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Dogsey Junior
Crstna81 is offline  
Location: Caboolture, Australia
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 71
09-10-2013, 12:03 AM

Pack drive vs prey drive, command vs clicker

I am reading 'Dog Training for Dummies', (Volhard and Volhard) and 'Dog tricks', (Ray).

My dogs are almost 3 and are pretty darn good dogs, if I do say so myself! I have recently changed jobs and have more free time for training (improving on the old and learning the new).

Diesel is easy to train. I have learnt this is because he is pack drive orientated. He learns much more qucikly and has more a great deal of focus.

Chillie is not so easy. She is a prey drive dog. Her focus is not so good and she loves to play.

Teaching Chillie to roll over is so difficult! Her focus is on the food. But she constantly sits up or moves away from my hand instead of turning her head.

I am considering clicker training.

Does anyone else find clicker training to be an easier method of training?
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Dogsey Veteran
mjfromga is offline  
Location: Atlanta, GA, USA
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 5,632
09-10-2013, 01:41 AM
I tried clicker training with my puppy at the beginning. I found myself dropping the thing, clicking at the wrong times, having the puppy chew on it/drawn to it, and (most of all) annoying the living CRAP out of myself with the constant clicks.

I heard it makes things easier for dogs to learn, but it merely distracted my puppy and annoyed me.

I have a Lab mix and he's extremely smart, so I gave up on the clicker rather quickly... and now it rests on my key chain. He learned well with hand signals, food lures, and command training.

He knows these tricks and he is 9 1/2 months:

Stay and standing stay
Heel (off lead, but sucks at it on lead admittedly)
Paw, other paw (left, right)
Lay down
Stand (from sitting, bowing, or laying down)

He's got "bring it to mommy" (random items on the floor pointed at) pretty good too now
He will also go in the direction I point if I say "go" and he will hop down off the bed, couch etc. if I say "get down"

He is still learning:

Leave it (VERY HARD for him), play dead, roll over, crawl, growl, and take it

He does extremely well, I might add and gets things really quickly with a treat and a bit of instruction. No annoying clicker thingies.

Might I recommend a book or so if you're having trouble. The only book I ever got was "The only dog trick book you'll ever need" by some woman I can't recall, you can look this up. Clearly this isn't true as the book only has like 30 tricks taught in it, but it's a great place to start IMO.

It DOES advocate using a clicker to train the dogs, which might also work in your favor since you are considering it! Good luck!
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Dogsey Senior
Mattie is offline  
Location: West Yorkshire
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 855
09-10-2013, 06:32 AM
The problem with a clicker is most people don't use it properly, when it is used properly it is a very useful tool.

To a dog hearing a click should mean he has done what the owner wanted. You click once but most just go on clicking in the hope the dog will do what they want. I have lost count has many owners I have holding the clicker up high, continually clicking while shouting at there dog to come back.

I first used a clicker with Joe, he had been beaten so much by his previous owner he was terrified of coming back. I taught him it was safe to come to me when he heard the click, he never looked back. Within 10 days his recall was 99 per cent.

Tilly had problems understanding when she had done what I wanted until I used a clicker, she soon picked it up.

Clickers are just one tool to help us teach our dogs to do what we want, they are not the only way.

Pudsy who won Brition's Got Tallent was clicker trained.
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Dogsey Junior
Pookin is offline  
Location: wales
Joined: Jun 2010
Posts: 173
09-10-2013, 11:28 AM
I 'clicker train' my dogs whether I have a clicker or not, the click is just a sound that has been strongly paired with a reward, if you do t have the co ordination to click you can charge a word or noise in the same way (I squeak my lips), it's just most people find clicking to be faster and more timely than saying a word.
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Dogsey Veteran
JoedeeUK is offline  
Location: God's Own County
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 7,584
09-10-2013, 01:03 PM
Clicker training makes the dog use it's brain to work out what it has done to get the reward that follows the click. Some dogs can be a bit slow picking up especially dogs that have learnt behavioural problems.

Getting the timing right is important & I get new to clicker people to use a tennis ball thrown upwards to teach the timing. The clicker is used as the ball touches the ground & again when it starts to fall again. Done of course away from the dog.

Some people fail because they do not use high enough value rewards & don't really understand how the clicker method works
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Dogsey Senior
Imana-Banana is offline  
Location: Hatfield, UK
Joined: Jun 2013
Posts: 941
09-10-2013, 01:59 PM
I have used a clicker with Ima when I want to her do learn something very specific, she really has to think about what she is doing and I also need to make sure I am doing it right, but I have found it works really well.

As others have said though you really need to get it right or it can make things more confusing.

Jodee I like the sound of using the tennis ball to learn timing, I will take that idea to dog school if you don't mind
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Dogsey Veteran
JoedeeUK is offline  
Location: God's Own County
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 7,584
09-10-2013, 03:11 PM
Of course not, it does help & a tip I was given ages ago
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Dogsey Junior
AMGT is offline  
Location: Aberdeenshire, Scotland
Joined: Jul 2013
Posts: 31
09-10-2013, 06:39 PM
Love clicker training to establish behaviours with our dogs, horses and cats. I have found that a behaviour learnt from the clicker is the most long lasting when it's not used for ages. Love Karen Pryor's 'Don't shoot the dog' book.
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Dogsey Veteran
catrinsparkles is offline  
Location: england
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 5,601
09-10-2013, 06:56 PM
I love clicker training and, used correctly it is an extremely clear and powerful tool to communicate with your dog exactly what it is you are rewarding them for. It's not a different method of training as such but a different way to communicate to your dog that they have done the thing right and a treat is on the way. You can use it while luring your dog into listitions or you can go for shaping where your dog offers behaviours and you gradually reward behaviours that a getting closer and closer to what you want them to perform, gradually narrowing it down to the exact behaviour and then putting it on cue. Shaping really taxes your dogs brain.
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Almost a Veteran
chlosmum is offline  
Location: Borsod-Abauj-Zemplen Hungary
Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 1,036
11-10-2013, 08:51 AM
I don't know whether anyone else has had the same problem with clicker training as I had when training Chloe and M'boi with a clicker. Chloe was so frightened of the clicking sound she'd try to hide and the same applied to squeaky toys so I stopped the clicker training and removed all the offending toys and trained them both by verbal command, hand signals, body language and as neither dog was interested in treats, loads and loads of praise.

I've been training 14 week old Georgina by the same method for a month now and she's doing very well.
She knows :

"sit" "wait" "stay" "car" "inside" "outside" "come" "pee-pee" "down" "leave it" "bed" and probably a few more I can't think of at the moment.

Her recall is excellent and she walks beautifully on the lead, although the real test will come next week when we go for her first walk along the lane. I can't claim all the credit though because I doubt whether I would have acheived so much without Chloe's assistance as she's been a (almost) perfect role model for her little sister.
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