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Anyone here try clicker training with their dog?

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posted on Nov, 23 2014 @ 10:06 PM
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I would have put this in the Pet Forum, IF WE HAD ONE!

I just started using a clicker. It seems to be working fairly well so far, but it's been such a short amount of time I've yet to see many benefits over just giving the boy treats.

Wondering what experiences other people here have had with this training method. My dog is a very good boy, but he has a tendency to lose attention with a quickness. I have noticed he seems to pay attention longer when we work on new tricks.

My understanding is that it's all about timing. Since you can't instantaneously give a dog a treat, you condition them to think the click IS the treat so you can reward them the second they do the right thing. I was told that you don't have to instantly give them a treat when you click, but I've been trying to. Pup knows sit, down, shake with both paws, spin, walk around, roll over (only one way), come, stay (kinda), and I've been working on getting him to do "touch" (put nose on palm) because it seems like teaching them that is really helpful with more complex tricks. Anything you all would recommend teaching him next? Another thing I learned to do was get him to give eye contact. This wasn't all that difficult since he does anyway, but actually training it seems to have really improved his focus.

I guess my big question here is how to utilize the clicker to curb his pulling behavior. He's not a big dog (50 lbs.) but he is strong, and sometimes he basically chokes himself. So when he starts this and I correct it should I click when he eases up on the leash and then treat him? I got him a harness and it's helped a TON, but every once in awhile when he gets excited he goes into crazy pup mode. I'm fairly convinced whoever had him before me worked with him using a harness because the difference is night and day.

Another question is about recall. I've been working on it a lot over the last few months, especially at the dog park. When I call him he usually separates himself from whatever dog he is wrestling with or chasing and sprints as fast as he can. I was informed that using the clicker here is bad. As in when the dog isn't near you don't click as it will reinforce the dog being far away (if anything). So when I call him and he comes should I click then give him a treat after he's focused on me and sitting by my foot?

Any tips or advice will be greatly appreciated. I used to think clicker training and even using treats were a crutch, but this boy responds amazingly well to treats, and I'm thinking the clicker is going to have even better results. I was told that it cuts training time for a specific trick down to 1/10th. Not sure if I buy it, but certainly would be nice if true. As in most situations it's the human that needs the most training, not my dog.




posted on Nov, 23 2014 @ 10:28 PM
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The pulling.
Every time he walks in front of you simply turn around and walk the other way. You wont get far for the first few minutes but he'll soon get the idea. Try it, it really does work!

Clickers.
Use words! Words have much more meaning than a click!

Remember he has to have some freedom! There's far to much of the "HE MUST BE TRAINED" crap going on.



posted on Nov, 23 2014 @ 10:30 PM
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I trained our dog with treats. She's done well, but I haven't been too demanding of her. She listens well to most of my commands (unless someone is walking up to our house, so loud and annoying, but I'm glad she does it). However, I may look into strengthening her skills via clicker training.

Sorry I have no advice, but thank you for giving me something to look into!



posted on Nov, 23 2014 @ 10:38 PM
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a reply to: VoidHawk




Every time he walks in front of you simply turn around and walk the other way. You wont get far for the first few minutes but he'll soon get the idea. Try it, it really does work!


I tried that for over a month and was very consistent. Didn't work for him much at all. I've tried just about every method I could find online for a good period of time and the only thing that worked was the harness. I thought one of those "gentle leaders" or "haltis" would work, no dice. I've had every other method work on other dogs I've had. He's a ton better now, but it gets irritating when we're walking toward the dog park.

I do use words. The clicker isn't the same thing. The click is a reward. You've heard of Pavlov of course. Same thing.



Remember he has to have some freedom! There's far to much of the "HE MUST BE TRAINED" crap going on.


He goes and plays with other dogs for at least an hour almost daily. He has free reign of the house. We go on lots of walks. He isn't spoiled, but he is very well taken care of. OK a little spoiled.



posted on Nov, 23 2014 @ 10:44 PM
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I had a papillon that for some reason did not like the sound of squeak toys. If I gave her toy and it squeaked when she bit it, she would start licking it apologetically. I had to take the squeaker out of all of her toys.
I used this to house break her. If she peed on the floor, I would hold her by her scruff and give her a squeak.
When she went outside, she got a treat. Worked like a charm.
I have never tried a clicker, but I know a dog trainer that swears by them.
I've found that just clicking my tongue or whistling works just as well.



posted on Nov, 23 2014 @ 11:09 PM
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a reply to: chelsdh

Have you tried a squirt bottle? I'm sure some would argue, but it seems to work really well for barking and other behaviors.

Get a command like NO or QUIET. Say it once. If the dog keeps barking squirt. Praise dog and maybe give a treat when the bad behavior abates.

