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Thread: My puppy is boring to train

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Pawfectionist View Post
    I have to ask...

    If you are used to using the word "yes" instead of a clicker and you knew she loved the ball, why did you start clicker training with treats?
    Were you going to a class that only uses treats as a reward?
    I got a new book for christmas. That's why. On clicker training. Got myself all excited! Moved house and started. The book said a clicker is better than the word "yes" as a marker, as how the word is spoken has many variations and can confuse the dog. So i listened to that, and grabbed a clicker.

    Historically, what i have found in my working dog, is he wont eat or drink when training, not till the release, and then some. Now i assumed that Pohm would ever be able to refuse food! And in the house, she doesnt, but outside, not interested in it at all, and i took some pork crackling with me, so it was tasty stuff!

    I dont always have a clicker on me when Pohm lays down. So in those circumstances, when she lies down, ive been marking with yes. I have been watching a video of the first clicker training, i unconciously have been using "yes" simultaneously with the click. As if on automatic pilot. Its a habit of mine i guess.

    I dont go to classes.
    i live rurally, so have done distance learning with Steve from K9 with the GSD, he's rock solid and bomb proof in his training and the best ive ever done with a dog.

    If i have a ball, Pohm wont eat and declines the food. Even when ive not fed her. If i do it in my spare room however, she will eat the treats. As i have NEVER thrown a ball in my spare room, so no expectations of such on her part i guess?

  2. #12
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    You can use the clicker with her ball. A lot of scent detection work is done with a clicker and ball. If she's obsessed with the ball, that's good news.

    You can also pair the clicker with yes and phase out the yes, if you really want to use the clicker. Click and then say "yes", half-one second after the click, no more. But I would still recommend using the ball over treats if she wants the ball.

  3. #13
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    if you're adding a new cue or marker word (yes), say it just before you say / do the old cue. Eg old cue for saliva is dog dinner in front of dog. New cue is the bell that gets rung just before dinner arrives.

    Clicker is better for precision work but you have to have excellent co ordination and timing. Yes is slightly less precise and good for things that are less precise and sometimes just putting the reward out there, is the best "you did the right thing" especially when the behaviour is a bit complicated and you're not trying to get just one bit like a paw lift, you want the whole sit up and beg thing.

    When you're getting what you want reliably about 4 to 5 times in a row - add your cue when you're sure you're going to get the behaviour you want. If it's a between behaviour - use a different word to the one you want for the final behaviour.

    sometimes not taking the food - when the dog is properly hungry - eg have skipped a couple of meals - is a sign of stress or over excitement. Ie too stressed or two excited to think properly. Or just wants the fav reward - and if you give it - the dog is training you. Aren't they clever beasties?

  4. #14
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    Hyacinth, my GSD wont eat/drink whilst working. A lot of working stock are like this. Its not uncommon. His parents are the same apparently, wont eat till they've finished work for the day.

    My DDB x rottie progress: Ive dropped the clicker, continued to use the marker "yes". I get that this is less accurate, than a clicker, but my dog hasn't.
    as i have unconsciously continued to use BOTH markers, ie click and "yes" word, dropping the clicker appears to of gone unnoticed by Pohm.

    Using the ball as the reward, she's coming on leaps n bounds!

    Whist i may not get the accuracy to compete in obedience trials with my marker "yes", as im never going to compete, its not an issue. I train my dogs for 2 reasons, 1 first and foremost, its my favourite past time, in the bush, me and the 2 dogs. 2. It sure makes living with 2 large breeds more pleasurable if they are trained.

    A month into this training, and we had 15 over for dinner on sunday. Pohm was wonderfully behaved, played with the children, but came every time i called her to me to quieten things down a little. Sat on her bed when told to and stayed there. Got chained up when my son left, to prevent her following him across paddocks, without a fuss, from doing TOT nightly with her.

