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 Clicker Training For All Dogs

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Sandi
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PostSubject: Clicker Training For All Dogs   Sat 21 Mar 2009, 8:48 am

What is clicker training ?

Some say that clicker training is one of the most significant advances in dog training in recent history. Derived from dolphin training, the idea behind this technique is that dogs are better able to understand exactly what we are asking of them if we are able to precisely tell them the exact moment they are doing it.

This is where the clicker comes in; the timing of the sound from these devices signals the precise moment a particular training exercise is completed correctly.

What is a clicker?

With all the hype, getting your hands on a clicker can be a little disappointing. Most of them look as if they have came from a Christmas cracker. They are small, usually plastic, devices with a metal strip that, when pressed and released, makes a loud 'click' sound!

What are the benefits?

The clicker is a much faster and simpler means of communicating correct behaviour over the spoken word. Dogs love this form of training as it is completely positive and reward based.

Over time, you will actually see them experimenting, then listening for the click, experimenting again until they hear it. Dogs enjoy this training technique as it is very stimulating for them and, because this method encourages co-operation without stress, it is often a chosen technique for training rescue dogs.

How to get started ?

It all sounds so simple doesn't it? Well, it takes a little practice, so here are a few tips:

Press the clicker at the exact moment the correct behaviour is displayed (not 2-3 seconds later)
Reinforce the click with good things, namely a treat (preferably a soft one that is easily consumed without distraction) . Vary the length of time between the click and the treat.
Start new exercises in small steps, clicking and rewarding each step until they can perform the whole exercise in one step.

Don't discipline your dog when they get it wrong. Give them time to experiment and figure it out for themselves.
It sounds odd, but don't pet your dog during the exercise. Your touch will distract them from the exercise.
Try not to let your dog see the clicker. It is the sound you want them to be interested in, not the clicker itself.
Be patient, this will take a number of sessions. Stop clicker training sessions while your dog is still interested.
How about an example

When starting a new exercise, the best way to use a clicker is to lure your dog (usually with a treat), then click when they get it right.


Ok, let's teach your dog to SIT.

Get your dog’s attention. Using a treat, lure your dog into the sitting position by slowly raising the treat above their head. As soon as they are sitting, press and release the clicker and then after a couple of seconds, reward the dog with the treat.

Once your dog is able to sit within 5 seconds of being offered a treat, it is time to introduce the cue word, which in this case would be SIT. It can take many repetitions before your dog fully associates the cue word with sitting down. Your objective is for the cue word to trigger the command and not the treat. When you think you are there, be sure to only reward the behaviour when requested.


Courtesy of Canine Concepts
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TaffyStaffy
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PostSubject: Re: Clicker Training For All Dogs   Sun 19 Apr 2009, 6:52 pm

Thanks for this, we are just starting the training and now I have something to work from! Wish me luck! LOL
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ronnie22658
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PostSubject: Re: Clicker Training For All Dogs   Sun 23 Aug 2009, 12:58 am

when do start training like this ?
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Sandi
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PostSubject: Re: Clicker Training For All Dogs   Sun 23 Aug 2009, 1:02 am

Start as soon as you want. Never too young for training and setting boundaries.

Just remember a puppies attention span is quite short and clicker training should be fun as well as a teaching aid, so do short bursts to start with about a minute at a time rather than trying to do a long session all in one go.
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niki_stoke
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PostSubject: Re: Clicker Training For All Dogs   Sun 24 Jan 2010, 2:20 pm

thank you very much for this. I am too just about to start training our newest addition. Thanks again :)
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Sully
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PostSubject: Re: Clicker Training For All Dogs   Wed 18 May 2011, 6:27 pm

Sorry if im being a bit stupid,but are clickers just for training purposes or do you use them with a well trained dog? & if so is it series of clicks for a certain command? say like 1 click for sit,2 for lay down etc?
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wids
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PostSubject: Re: Clicker Training For All Dogs   Wed 18 May 2011, 8:44 pm

lol! no you're not being stupid at all

Clicker training is for training purposes. I'm not an expert but as far a I am aware you only click once.

If you think how quickly a dog will sit and then try saying "there's a good boy" the action of sitting is over before you get a chance to finish speaking so the dog doesn't know what they are being praised for.

If as the dog starts to sit you click the clicker it is an immediate fast praising noise for the dog . In the early days as soon as you have clicked you offer the treat.

Once you get them going and they respond you start to use the words like sit, stay etc to get them used to following the word instead of the treat.

Especially with puppies and their short attention span it's a handy tool to have. Bailey still comes looking for a treat and sits if he hears a clicker after 9 1/2 years.
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