Clicker training

(18 Posts)
Lovemusic33 Tue 09-Jul-19 08:14:53

So ddog is super hyper this morning so thought I would introduce the clicker to teach ‘down’ but things are not going well. He keeps jumping up on the sofa onto me, I make him get down, click and treat (is this right?), anyway this has been going on for a good 20 minutes with him jumping back up over 30 times and me removing him. He now thinks it’s a great game, he’s downed a whole bag of treats despite me breaking them up and he’s still no closer to understanding “down”.

Can anyone recommend some YouTube tutorials?
I have clicker trained a dog before and found it very effective but that was a lab, not a cross breed bull breed like ddog.

OP’s posts: |
FruitBowl1991 Tue 09-Jul-19 08:21:29

Best advice is to start with small intervals. Three minute sessions working on one particular behaviour.

Have you 'charged' the clicker to help your dog associate the clicker with the treat?

We run a dog day care/training business so will post some really good YouTube clicker tutorials on here later x

OverFedStanley Tue 09-Jul-19 08:23:50

Kikopup is a good place to start (although she does lure a bit too much)


I would probably start with an easier behaviour for your dog to understand to start with - so maybe a sit just stand in front of him and see if he puts his bum on the floor click if he does. He may be getting too excited knowing you have treats in your hand so you may have to hide the treats a bit more.

You could also just say his name and when he looks at you click and drop a treat on the floor. You canstart to throw the treats away from you and then say his name and he will come towards you.This makes him think and also tires him out.

Do be careful not to over stimulate so at the end of each short session I would have a mat that I put a treat on and he goes to the mat (o clicking for this as it stimulates him too much) If he goes to the mat he gets a quiet treat. Eventually building up to a down on the mat but this will take time.

He sounds fun smile

I hope you are feeling a bit better I am impressed with your energy so soon after surgery.

Booboostwo Tue 09-Jul-19 08:42:02

When you start working with food the first thing you teach is the ‘leave it’ command. Treat in hand, hand closed in tight fist, fist right by dog’s mouth and don’t move it no matter what the dog does. Ignore licking, biting, pawing, etc. but as soon as there is a gap between the mouth and the fist click and open your hand allowing the dog to eat the food.

What do you mean by down? As in to lie down or to not jump on the sofa? These are two different commands. To teach lie down start from a sit and use a treat as a lure between the front legs, as soon as the dog lies down click and reward. Repeat three times and then wait to see what behaviour is offered (this is very important as it teaches the dog to offer behaviors), if he does a down, click and reward, if he doesn’t leave it a few minutes and then start from the beginning. For teaching not to jump on sofa you can teach an incompatible behaviour like lying on a mat.

If he gets too hyper try leaving the room or giving him a chew - different dogs will settle with different techniques.

Yes, you will end up using a lot of treats. Reduce his main food accordingly and work on the most difficult things when he is hungry.

Lovemusic33 Tue 09-Jul-19 08:44:19

Thank you. I decided to start with “Down” as it’s his main issue right now (jumping up) and he’s starting to hurt me when he runs in the back door and onto my lap 🤣. He’s super crazy this morning, a bundle of energy, maybe I’m better waiting for him to calm down before doing a session with the clicker?

I introduced the clicker by just clicking it and giving treats, he seems to have realised “clicker = treat” but he’s very excited. I was worried as he’s quite nervous with sounds but the clicker doesn’t scare him.

He’s very mischievous, constantly looking for trouble, be it pinching my shoes or finding random empty flowerpots in the garden to attack. He has loads of toys, longs etc but prefers things he’s not allowed.

OP’s posts: |
Lovemusic33 Tue 09-Jul-19 08:47:32

Boob “down” meaning “get down” (down off the sofa, down when jumping up at people), I haven’t even attempted lie down though he does spend a lot of time led down 🤣. As I said on my other thread, he has a hyper hour, this has now shifted from the evening to the morning so it seems, so when I’m getting kids ready, making breakfast he’s jumping up at us and going nuts. So “down” is pretty important. He seems to be learning but is super excited about getting a reward and seems to think it’s a great game. He has given up now and has gone to play outside.

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AgathaF Tue 09-Jul-19 09:06:52

How old is he? It sounds like you're trying to bring too much into one session too soon. I would also use 'off' for your command, so that it doesn't muddy the water if/when you teach a 'down' command - as in lie down.

Start by teaching a sit command when he's calm and attentive. Also, look online for ways of teaching calmness to a dog eg working on a 'place' command and 'settle'. Little and often though, with consistency.


