How Old for Clicker Training?

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minkee
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How Old for Clicker Training?

Post by minkee » Thu Jun 09, 2011 10:38 am

I'm talking about the owner, not the dog!

A friend of the family has just gotten a 7m/o, boisterous black lab pup. The friend's son is pretty timid around her, and I don't blame him! She's not boisterous TOWARDS the boy, but just generally a bit bigger than she thinks she is, a bit clumsy. Typical lab puppy I imagine. I think the son is a little scared of dogs in general, as he shied away from Scout too when she was running about. I was thinking that I could perhaps show him how to train some tricks with the pup, so he can have a little more control and interaction with her. Always supervised, of course, but at his age I know I would have loved to be able to communicate better with animals.

Do you think I should have him use a clicker? His voice as a marker? Just rewards with no marker? The boy is about 11 or 12, I'm not sure exactly. Personally I've always gotten a little mixed up when using a clicker (one hand to lure, another hand to click, another hand to treat.. hang on that's more hands than I've got! and I need 3 more to keep the treat-fiend-cat at bay). So I use "Yes!" as a marker myself. Would a clicker be best because it's consistant? Would no marker be better because it's simpler? That's how I started out training pup when she was very small. Maybe I should just play it by ear if / when I see boy and pup in action?

And as an aside to that are there any really nice things that I could get them doing to increase his confidence around her a bit? I was just thinking of starting off with sits... but we could go anywhere, really! I don't think the dog has any training at all, currently.
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minkee
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Re: How Old for Clicker Training?

Post by minkee » Thu Jun 09, 2011 2:25 pm

While searching around for some info on all this, I came across this link: http://www.clickersolutions.com/articles/2002c/kids.htm I think it's really sweet! I like the 'dolphin trainer throwing fish in the pool' theme.

Also found lots of information on people using the clicker to actually 'train' their children too! Seems kinda crazy!
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dontpugme
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Re: How Old for Clicker Training?

Post by dontpugme » Thu Jun 09, 2011 7:23 pm

I started around that age. At first it really confused me. Maybe you could make it more clear to him by showing him how you could get him (the boy not the lab) to do something (maybe flipping a light switch or opening a cabinet) without even talking to him with the clicker. (Use candy as treats) :lol: :D
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emcn916
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Re: How Old for Clicker Training?

Post by emcn916 » Fri Jun 10, 2011 8:29 pm

If the child has a hard time with the timing needed for the clicker, just teach him to say "yes" then give the treat. It works just as well. Start with the basics like sit and watch and then go on from there. It will help give the child confidence. You also may want to give a book or articles talking about body language so he becomes more comfortable with the dog and the way it is acting.

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Mattie
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Re: How Old for Clicker Training?

Post by Mattie » Sat Jun 11, 2011 6:07 am

minkee wrote: Do you think I should have him use a clicker? His voice as a marker? Just rewards with no marker? The boy is about 11 or 12, I'm not sure exactly. Personally I've always gotten a little mixed up when using a clicker (one hand to lure, another hand to click, another hand to treat.. hang on that's more hands than I've got! and I need 3 more to keep the treat-fiend-cat at bay). So I use "Yes!" as a marker myself. Would a clicker be best because it's consistant? Would no marker be better because it's simpler? That's how I started out training pup when she was very small. Maybe I should just play it by ear if / when I see boy and pup in action?
When I am luring my dog they get the treat that I am luring them with, that is the one that they want or they wouldn't be following it so that is one hand less I need. :lol: All other animals are kept out of the room I am in when training, so another hand not needed. :lol:

You can roll play with him to see how he gets on with a clicker, you pretened to be the dog and he is training you, you can use chocolate as the treats. :lol: He can ask you to do something when you do it he clicks and gives you some chocolate, you can pretend to be naughty to teach him how to deal with a dog that is ignoring you, make it fun. Once he is using the clicker properly he can start to teach the dog. Shouldn't take long to do.
And as an aside to that are there any really nice things that I could get them doing to increase his confidence around her a bit? I was just thinking of starting off with sits... but we could go anywhere, really! I don't think the dog has any training at all, currently.
Agility, get a course put up suitable for the dog, at 7 months old he shouldn't be jumping but he can walk over poles on the ground, he can go through tunnels and weave. Use your brain to think of things for him to do.

Poles can be put on the ground in a line or square, he can teach the dog to walk next to him in and out of the poles, walking over them etc all close to him. Lots of clicks and rewards for the dog. Make it clear to him that if his dog jumps over jumps it can damage him for the rest of his life.
[url=http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v312/Nethertumbleweed/PIXIE.jpg][img]http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v312/Nethertumbleweed/th_PIXIE.jpg[/img][/url]

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minkee
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Re: How Old for Clicker Training?

Post by minkee » Sat Jun 11, 2011 9:44 am

Thanks all :) It turns out he's 8 too - which is even younger than I thought, so I'll probably start off with slow steady things as much as possible, and when he's a bit more confident with that try some of the runny around agility stuff like you suggest :)
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