My girlfriend and I used a squirt bottle to teach our VERY playful dogs to knock it off when we say "Enough!". They both have a ton of energy and are crazy attached to each other (my girlfriend got her pup a month or two ago and they are more attached than any two dogs I've ever seen). If it works on two herding breeds that act like big puppies, it's pretty effective.

Depending on what you want your dog to do when someone comes over, I also think having a little treat bowl next to the door and asking guests to give your dog a treat when they come over may help.

I'm also a fan of ignoring dogs. They like attention, and often giving them any is seen as a reward and they will continue with a bad habit because even though it's negatively reinforced, it's still enforced. But I figure you know all that.



posted on Nov, 24 2014 @ 12:03 AM
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originally posted by: Domo1
a reply to: chelsdh

Have you tried a squirt bottle? I'm sure some would argue, but it seems to work really well for barking and other behaviors.

Get a command like NO or QUIET. Say it once. If the dog keeps barking squirt. Praise dog and maybe give a treat when the bad behavior abates.

My girlfriend and I used a squirt bottle to teach our VERY playful dogs to knock it off when we say "Enough!". They both have a ton of energy and are crazy attached to each other (my girlfriend got her pup a month or two ago and they are more attached than any two dogs I've ever seen). If it works on two herding breeds that act like big puppies, it's pretty effective.

Depending on what you want your dog to do when someone comes over, I also think having a little treat bowl next to the door and asking guests to give your dog a treat when they come over may help.

I'm also a fan of ignoring dogs. They like attention, and often giving them any is seen as a reward and they will continue with a bad habit because even though it's negatively reinforced, it's still enforced. But I figure you know all that.


I suggest that you get a book called The Other End of the Leash by Patricia McConnell. She's a genius at solving dog behavior problems using gentle methods. She addresses barking problems as well as many other problems. The book is well worth the money. She also has a website you can check out.

The problem with using any reinforcement is reinforcing at the right time, otherwise you're reinforcing whatever behavior is happening when the reinforcement occurs. I don't know why someone told you that it's not important to reward instantly because it is.

Instead of focusing on tricks you should first focus on basic behavior.



posted on Nov, 24 2014 @ 12:25 AM
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a reply to: Domo1

I have used clicker training yes. And as for your question about pulling, yes the very second you feel the dog ease up, click treat. That way you are rewarding the behavior immediately. Behavior being that the dog 'eased up'.

My dachshund was a puller. I used the clicker training with him. First, he needed to know what the heck I wanted from him. I wanted him to walk next to me on the left, and watch me out of the corner of his eye, not pulling me down the road behind him.

So it's a step by step process with the clicker. The 'easing up' you mentioned is one step. Once the dog has that figured out, on to the next step.

The way I got him to watch me, was to click with my right hand, treat with my left hand, (the leash was around my left wrist). He got so interested in what I had in that left hand for him, that he slowed down (quit pulling) and watched that hand as we walked. LOL ..

As you can imagine tho, he got too fond of those treats, and started gaining weight. Yikes! Then I had a whole new problem. Sigh. I tried treating less often, and eventually began using cheerios for his treats.


If the dog totally ignores the clicker and treats, I suggest doing what one poster suggested, turn around suddenly and walk the other way. It really works! My son's Huskies were pullers who ignored the clicker, but they cannot ignore me if I'm going the other way than them. lolol. Keeps em on their toes. And yes, it looks very strange to anyone who may happen to be looking.
I've been known to walk, suddenly turn and walk, suddenly turn and walk, and etc. Like some kind of person who cannot decide which way to go. Am telling you, those Huskies quit pulling and start watching me. hehe..

Have fun with the clicker. You'll want to use it to an extent, then less so as the dog learns that step, then on to something else. It's a tool, you don't want it to become a needed crutch.



posted on Nov, 24 2014 @ 01:36 AM
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hello, just saw your thread.

Your going to get a million different opinions depending on who you ask.
As cliche as it is, Ceasar Millan does some of the best work I have ever seen.

I have been training Rottweilers for about 15 years. Here is what works for me:

I use the positive reinforcement technique. Treats hold their attention like no other and you can accompany this with a noise if you like. I shy away from clickers though because you won't always have it on you, you will need it 24/7 in hand to be effective with it. I use their name, it makes them look to you for their next command if three name could equal yummy treats. Their normal food is considered a treat by them when away from the food bowl.

If you start small with one syllable commands and monotone inflection in your voice they can learn faster.
Avoid talking to your dog all the time, at least until the basic commands are understood.
Name, sit, lay or down, come or heel, and no.

"Hey Ralph, how are you doing? are you a good boy Ralph?"
dog translation: "Bla, Ralph, Bla,bla,bla,bla,bla,bla,bla, Ralph?"

