Click to Calm a good choice?

Discussion in 'Dogs - General Dog Chat' started by hotdog2007, Nov 22, 2009.

  1. hotdog2007

    hotdog2007 New Member

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    Hello everyone,

    I've seen the book Click to Calm mentioned a lot on this forum, as well as Control Unleashed. My second dog, Dumpster, has developed a problem of leash reactivity/aggression (barking and pulling) towards other dogs, as well as some dominant behaviors (standing over other dogs in a dominant posture). She is much more stubborn and harder to train than my other dog.

    For those who have read Click to Calm, I was wondering if it would be a good choice to help me work on these issues? If so, I haven't done any clicker training yet, so would I need to get additional reading material on clicker training? I think what would help me most would be a book that spells out exercises that we can do to work on the problems, since I don't have much experience working with these issues.

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. corgipower

    corgipower Tweleve Enthusiest

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    Click to Calm is a great book and can definitely help with the reactivity. I would very much suggest that you find a behaviorist to help you out also -- make sure they use positive motivation methods. For basic clicker training and basic obedience, there is some information in Click to Calm, so you could start with that and then see if you need additional books.
     
  3. Brattina88

    Brattina88 Active Member

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    Yes, yes, yes :D I love Click to Calm, and I think it will be just what you're looking for ;)
    In the begining it tells you how to use a clicker to train, or to use a marker word instead, so you shouldn't need any additional material. There are some videos online you could look at if you needed to.
    Click to calm has a lot of (easy)good excersizes to use in different situations... I think you'll like it! ;)
     
  4. hotdog2007

    hotdog2007 New Member

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    Thanks so much! I am going to go ahead and order it tonight. I'd like to hire a behaviorist, but I just can't afford one right now.
     
  5. Kayla

    Kayla New Member

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    I third everyone who has said Click to Calm is a good choice! While I haven't read it, I have attended a Click to Calm Workshop by Emma Parsons, and really enjoyed listening to her speak and watching her case studies.

    One in particular that had me ready to burst out crying was a story about one of her clients who adopted a blind 3 or 4 year old Staffordshire Terrier who had been confenscated from a dog fighting ring (at the time she had recent wounds indicating she was still being used in fights despite being unable to see:(). The dog was severly reactive to the sound of other dogs, jingling keys or dog tags, and clapping or loud human voices.

    The video clip was after a few months (I believe it was 4 or 5 months if I remember correctly) of click to calm principals and the client was working her dog in a room, while another student brought in her dog at the opposite wing. While you could see the Staffy initially tense up and turn in the direction of the other dog, within miniutes of click to calm work the dog completely changed it's body langauge and was able to relax, even as the audience clapped and the other dog's, dog tags could be heard loudly clanging throughout the video.

    While the dog still had a ways to go, you could visibly see a lot of progress had been made.

    I think you'll love click to calm, keep us updated on how everything goes with you and your dog. Alot of us have been in a similar spot as you are now, including myself and I applaud you for searching out modern training techniques to help your dog work through his reactivity.

    Kayla
     
  6. Dreeza

    Dreeza New Member

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    OOh, I am now intrigued...I prob should've bought this book years ago, but I just really hate the clicker...I know that sounds so stupid...but the noise annoys me & I find it very annoying to carry around. If i'm lounging in sweatpants (which I am most of the time at home), i never have it when I need it...etc, etc...

    So you can use a marker word instead though???? I think I might buy this book finally.

    One more question...I never bought control unleashed cause I heard it required scenarios with other dogs, etc...

    I don't have friends with dogs & I cant exactly find randoms & have them practice walking their dog on the other side of the street, etc...and Oakley is fine at dog parks...sooo yeah. Does this book require specific scenarios? I just cannot control my environment that well..I never know when a dog is gonna come around the corner,etc
     
  7. corgipower

    corgipower Tweleve Enthusiest

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    Well, yes. And any worthwhile training plan for DR issues will require the use of an assistant and dog.

    The training can be done without such a thing, it's just more difficult when another dog is unexpected or is too close or is too exuberant.

    A fair amount of click to calm is also about basic obedience skills and handler skills - teaching the dog that when you get stressed or tighten the leash or grab the collar, it's a cue to the dog that good things are happening.
     
  8. Dreeza

    Dreeza New Member

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    Well, I am convinced...I just bought it :) Now hopefully it doesn't take forever to ship cause of the friggin holidays!
     
