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Clicker training - any new stuff I can do?

(18 Posts)
needastrongone Thu 13-Jun-13 11:30:02

Despite me hating Needapup smile, I do like training him but I feel that I starting to get a bit boring, well I am boring myself anyway!

We mix up clicker and standard training, all positive. He has his KC Bronze and we start Silver when they get enough folk to do so.

He's reliable at the usual stuff, sit, down, stay, wait, roll over, paw, 'eyes, ears' etc (sit quietly while I touch them...), stand, down stay, sit stay and recall (if out, but not in the garden for some reason). He's not interested in fetch games at all, or balls etc. He does a good play dead too. Does watch me.

I have a few books but they are more 'tricks' than anything.

What else can I do?


Frenchfemme Thu 13-Jun-13 11:42:17

Does he do "drop it" or "swap", for if he has something in his mouth that he shouldn't have? "Leave it" is useful if he is likely to chase or pick up something he shouldn't, also "watch me" as a distraction technique. Apologies if I'm teaching you to suck eggs!

tabulahrasa Thu 13-Jun-13 11:53:52

Lying on his back...can be handy for vet's examinations and very amusing if you do the cue as a pointed finger and a bang.

Up and off things.

Touch (with his nose), you start with your hand and then move onto things you're holding.

Names of toys - I'm told you can also teach them to put toys away, but mine can't grasp that concept at the moment, lol.

Anything he does anyway, so that you can get him to do it on command, mind has a Sad...which is him in a down with his head flat on the floor because he looks so sad when he does it. I'm working on getting him to walk backwards because he does it in a certain part of the kitchen by himself.

Frettchen Thu 13-Jun-13 11:59:02

A couple you've not mentioned;
'Touch' - get dog to touch a target (object, hand, etc) with his nose
'Crawl' - from lying position, get dog to move forwards without rising to his feet. (Not for older dogs or dogs with joint problems)
'Close' - sit next to you, immediately on your left, as opposed to sitting and facing you
'Round' - starting in 'Close', you stay still and dog walks around you, returning to 'Close' position.

Round can be used as a fancy turn in heelwork; you walk forward, dog walking to left heel. Instruct 'round', dog goes round clockwise while you turn a half-circle anti-clockwise so you both end up facing the way you came from. Also called a German turn, I think.

needastrongone Thu 13-Jun-13 12:16:22

Oh these are great thank you!

Tab - I do 'bang', with the finger movement and he flops on the floor dead!

His 'leave it' is strong, given I screech it often enough when he's about to eat more poo while out but drop in non existent, so a good idea.

I started touch but then I seem to have forgotten, or not used it anyway.

Can I teach all these commands with the clicker in small stages for the commands as per normal or would a quick google or flick onto Kikopup be better?

I like the idea of close, given it's useful anyway, anything I can use in real life is a double bonus.

Scuttlebutter Thu 13-Jun-13 13:56:20

There's also lots of stuff on the internet about 100 things to do with a box which is all about playing with a box, getting in a box, closing a box etc. etc.

Our dog trainer asked us all to bring a box so we could work on this with our dogs. All of the other dogs promptly set off with glee, sniffing, jumping in the box, playing as requested. Beautiful and lovely greyhound decided to lie down next to box, turn her back on it and determinedly ignore it for the ENTIRE class. Even our lovely teacher could not persuade her to try it! I had a very stiff gin that night when I came home. grin

moosemama Thu 13-Jun-13 19:20:08

I like the box thing that Scuttle mentioned. I love it when you can ask them to fetch a specific toy or tell them to tidy their toys, especially when they open and close a trunk lid in the process.

How about teaching some heelwork to music moves. Touch would be a great start for that, as you need target training for some of the moves. Simple moves such as spin/twizzle, walk backwards, go through your legs forwards to back and vice-versa. My wheaten came alive when we started heelwork to music. She literally lived for her training sessions and would spend every dog walk throwing behaviours at me instead of going off sniffing and playing with the other dogs. grin

You can carry on teaching with the clicker in small stages, gradually shaping the behaviour until it's what you want and then adding the cue.

If you are stuck for ideas or need to see someone in action to get your head round it then yes, watching a couple of Kikopup's videos would be a great idea.

topbannana Thu 13-Jun-13 20:57:58

GingerDog will run and fetch a box of tissues on my "atishoo"
He will do dead when "shot" with a finger
High five which people love I changed the cue to bonjour when we went to France which was fun grin

The best one was my old Rottweiler who on being given the command "get the beer Flick" would run to the beer fridge, open the door by pulling a lead tied to the handle, stand up and bring a can back- never mastered shutting the door after though!

Vibbe Thu 13-Jun-13 21:24:05

Our dog can high five and shake paw, sit, lie down, stay, recall and fetch.
And trade (drops what she has in her mouth, then gets a biscuit in return), run between my legs in an 8-shape, and lastly when asked to go to my left side, she'll go behind me from right to left and stay on my left side. She can also find the toys we use for training fetch if asked to go get her toys.

I've been trying to train her to open/close doors (by nudging them with her nose), but she doesn't seem to like it, so might give that a miss. Would be quite nice if she could do that, as she always seems to get stuck in a room because the door closes a bit.

needastrongone Fri 14-Jun-13 13:26:02

Scuttlebutter smile

Lord, I have been so unimaginative haven't I? These ideas are super, although he may just eat the box........