    Bernie is living proof, you don't need a clicker to get a well trained dog.
    I wanted permission to throw the darn thing away. I got that from this thread. Im not looking back, as food and clickers dont do it for us. My dog has been encouraged to chose her own reward, its definately a ball.

    Balls, and ball obsessed dogs = sit/drop/come/fetch/give/find it 100% accuracy. not bad for a companion puppy so far.
    there is a down side to this method, ive seen that in Bernie. they forget to switch off. You have to switch the dog off or it will sit in the blazing heat, waiting for the release! or constantly invent new things to fetch.
    For a novice trainer (me), doing a mediocre training method. Ball obsession goes a long way.

  5. #15
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    I like the word yes goes everywhere with me. All the bomb, scent, termite, rabbit eradication dogs etc etc at the kennels were all trained using 'yes' not a clicker. Didn't stop them getting a job.

  6. #16
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    I agree....I never even had a clicker until two years ago ....yes goes everywhere. But for some reason I hate the drawn out word "gooood". CAn't help it p**** me off no end

    And one of my dogs will never do the clicker, same as she will not do touch..........Go figure. She is also hopeless at capture/shaping. Will stand there all day waiting for you to tell her what to do.

    Have lots of ideas and treat each dog as an individual.......Do what suits your dog best, adapt and be adaptable

    Our Lukey would not do treats/food. But give him a chest scrtatch and he is yours for life...Adapt. He gets the scratch and fussing. Mind you now he also like a treat like the girls, so changed and adapted to treats
    Pets are forever

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by newfsie View Post
    And one of my dogs will never do the clicker, same as she will not do touch..........Go figure. She is also hopeless at capture/shaping. Will stand there all day waiting for you to tell her what to do.
    Luke used to be terrible at shaping. He too would sit there and stare at me and wait for a command. I changed this by ignoring him, watching him out the corner of my eye, then when he offered a behaviour that was nothing but different to staring at me, he'd get a "yes" and a treat thrown to him. The first few times they do sit there and stare at you waiting for the command but you just ignore them and go about your business. If your movig around the house they can't sit in one spot.

    At one point Luke thought he had to look to his right to get a treat. You'd watch his brain start to tick over and he'd slowly move his head to the right, then do a sneaky quick "was that right?" look at me. So funny to watch.

    There's a book called "101 things to do with a box" by Karen Pryor. It uses clicker training but all the information can be carried over to using the word "yes" or whatever you want, the idea is about shaping.
    Last edited by The Pawfectionist; 02-07-2012 at 11:05 AM.

  8. #18
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    Training needs to be fun. I use what my dogs like. For some it is food, for others it is a toy. I have a couple that like both. I have used a clicker with good success and I use it for stuff like box and perch work and precision heeling. However for the most part I use yes.

    When I train I find my dogs learn faster if I do quite a lot of playing with them while training. They dont get bored and they look forward to it. Extended periods of obedience training can be very boring.

    I like to do short bursts, interspersed with play and I only train my dogs when they are in drive and ready to go. I had one little rescue that I did nothing but play with for quite a few months and get her turning on with "are you ready". Now she is really excited to come out to the training area and is happy to work. "Are you ready" gets her really up and ready to go.

  9. #19
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    I used "yes" and treat yesterday with Pohm's first lesson in running beside my bike off leash. We got the 'what happens when i put my nose in the spoke' exercise covered in first 2 mins, once that was out the way, she was happy to follow at a snails pace. Once around the paddock, lots of yes/treat reps as i went.

    Pohm is NOT a working dog. She's more your long term unemployed at the grand old age of 7 months. Minimum effort route taken each time, and quite smart about it. Even has Bernie fetch the ball for her if its too far, then just steals it off him when he gets back and then brings it to me. THAT sort of dog.

  10. #20
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    I don't know if this has been mentioned back in the thread but if I was using clicker training I would be using a word that is not in everyday speech as it could be very confusing to the dog..

    Any posts made under the name of Di_dee1 one can be used by anyone as I do not give a rats.

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