Clicker Training an older dog

Discussion in 'Clicker Training' started by Mollly, Jan 1, 2016.

  1. snowbunny

    snowbunny Administrator Forum Supporter

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    Um, are you using the clicker to "call" her? That's not what it's for. You would use a whistle or your voice for that. The clicker is to mark the instant a dog is doing something right. Which means, if you're clicking it when she's way from you, that is the behaviour that's being rewarded. So, you could click at the point she whiplash turns towards you after you have given your recall signal, which would indicate, "yes, turning to me was what I was after!", but if you clicked, for example, while she was sniffing a bush, the click means "sniffing that bush is what I want".
     
  2. Harley Quinn

    Harley Quinn Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    @snowbunny, I am not sure if I have asked this question before but I have started carrying a squeaker (the replacement Kong ones) in my pocket and I use it to get Harley's attention. So if she get excited and is staring off at another dog I have found that it is like she doesn't even hear my voice, if I whistle her response it very intermittant. I use a normal blow whistle for recall at a distance. So I squeak the squeaker and it does not fail to get her attention and then I C & T for the look at me. She is not food driven so even if I wave her best, high value treat in front of her nose she will stay fixated on the object she is looking at. I have noticed that if I can just get her to look at me she will calm down and respond. She is only 10 months old so I don't expect her to be able to shut the excitement of the various objects, out. The trainer felt it was unconventional but as long as I am not using the squeaker as a replacement clicker it should be okay. I would appreciate opinions from anyone else?
     
  3. snowbunny

    snowbunny Administrator Forum Supporter

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    The power in the clicker is that it signals a reward is coming. The click in itself is nothing special, it's just a consistent noise. So it could be used as an attention grabber, but that's not what its purpose is, and you're losing a whole lot of value if you use it as such. Because the clicker is a marker that indicates a treat is coming, the dog understands that the thing she is doing when she hears the click noise is the thing that causes the reward. But using a squeaker as an interrupter is a different thing; you won't have paired that with a reward in the same way you do when charging the clicker, so it is no different to using any other interrupter noise. I heard a suggestion some time ago that dogs like squeaky toys because the squeak mimics the noise a distressed animal makes when it's bee caught. Quite macabre really. No idea if it's based in fact, but it makes sense.
    I wouldn't say it's unconventional as such; it's quite common in the show ring for people to use squeakers for certain breeds who are generally considered to be less food motivated.
     
  4. AngelConradie

    AngelConradie Registered Users

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    We use clicker training with our Guide Dog puppies, but we have the benefit of a course teaching us how to click. :p
    I have since used it with my mixed-breed rescue bitch, who prefers a toy to a treat which is a little tricky, and I am going to start using it on my dad's mixed-breed jerk :p who is a tad anxious and I want to build his confidence. :)
     

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