  9. Amanda885

    Amanda885 New Member

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    that book is fantastic! good choice! hope it helps you and your dog out! :D
     
  10. vanillasugar

    vanillasugar just call me Nilly

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    Haha this is *exactly* my problem with clicker training. I never have a clicker on me! It's so frustrating.

    Anyways, this book as been on my "To Read" list for a long time now, and I think I'm going to bump it to the top.
     
  11. vanillasugar

    vanillasugar just call me Nilly

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    I know I know, I'm double posting... but OMG THERE IS A CLICKER APP?!! I need this now.

    Seriously. LOL

    I think that would solve my problems with never having a clicker!! HAHA
     
  12. Dreeza

    Dreeza New Member

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    hahaha just downloaded the app on my itouch...it works, but well, everytime you need to use it you have to unlock the darn thing, so its kinda not very effective.

    ...oh wait...as I typed that I figured there must be someway to make it not lock...so I just switched mine to "never" lock, haha.


    The sad thing is the most I've used my itouch since I got it like 4 months ago (my bro gave it to me...he got it with his laptop). This is one hella expensive clicker!!!!!
     
  13. xpaeanx

    xpaeanx Active Member

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    just an FYI, a "clicker" is just a "marker" and you don't actually have to use the clicker.

    You can use a keyword to replace the click. Like you could say "yes" instead of clicking. Muffin is actually afraid of the clicker noise(bc he's afraid of everything!!!) so that's what we ended up having to do.

    It's not the best, but if a clicker just isnt for you, you don't *have* to use it.
     
  14. vanillasugar

    vanillasugar just call me Nilly

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    We *were* using YES as a marker for Sierra, but I was told that because it's not as concise as a clicker it can confuse the dog as to what behaviour you're marking, so I sort of weaned it out. But then I failed with the cliker entirely, so maybe that's really what I should be using... at least then I was consistently using something.

    Gosh this can get confusing ;)
     
  15. milos_mommy

    milos_mommy Active Member

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    I didn't read the whole thread, but:

    Before I got Click to Calm, my jrt was unable to be within about 30 feet of another dog without screaming, barking, and gagging himself/going absolutely insane on leash. He now can play with dogs he knows and is fine around other strange leashed dogs as long as they stay away from about 2 feet away.

    I've never used any other book but click to calm has tons of insight on what causes aggression, and how to manage it.
     
  16. hotdog2007

    hotdog2007 New Member

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    The book came yesterday and I love it so far! I really like Emma Parsons's writing style and the way she formats the exercises in 'recipes'. I also got a clicker from the store today, so hopefully we can start training at the end of the week. I'll let you all know how the training goes. I'm also trying to enroll her in an obendience class so she can practice working around other dogs. Unfortunately, they just cancelled the class at the humane society that my first dog took, which had a great teacher and curriculum, so I'll need to find a new place for her.

    Unfortunately, I don't have an iPhone. I have a bad record as far as losing cell phones, so it didn't seem like a good choice for me.
     
  17. Criosphynx

    Criosphynx New Member

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    Dreeza...I don't have anyone to help me either and so I have had to use neighborhood dogs as training tools....

    I had to first desensitize to barking sounds (easy to find barking dogs) and then barking dogs behind fences...then calm dogs behind fences...then I worked up to stray dogs and other dogs on leash ( just outside the doors at petco is good for this) if you scout out your neighborhood really well you will get to know your neighbors dogs and their intensities...

    a helper would be better, but if you absolutely can't get anyone to help you there is still alot you can do without one...just be careful not to overwhelm your dog or put yourself in a position you can't get out of. :)


    I haven't read CTC yet, but I have Read som' of Emma work online... I have control unleashed and enjoyed it tremendously.
     
  18. hotdog2007

    hotdog2007 New Member

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    I introduced her to the clicker today, giving her a treat each time I clicked, and later worked on eye contact with her using the clicker. Even though we just did simple things, it worked really well. When I just use treats to train her she gets overexcited and literally throws herself on the floor doing any trick she can think of, but with the clicker she was much calmer. I think tomorrow we'll try eye contact outside w/few distractions, and sitting w/the clicker.

    I've decided to start my older dog on the clicker too (working with them separately). She just loves to eat, and after the third time I clicked, she was trying to press her nose against the clicker (no treats for that, of course :)).
     
  19. Brattina88

    Brattina88 Active Member

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    :D That's great!

    I LOVE clicker training. Its so fun! I taught Maddie to find & fetch the remote with the clicker a long time ago :D Awesome trick! I haven't done it since we moved, and got a new TV/remote. I should work with her with that again :D
     

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