Dogs don't speak, obviously, but what they really pick up on is body language and hand gestures.
Treats with hand gestures, while using a simple command is the best route I have found. it also helps in the sense that the pup will look to you more than being distracted by everything. My rotts enjoy the game of following commands as fast as possible from this route. it is something they want to do now. I advance their understanding small movements, like a small head bob and they come running, it really is an awesome feeling.

The only purpose for voice commands, that I use are for the sake of other people. A kid especially needs the dog to understand and obey: no,sit,lay down,come here/heal. Its more universal than hand gestures. Hand gestures rock when you are trying to get results in the middle of an important phone call, for example.

If you start small and stay consistent, they will learn the language extremely well.
My dog can pick through a box and get the named toy through a pile of 20 toys every time.

Dogs are pack oriented animals, some will deny this, but watch em' at a park if you have any doubts.
This behavior has significant power in training and ties into a couple of your concerns.

To be a healthy dog, he needs to have a calm and assertive leader that leads by example.
He needs a routine and a spot to go for his den. Wild dog pack leaders dictate when the other dogs can leave the
den and the den is a safe place. Crate training works, especially for potty training.

When walking a dog, you are the leader and protector. A dog in front is literally the leader.
In this config he is being told to lead and protect those behind him.
This leads to pulling and protective aggression.
This is natural for all dogs to strive for leadership.

If you start small and practice, he will be an awesome walking partner in no time.
It starts with the leash inside. He doesn't get the leash until he sits and is calm. He doesn't ever get to go through the door before a person. This reinforces his position of leader.

It is very annoying at this stage, but if you stay consistent, he will understand what it takes to explore outside and gladly oblige. Pulling against the lead gets an immediate stop response from you with no exception.

Training leads are best kept thin 1/4" in a loop/choke config. It won't destroy their neck.
harnesses and wide collars spread out the load and are less effective for curbing pulling.

I only a harness to hold my dogs backpack while hiking and as a way to lift him out of danger around venomous snakes, alligators etc.. He is about 140lbs.

Now that I have the lead/pulling issue under control He is rocking a 3" wide, 4500 lb. test tactical collar with cobra buckle. I found I couldn't yank him out of the way of danger, or I would break buckles with a normal plastic one. I can lift him from it without collapsing his throat in an emergency.

Never have a dog off leash, out of fences until he is 100% obedient in the basic commands, especially heel under distracting conditions. I've seen too many dogs get run over chasing squirrels into the street.

Why don't you ask one of the mods to make a new topic for it?
I think you're onto something there. Dogs are extremely fun, loyal, and great stress relief when trained right.
Nice thread..pm me if you need any specific situational advise. I've worked on some dogs that act like wild animals.






posted on Nov, 24 2014 @ 02:19 AM
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a reply to: Domo1
If he is treat orientated then if you can't get him to stop pulling on the walk,walk with a treat in your hand. Let him smell it and have him follow your hand. He doesn't get this treat until the walk is over though.Its just to keep him focused on walking beside you.

I don't know what if any program your using for clicker training,but here is a video of a dog trainer using it and explaining it for people.

youtu.be...

Also this guy has trained what is supposed to be one of the smartest dogs ever,he is a pro dog trainer for movies.

www.trainingwithomar.com...

I have never used clicker training myself,so I don't want to tell you anything that might lead you astray. Good luck
edit on 24-11-2014 by Dimithae because: Added a line



posted on Nov, 24 2014 @ 08:38 AM
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a reply to: Mandroid7

THIS!!!!!
Cesar Milan!!!

Have used his techniques on every animal we have ever had with fantastic success. My cats even reliably respond to hand signals as well. It takes some devotion to walk animals thru their "issues" but totally worth the results.

( have to add this also works with unruly grandchildren as well)
yeah....I'm gonna burn in hell, but whatever.....


edit on 24-11-2014 by Caver78 because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 24 2014 @ 10:43 AM
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I love Cesar Milan, too, but he doesn't use the clicker.

The *click* is NOT the reward. The click "marks" the behavior that you want. So, when walking with your dog, when he eases up, you click. That signals to him that what he's doing is what you want and he knows the treat is coming. The treat comes after the click.

www.youtube.com...
Loose Leash Walking
Recall


originally posted by: Domo1
So when he starts this and I correct it should I click when he eases up on the leash and then treat him?


No. Correction and the clicker don't go together. Use one or the other. The idea of the clicker is so he will use his brain to figure out what you want. Correcting and then clicking is just going to be confusing. You have to find the opportunity to click when he is choosing to walk with a loose leash.



I got him a harness and it's helped a TON, but every once in awhile when he gets excited he goes into crazy pup mode.


