Clicker training;Clicker is your friend

  If you have read dog training books or dog training TV shows,chances are you have heard of the term “Clicker training”.

Have you ever wondered how it was applied to canine training?

 According to

The trainer’s whistle tells seals or dolphin or whale they did good job and they have just earned their yummy fish. (to read more,please click here)

Clicker training was first introduced to me when I enrolled into puppy training class.

Clicker is small training tool that has metal that makes unique sound. This sound is so unique that dogs would probably not hear the same sound in their daily life other than in clicker training session. This makes training more effective.

Below is Palette’s clicker. White clicker is the one I got from puppy training class,but it makes louder sound and it made Palette scared of the sound.

Therefore,we got 3 tone adjustable dog bone clicker (green one) that does not make too loud noise. Maybe the fact that Palette being a herding dog,she maybe sensitive to the sound. I use green one for Palette’s clicker training.

th Dog bone clicker

 

Clicker..

Clicker training basic..

First,puppy class trainer has taught us to teach dogs to associate clicker sound and yummy treats.

During this session,we were told to just click and treat,click and treat.

After dogs started looking for treats when they hear the sound, it can tells you they now know what clicker sound means.

What kinds of treats you would use for?

Since repetition is the key,and give lots of treats during training session, it is best to find something you can break into small pieces by hands or by scissors to lentil size (quarter inch or less),which dog can swallow treats and not require crunching.

This means,no biscuits treats for training session because crunching slow down the speed of training.

I like using dehydrated dog treats that you can snap into very small pieces. Currently,our dog “Palette” is getting Aunt Jeni’s lung treats.

It is a dehydrated grass-fed beef or lamb lung treat.It is flat type,not cubed type.Very easy to break with your hands. Small sheet of dehydrated goat lung treats “Dogitos” makes lots of training treats.

Dehydrated treats such as our brand of “Surf Turf Jerky” (Grass-fed buffalo meat with wild caught salmon with skin on.This will be made to order.), or Wild West Cowboy Jerky (Grass-fed Beef  Jerky treats made with single ingredient “Grass-fed grass-finished Beef meat”.This Jerky is also made to order Jerky.) etc.. that we have on our store is also easy to cut to small bits with hands or scissors.

Below is how I broke up Dogitos (dehydrated lung treats)  into pieces.

Piece you can see on your left hand side is about 1 inch or so I think. You can see how much you can get out of small piece of treats.

Please don’t give your dog 1 whole piece as training treats per click.It is way too much for training treats.

 

Goat Dogitos (dehydrated grass-fed goat lung treats) cut into small pieces for training ..

After dogs associate the clicker sound with yummy treats, you can use the clicker for almost anything to teach.

Basic command from sit,stay,down to funny/cute tricks such as play bow, to behavior reinforcement such as heal (loose leash walk),go to crate on cue,or to grooming matters such as nail clipping. Possibility is unlimited. And, it is a lot of fun for dogs.

With impaired hearing dogs,they can use flash light or hand sign instead of clicker.(to read full story,please click here)

How clicker training works is that, when dogs did what you asked them to do,click the clicker and give them a treat.

Repeat it,finish the training with success or better yet fun game like “Find it game” just like I do for our dog “Palette” (To watch how Palette play “Find it” game,please click here.).That is it.Very easy.Kids can train dogs, too.

Good thing about clicker is that you can mark your dogs exact behavior you like without delaying split seconds. If you teach “Sit” with clicker,as soon as your dog’s butt touch the floor with paws all on floor,click and treat.

Therefore,they know sit means 4 paws on floor with butt on floor.If you use “Good boy” as way to tell him he did good.Sometimes,he may perceive it as you rewarded him the behavior of  “sit and then jump up”.

I use clicker until Palette knows cue & behavior,and I fade it away and use verbal reward with unscheduled treats or nice quick petting ( I sometimes give her 3 pieces of treats,sometimes I just give verbal reward only for couple of times and then next time she did correctly,I give 1 treats or I let her do all the commands without treats and give her one small snack such as trachea (AKA Moo-tubes) at the end and she crunch it down as jackpot treats, etc.

I make myself hard to predict. Reward does not have to be food.It can be nice couple of petting,or big gesture to tell them they did good,or fetch ball.

The treats does not have to come all the time after each every single command once they know what cue was it for. After all,you would not want them to rely on clicker to give you nice behavior,and you would probably don’t have treats or clicker all the time.

If Palette seemed to forget what the cue was for, for example,I go back to click and treats again.

After 3 years of clicker training for Palette,I taught her lots of things. She can do many things. She licks her muzzle on cue,help you taking off your socks,shake hands,wave paws,high 5,play dead,go hide on cue,go get leash for walk,close the door,weave through my legs,figure eight,scratch on cue etc..list goes on.

Clicker training is fun,very effective way to train your dogs.

However, you cannot feel hurry.You still need patience,and repetition with baby steps. Make your bond with your dog stronger through the training and have fun with them.

The Key for the training,I think,are being patient,be calm (don’t get frustrated),be consistent, and make it fun,make the training time short.

I usually do training about 5 minutes or so per day. See what Palette leaned with clicker training;Close the door,with video clip.

When I do laundry,she usually follows me to the room,then wait on me with down position.As soon as she sees me out from the room,she goes behind the door and close the door for me.

If you are a blog subscriber,please click here to watch the video.

Palette close the door on cue..

 

  Are you ready for clicking?

** Please note that I am not a dog trainer.**

 

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Jun 15, 2009 | 0 | Dog Training

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