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Thread: Clicker training with a BC

  1. #1
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    Lightbulb Clicker training with a BC

    I'm just wondering if other members have trained border collies with clicker training, and if it is more effective than other methods? We pick Mini up on Wednesday, and I have got a clicker, but need to do some reading up on it. But basically we were planning on training her with a reward for good behavior, and ignoring bad behavior. Like with toilet training. If she pees inside, we clean it up and don't even look at it. But when we take her outside and she does a pee she will get lots of verbal praise and a treat. Just wondering if this would work as well with a clicker?

    Also, we have a maltese, who is old and untrained and as stubborn as all hell. Will her bad behavior rub off on the puppy?

  2. #2
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    Yes the maltese will corrupt the puppy if you let it.

    But you can clicker train the maltese with the right treats. Does she like salami or devon aka fritz or roast chicken skin? you can use those in small amounts for treats. ie a piece about half the size of your little fingernail.

    Susan Garrett's stuff is all reward based training. She uses the word "yes" more than she uses a clicker - because the clicker is extremely precise and somethings you don't want that precise - tho it probably will still work.

    Look up kikopup on youtube if you want to see clicker training working.

    For the moment - I think I'd keep the maltese separate (in a different room or inside when you're outside), when you're training the puppy. Especially when you're training stuff that the maltese doesn't do that you would like the puppy to do - like come when called.

  3. #3

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    I started using a clicker when I was shown the light 18 years ago. Since then, every Border Collie I have trained, and every dog that has passed through our clubs obedience and agility training classes, has been trained with a clicker. Positive training methods are, to my mind, superior to the old style yank and crank choker chain. You need to find an obedience club, or a club that holds puppy obedience classes, and trains using positive methods. The socialising with other young dogs is really important for your pup, and the instructors will be able to show you how it all comes together.
    Dogs do learn off each other so you may find some undesirable actions rubbing off from your Maltese but you can extinguish those behaviours by rewarding him when he chooses your way instead of the Maltese way.
    Nev Allen
    Border River Pet Resort

  4. #4
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    She has already started responding to clicker training. I watched all those kikopup videos on youtube, and she has started luring into sit, down and stand really well and consistently. I do it for about 5 minutes in the evening. Because we've only had her two nights. Don't want to overload her. But she will look every time I make a certain noise (I do a kiss sound) and start trotting over to me and then will get a click and a treat. She loves it. Very bright puppy. Just not so bright with toilet training :P

  5. #5
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    Yes puppies respond well to clicker training. I usually start with the clicker but I actually prefer to say "yes" as at times I find the clicker gets in the way. Border collies are bright and active dogs so she will keep you on your toes. You will need to do plenty of mental stimulation with her as she grows.

  6. #6
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    Mini keeps looking at the clicker when we are not doing training, waiting for that click that means a treat. She is very food orientated, but she also HAS to be with someone all the time. She doesn't like to go and play on her own. She wants to play with our other dog, but she is old and won't play with her.

  7. #7
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    Generally puppies wont play on their own. So you just have to get used to that LOL and get involved in her exercise and play!

  8. #8
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    She will whine if you go to the toilet and there is no one else around. She has bonded to us pretty quick I think I've been doing a bit of clicker training each night, and tomorrow she will go on a 10 minute walk. I don't want to take her to far, because she isn't due for her C5 injection until the 15th.

  9. #9
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    she also HAS to be with someone all the time. She doesn't like to go and play on her own
    This is why I have avoided getting a border collie. They're always looking for a job to do. They can be extremely demanding that way and it's exhausting for the owner. At the same time - if you do give them a job every time they ask for one (like fetch) - they will run themselves until they collapse. So sometimes the job you ask them to do is a very long down-stay.

    The way I describe this - is like the border collie is saying
    "your wish is my command"...
    "your WISH is my COMMAND!!"
    ....
    "I COMMAND you WISH me NOW, NOW NOW!!!"

  10. #10
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    I have a very high drive working bred BC, but being of good breeding he comes with an off switch. He is totally full on when I engage with him but will also chill for hours. He is crate trained which is always a bonus. In fact all my dogs are high drive herding breeds, but they will all chill. You just have to get through the puppy stages and focus on training her well. Mine know to settle in their crates when I am not doing anything. However I train herding and agility and take them for 2 walks daily. They then give me peace when I am not engaging with them.

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