Clicker Training

Discussion in 'Dogs - General Dog Chat' started by meepitsmeagan, Jul 13, 2012.

  1. meepitsmeagan

    meepitsmeagan Meagan & The Cattle Dog Crew

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    So, I'm curious as to where you all learned to clicker train and how to do it correctly, and what to start with, blah, blah, blah. I've dabbled in it a little bit and have kind of sort of began shaping and targeting, but I feel like I am not doing a good job I guess. I don't really know where to start. I also don't really know what order to build on, as I would like to teach pivots and handstands and such as well.

    So yeah. I am wondering where you all learned this wonderful stuff. I have stalked both Linds and Sara's youtube page quite a bit (as I love me some Koolie) and frankly I now feel clueless as their babies know more than my 2 year old. I think I am on the right track, but I also feel like I need some guidance.
     
  2. Red.Apricot

    Red.Apricot Active Member

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    Karen Pryor's writing really 'clicked' with me. I also watched a lot of youtube videos.

    Mostly, once I had the concept down, it was the practice that really made a difference.
     
  3. meepitsmeagan

    meepitsmeagan Meagan & The Cattle Dog Crew

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    Awesome, thank you! I will Google her right now.
     
  4. OwnedByBCs

    OwnedByBCs Will Creep For Sheep

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    Karen Pryor, Leslie McDevitt, Sue Ailsby, Jean Donaldson- all favorites of mine.

    You should look up some clicker training videos on youtube- I especially love Dazzle the Border Collie's trick videos. Also, The Dog Scouts of America has some great information on their website, www.dogscouts.org .
     
  5. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

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    I honestly have no idea where I picked up clicker training now that I'm thinking of it. It was before I started agility training. I know I really started clicker training with Summer. It's so much fun! I love it and play around with it a lot. My dogs think its the best game ever and they've come up with some interesting offered behaviors. I love it when they offer something new to me. We clicker pretty much every day.

    I'm still learning. It's been really great to have a couple trainers now that are a lot better at it than I am and I've been able to figure out a few places I've been unknowingly messing up. I can tell lately just my work on rewarding a little more precisely has helped a lot.

    I'm not one to sit through training manuals (or manuals or how tos on really ANYTHING). I would much rather practice and learn from someone else in real life.
     
  6. Danefied

    Danefied New Member

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    Yep!
    Also Pamela Dennison has an “idiot’s guide to clicker training†book that’s quite good, and great videos online.

    Another youtube channel I really recommend is Kikopup’s channel.

    For actual technique, I took a class. We did things like heeling each other (humans) and trying to click eye blinks and ball bounces etc., before actually clicking the dogs. Its SO helpful to have someone watch you and stop you from making those mistakes before they become ingrained. Things like clicking while reaching for the treat back can really back-fire long term.
     
  7. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

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    I've been taking foundation classes lately which have had some dogs/owners that are brand spanking new to clicker training. It's interesting to me to watch how the trainer gets the dogs and owners clickering. Usually she starts with something basic like a target or just freeshaping and clicking any interaction with an object. I do notice this trainer likes to start dogs with some sort of object instead of trying to shape something like a sit or down. You glance at that object, you get a treat.

    One really big thing is to make sure you keep your criteria high. Say you are trying train your dog to stand on a box. First you click and treat for looking at the box, then maybe for going closer to it, then for a paw on the box. If the dog moves further to putting two feet on the box, don't click and treat for the dog putting only one foot on the box the next time. I see a lot of the new people doing that.

    Also reward placement is very key and it helps to have someone either in real life or by video watch what you're doing. I know my trainer has pointed out poor reward timing or me inadvertently luring my dog quite a few times. It helps to have someone else watching for that because in the midst of training you sometimes forget what your hands are doing.

    One exercise we did in another class was have a person play being the dog and had them step outside while we decided on a behavior we want them to offer. They get no help except that we will clap when they do something that is what we want. It is very easy to see some of the issues you run into in clicker training even with a person that knows the game. Ex: We wanted the person to put their hand on their nose and the person walked over to a spot in the room and itched their nose and the person thought the behavior we wanted had to have something to do with that part of the room and didn't associate it with the hand on the nose.

    With Beau being 8 and trained via yank and crank trainers when he was young it took him a loooong time to pick up on clicker training. Just didn't get it at all and he's a very smart dog. It takes some dogs a while to realize that you're asking them to think for themselves and I think if they've been 'traditionally trained' it can take even longer.
     
  8. MandyPug

    MandyPug Sport Model Pug

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    I read Karen Pryor's Reaching the Animal Mind. Bought it because it looked more interesting than the Cesar and BP books at chapters. Then i got a clicker and started playing around with it.
     

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