New to clicker training...feeling cautious about commitment.

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ANB723
Posts: 37
Joined: Sun May 30, 2010 1:03 pm

New to clicker training...feeling cautious about commitment.

Post by ANB723 » Mon May 23, 2011 1:00 pm

Hi there,

I've posted only a few times but have always gotten wonderful advice!

I have a 1.5yr dachshund/spaniel mix named Cash. He's a wonderful little dog and knows sit, down, shake, high five, touch (target), stay, beg, up, wait, and sometimes come. We have been in agility classes now for a few months. He's on level two. He got held back a level because of his focus. He is fine as long as he doesn't lose it then he gets the zoomies and it's hard to get him to come. He's not very reliable with coming to me when called and I am working on that with long lines and lots of praise when he does.

I started thinking about clicker training and if it could help us pinpoint his behavior? I am not very good at having a marker and not to mention that I say his marker throughout the day so it loses the value. And I struggle in agility class about getting the treats out fast enough.

My concern is that I feel like I'm getting married to the clicker. I work a pet boarding facility and often bring Cash along so he gets into playgroup and so he doesn't have stay alone all day. I often make him wait at all of the doors and will do some work with him to not jump on the kennel door and sometimes to come when called. The biggest problem that I have with him there is barking which might be better suited for a different thread. Would I need to bring the clicker? What about to the pet store? I am often praising him for watching me and being a calm boy, as well as sitting when I ask or laying down. Do I need to use the clicker there too? As I understand it, it needs to be used with all training. Of course I feel like it would be great for agility and especially to mark if he gets the zoomies to when I call him and he looks at to start to come. I feel like sometimes he tunes out my voice for praise because he doesn't always get a treat right away when I say things.

Okay and maybe I'll throw this in real quick. Cash barks a ton at work. I try to ignore him the best of my ability but sometimes I just can't take it. He'll bark at dogs passing his kennel which he's really not bad at all, he'll only do it at first but will happily sit down and watch. He barks mostly outside in the runs at other dogs and people. I ask him to stop and he barks back at me. He is one of the dogs that love to run back and forth and bark at the dogs next to him. I know it's just natural, everybody else is doing it but I'm wondering if I'm not doing something that could be helping.

Thanks in advance!

ladybug1802
Posts: 1991
Joined: Mon Sep 06, 2010 3:39 am
Location: Surrey

Re: New to clicker training...feeling cautious about commitment.

Post by ladybug1802 » Mon May 23, 2011 2:07 pm

Hi....other people will be able to give you more in depth advice about clicker training, but I think when he barks, instead of telling him to stop (which he wont understand) you should give him something else to focus on. And yes the clicker would come in handy for sure. So when he barks, ask him to watch you, for example, and as soon as he does, click and treat. Or you could even teach him to 'speak' and 'quiet' but that maybe something for later on. The clicker is invaluable I think...I take my clicker everywhere I take Dylan. Literally! I have it on a lanyard with my gundog whistle, and it goes everywhere with me. And as son as Dylan sees the clicker now he gets excited!

As far as I understand, the clicker doesnt HAVE to be used with all training, but I think once you start using it more you will WANT to use it to teach everything! You do have to be consistent though, and make sure you get the timing correct. I take my clicker to agility which I do with Dylan too....I use it when we first go in there and are walking round, to get his attenton on me, work on heel work etc....and also use it because Dylan also gets the zoomies through pure excitement! So I have a tuggy lead so he can play around with it, and I can have a game with him as a reward for him, then I ask him to drop the lead, and the clicker comes out and he gets a click and treat as soon as he drops it. And I sometimes ask him to 'watch me' when we are there to get his focus back on me....again the clicker is used then. Seriously....Dulan sees the clicker and thats half the work done and he focuses on me pretty much just for the clicker being in my hand!!

ANB723
Posts: 37
Joined: Sun May 30, 2010 1:03 pm

Re: New to clicker training...feeling cautious about commitment.

Post by ANB723 » Tue May 24, 2011 10:01 am

Thank you very much for the advice. Makes me feel better about it. Cash is definitely one of those hyper-active, just for the fun type of dogs. And I know asking him to stop doesn't do any good but it's one of those last resort things. I will try to re-direct his focus from now on, I'm surprised I didn't think of that. It's going to be a little hard with all the other dogs and the fact that I'm working but hopefully I can get some little things in. So glad to hear your dog has done so well with it! I'm hoping that'll be the same with Cash, he's a great "rule" follower and loves being the good boy and often prides himself in behaving well while others are going bananas but sometimes his excitement takes over :)

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