - esp whippets and greys I believe? Ours has been taught the command 'wait', and that's fine for me, as it achieves what I want and isn't something unpleasant for her. Might be worth choosing your battles?

Slubberdegullion Wed 12-Jan-11 20:17:20

Tortoise, my two favourite clicker books are The Culture Clash by Jean Donaldson and The Complete Idiots Guide to Positive Dog Training.

Culture Clash is just a brilliant, fascinating and funny read all round I would recommend it to everyone with a dog. Good section at the back about how to use the clicker.

The complete idiots guide is excellent for clicker training 101.

Don't shoot the dog that Laska recommended is fascinating and really goes in to how living things learn, so you can apply it to dogs, children, dolphins..you name it grin.

Oh and I agree with everything Laska said in her post too. I LOVE clicker training , and so does my dog so it's win win all round.

Tortoise Wed 12-Jan-11 21:27:18

Thanks both. Will look it up now.

I do now use wait command at the kerb and he does for about 2 seconds before starts to pull again and goes onto the road if I'm not careful!

I have a greyhound too and i have never got him to sit and doesn't normally sit anyway. Prefers to sprawl out! grin He is no trouble so i haven't tried any training with him.

I think the Jack Russell's problems stem from being in 2 other homes before i took him in. He was rarely walked by either owner (friends of mine) and had little attention given to him. He loves lots of attention smile. 2nd owner said he chewed everything but i have not had much trouble with chewing other than his own toys and DD2's new watch (could have been the grey though!)

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