Lovemusic33 Tue 09-Jul-19 09:16:07

He’s 9/10 months, he’s a rescue dog and has had hardly any training until he came to us just over a week ago. He was very shy and nervous at first but is now crazy and confident in the house (come out of his shell). I have already taught sit. When he is calm he’s pretty easy going and listens to me but when he’s having his hyper hour he doesn’t listen to anything which is when we are having the issues with him jumping up. Eventually I will be walking him more but at the moment I am recovering from surgery, he’s still learning to walk on the lead so a 20 minute walk ends up taking a hour. Hopefully in a few days I can drive again and take him out with other dogs to tire him out.

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Booboostwo Tue 09-Jul-19 09:24:54

Always start with the easiest thing not the most difficult became you want to establish a pattern of behaviour that you can reward rather than dealing with mistakes and problems.

If he likes the sit have you tried asking him to sit when he is wound up? Then repeat many, many times, so sit, click throw the reward so he has to get up to eat it, as he comes back to you ask for the sit (goes without saying that it isn’t far far too early to use words for commands, I assume you are luring him into a sit?).

Lovemusic33 Tue 09-Jul-19 09:29:33

I will try and get him to sit when he’s wound up but he’s finding it very hard to keep his feet on the floor let alone his bum. He’s flying around the house like a crazy dog. It doesn’t last long and he soon settles. I have been doing the “ignore” or “leave the room” when he jumps up at me when I’m stood up which works well but this is when he’s calmer, I can’t leave him when he’s hyper as he’s destroying the room, this morning I had to shut him outside to calm down as he was going to hurt himself and me. He gets that crazy dog look in his eye 🤣

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OverFedStanley Tue 09-Jul-19 13:13:16

Ok so I would not use a clicker to deal with crazy hour . As you have found out the clicker is very motivating smile

Typical puppy that wants all the attention when you want to do other things - this will pass so I would try and control and manage the situation to start with rather than train it.

So stuffed Kongs when you are getting your DD ready, scatter food all over the garden to keep him sidetracked when you can not concentrate on him for a bit. I think shutting him out was the right thing to do - did he calm down?

I totally disagree with Booboostwo (even knowing I will probably be reminded of the Philosphy phd and been training dogs since 1907!) Modern training would never use a clicker to work with the whats your choice game. eg holding food in your hand and rewarding when the dog steps back from the food . Using a clicker means the treat should be readily available. So if you want to do teach leave the food you get the reward but do not use the clicker. Tbh I never teach leave it I always ask for a behaviour rather than to just stop a behaviour , that is quite a hard concept for a dog to learn initially. So if a dog is doing something I am not happy with I will train alternative behaviour, eg recall or down stay or go to bed or stand still etc

I would really be working on calm on a mat - this can then be used in the crazy hour situation but will take a few days to get sorted.

Booboostwo Tue 09-Jul-19 14:13:54

I was taught this leave it command method by Karen Pryor - clearly an ignorant, outdated, imbecile!

Lovemusic33 Tue 09-Jul-19 14:23:29

Over he did calm down after a while being shut out (he did poo right by the back door in protest), when I let him back in he jumped up a little and then settled down.

He already knows “leave”, he’s not that food orientated, doesn’t snatch and doesn’t really take from my hand (I place it on the floor and eventually he will take it) so it’s not really something that needs working on. He’s not interested in the kong but likes peanut butter on a lick mat so I will use that to try and break him out from his crazy time.

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Lovemusic33 Tue 09-Jul-19 14:26:48

over, I’m having trouble with the mat or bed thing as whenever I give him a mat, blanket or bed he pees on it. So at the moment he only has a bed in the garden which he still pees on (one of those raised beds which washes off). I have only just re introduced a rug into the living room after he peed on it several times last week, he has been clean indoors since the rug was gone, today has gone well with the rug back in place.

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billybagpuss Tue 09-Jul-19 14:28:19

Some good advice so far, I think in your case the difficulty is that you are using the clicker to rectify a problem behaviour rather than nurture a good one, so as you've found he does the undesirable behaviour to then get the treat when he undoes it grin little sods that they are.

Use the clicker for teaching new desirable behaviours so if you are going to use down to lie down use the clicker the second his tummy hits the floor so it 'marks' the point he does what you want.

To stop him jumping on the sofa, I think with mine (half Goldie) we did off and lifted her off then tried using time out, but she was a persistent little bugger and we ended up not fighting that particular battle but I do think it would have worked eventually, although she is very good and won't sit on the furniture when we are visiting other peoples houses.

Lovemusic33 Tue 09-Jul-19 14:33:46

Billy your right. After writing things down here I have realised how well he’s actually doing considering he’s only been here ten days (3 of which I was in hospital), I think I’m asking too much too soon and I need to praise the good behaviour.

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billybagpuss Tue 09-Jul-19 14:43:31

This is an interesting video using clicker (they call it Tag) to teach kids high jump technique. If you think along those lines that it marks a very specific point in the behaviour its easier to relate it to what the dog is thinking.

OverFedStanley Tue 09-Jul-19 15:43:01

Dont leave the mat in place only on the floor when training

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