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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!!

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

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!

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.

Whippoorwhill Fri 30-Nov-12 20:53:49

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

RedwingWinter Fri 30-Nov-12 20:49:14

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

tazzle22 Fri 30-Nov-12 20:27:01

oops re the link in long post ... should have been

tazzle22 Fri 30-Nov-12 20:25:40

this one too

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


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 18:52:35

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

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

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

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

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

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?

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

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.

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?)

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.

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

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.

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

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:

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

ok whats clicker training?

Whippoorwhill Thu 29-Nov-12 22:37:30

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?

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:

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.

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