I've added a signal into the commands he knows this morning and he's figured it all out so I did a 'silent' session (apart from the click) which went well.

Crawl didn't go well though as his best party trick is me leaving a piece of cheese under his nose in a down position and he waits for a cue to eat it. So, he just looked at the cheese this morning smile rather than move towards it! Never mind, being able to crawl isn't essential to a well behaved dog so if he never gets it, that's fine.

Thank you all... there's so much I can do!

topbannana Fri 14-Jun-13 15:39:27

It's frustrating needs when you train one thing that effectively stops them doing something else hmm
When I had BlackDog I used to run a pub so taught her to always drop toys etc so that customers could not wind her up playing tug with her.
Fast forward a couple years and we started working trials where the vital ingredient is a firm and steady "hold" It took me weeks and weeks and weeks to train a steady hold command grin

mistlethrush Fri 14-Jun-13 15:51:42

Our first dog would jump through a hoop made of your arms which was a nice one. Our second dog knew the names of all of her toys and we could request a certain one and she'd think for a bit where she'd last seen it and then rush off to get it. Our current dog has just about mastered site hmm.

Touch is a good one. Opening doors (I would use a lead on them if they can't hook with their paw) [current dog manages to get her head round then gets her shoulders stuck hmm. You could even get him to go to a mark and sit and wait perhaps?

What about starting some agility moves - the most difficult one to get (Ime at least) was the weaving.... (I think current dog will not be good at agility - speed jumping, perhaps... )

What about teaching him to catch? Our last dog was really good (you need to practice your throwing so that you are consistent) (current dog has been hit by so many biscuits with no hint at trying to catch them hmm{grin]) - then there is the 'balance a biscuit on the end of their nose, get them to wait, then get them to toss it up in the air and catch it' trick too.... (lets be honest with this - current dog has not even been given the chance to not to this one!)

moosemama Fri 14-Jun-13 15:57:44

'Go to your mat' is a really useful trick. You can use it to make sure your dog will settle in a reliable down-stay no matter where you are - also useful for when people come to the door etc.

needastrongone Fri 14-Jun-13 16:58:08

Go to your mat would be good, and useful. As you might have read before, I find his constant staring at me actually the hardest bit of dog ownership. This might help break the habit. He does go to 'bed' quite readily if asked but I can train to stay there.

Forgot catch - one of the dogs at the training centre we go to does a mean catch smile

I do fancy agility at some point too, he's coming up 8 months though, is that too young? I think we will work through the KC stuff first though tbh. DH adores the dog training.

You can put food on his paws as well topbannana, he quivers almost with excitement and anticipation smile

needastrongone Mon 24-Jun-13 14:52:53

Update - I have clickered like a loon!

We have a solid 'touch' and 'mat', plus added in a lot of hand signals and reinforced his current stuff.

He got 'touch' really quickly and seems to impress folk by this trick smile I can see the usefulness though.

Need to figure out how to teach 'close' and crawl will be a long term work in progress smile

Catch is hit and miss and I fancy 'beg' (on two legs, both paws in air essentially, our friends terrier looks fab doing it!)


idirdog Mon 24-Jun-13 20:27:19

Yay brilliant. Once (you) and the dog get the hang of clicker training you will both get quicker at learning new things.

If you have a good touch, (is it to touch your hand?) then transfer this to a post it note, you can then teach the dog to push the door shut by placing post it on the door.

To teach crawl, sit on the floor with your legs in front of you but slightly bent, encourage your dog to crawl under your legs by luring with a treat, click any back leg movement.

Beg can be hard for some dogs so do this in very small short sessions. Hold the treat above his head and just get him to lift his front feet off the floor click and treat this. The dogs do need to build up their core muscles for this one so take it slow.

A really easy one to teach is to tidy up. Get a big box with lowish sides. If your dog picks up items easily click when the dog picks up an item, BUT reward and put the treat into the box. Soon the dog will pick up the item and turn towards the box ready for the treat. Over time the dog will release the item into the box to get the treat. So soon they will pickup items and put them in a box smile

needastrongone Wed 26-Jun-13 07:37:09

Idirdog - you do explain things so very clearly I find, thank you. Yes, the touch is to my hand, I practised with distractions yesterday and it was a bit iffy tbh so I need to reinforce, but I really like how you can transfer it to other things, a myriad of opportunity has opened up before me smile

Thanks for the crawl, his 'leave it' is so strong that it's not happening at all and I was struggling to see how I could progress this, but using my legs may break the cycle a bit, iyswim?

I was so very pleased with him yesterday, I took him to the busiest park that I could find to work on recall (which appears to be the command 'what's this?', rather than 'here', which we have devalued by accident). He recalled when faced with joggers, babies, playing hard with other puppies and (a small miracle), walking past a group of lads with a football three times, I was knackered on the scan for potential distractions all the time!! He got an extremely long swim in the lake for his reward, he adores swimming smile

Caveat - I know the teenage months are very close and I will be pulling my hair out, but I can get my kicks while I can can't I?!

CalamityKate Fri 28-Jun-13 02:31:37

Hide eyes is very cute - I used a sticky label on Dogs nose and clicked her for swiping it off, then worked on duration so when asked "are you shy?" She covers her face with her paws smile

I like useful tricks so if she goes outside she will shut the door on her return. Saves me getting up.

Also she will bring me a blanket if I'm on the sofa and chilly.

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