You have to look for what triggers his excitement. Watch him carefully. If his ears prick forward, or his gaze focuses in on something, correct him right away (providing you don't click). Keep his excitement from escalating to the point of crazy pup mode.



Another question is about recall. I've been working on it a lot over the last few months, especially at the dog park. When I call him he usually separates himself from whatever dog he is wrestling with or chasing and sprints as fast as he can. I was informed that using the clicker here is bad. As in when the dog isn't near you don't click as it will reinforce the dog being far away (if anything). So when I call him and he comes should I click then give him a treat after he's focused on me and sitting by my foot?


Certainly don't click while he's far away. Remember, the click says, "Yes! That's the behavior I want! The reward is on its way!" So only click at the instant he's doing exactly what you want. You can click when he sits at your foot and then treat. Or click and pet. Click and give a toy. There are other rewards besides food.

I have a large set of "tools" in my dog-training "tool box" and I use them all, depending on what I'm teaching. But raising my dogs with Cesar's philosophy - exercise, discipline and affection (in that order) - is the single most important reason that my dogs are perfect. LOL!
edit on 11/24/2014 by Benevolent Heretic because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 25 2014 @ 08:42 AM
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a reply to: VoidHawk




The pulling.
Every time he walks in front of you simply turn around and walk the other way. You wont get far for the first few minutes but he'll soon get the idea. Try it, it really does work!


Yes, However I have and had Rotties and the best solution I found was simply to stop when they would pull, as when turning the other way they are quite happy and simply keep pulling if we keep moving.

Once it took me a half an hour to walk from my house to the street corner just about a max of 30 meters away.

I would stop and and use "Uh Uh" as in a no saying that they understood and it took time but worked well after a while.

Now when we walk they (its not they anymore, Tyson passed already 2 years ago) so Sonja knows to stop at curbs or intersection and wait until I either cross or say its ok to go.



posted on Nov, 25 2014 @ 04:04 PM
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a reply to: InhaleExhale

I find that the Halti or Gentle Leader (two brand names for near-identical head halters) works wonders. For those who don't know, they look like delicate versions of a horse's halter and fit on the dog's head not neck. The leash attaches under the dog's chin. When the dog pulls, the Halti tightens and the dog's head nose turns. It operates on the principle that the body goes where the head goes. As anyone who has tried to control a large dog wearing a collar knows, dogs have a lot of power in their necks. I could control my 110 lb. German shepherd with three fingers using the Halti. Wonderful invention. At first glance, they don't look nearly strong enough to control a large dog but they are.



posted on Nov, 25 2014 @ 06:23 PM
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a reply to: Domo1

I personally don't like the clicker. To me the clicker does not decipher the difference in what you are asking your dog to do and I would think it would be confusing when being used on all commands. Everyone trains differently though and allot of folks like the clicker.

Simple voice commands (along with treat reinforcement or praise), each one being different for each thing your dog needs to do work much better imo.
Sit
Stay
Down


To teach your dog not to pull you, a small tug on the leash with a voice command "No pull" and then make the dog sit next to you (in the sit position and lined up with your feet, his/her rear end sitting right at your feet so that he/she is by your side, not in front of you and not behind you) and be still for a few seconds while the dog remains in the sit position at attention, with his/her attention focused on you and the command. When you start to walk again if the dog tugs you along again, repeat the above. Keep doing it until the dog learns that you will not continue forward if the dog doesn't walk with you instead of pulling or tugging you along.

Repetition is key !

Oooh how I miss having a pet to train.


leolady



posted on Nov, 26 2014 @ 07:11 AM
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a reply to: Tangerine




I find that the Halti or Gentle Leader (two brand names for near-identical head halters) works wonders.


Yes My sister uses one for her Dalmatian, Nala.

Works wonders for her.

I am a cheap bastard and try and solve problems without throwing money at solutions until I have to, even if its $20 for a haul-ti.

they do work wonders if the dog can get used to it, Nala had issues when my sister first tried, for the first few times it would be very uncomfortable for Nala but she eventually got used to it.

My sister just recently said she will use it again as Nala is starting pull too much again when taken for walks





As anyone who has tried to control a large dog wearing a collar knows, dogs have a lot of power in their necks.


Yeah I have been a rag doll a couple of times when walking my kids, Rotties.

On one occasion Tyson wanted to go in one direction and I thought I could overpower him, Yeah Nah, it was like garbing a hold of moving train and thinking its going to stop, No, just NO, It takes you for one hell of a ride if it doesn't rip off your arm.





At first glance, they don't look nearly strong enough to control a large dog but they are.



Its how they are designed to pull at end of the snout that gives that great control, yeah almost exactly like a horses halter.
edit on 26-11-2014 by InhaleExhale because: (no reason given)



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