Clicker Training Two Dogs

Discussion in 'General Dog Training' started by luckylego, Feb 12, 2013.

  1. luckylego Experienced Member

    Hey guys..

    So I'm sure I saw a post on this once before, but I can't remember really..

    I'm wondering how people with multiple dogs go about using clicker at home? I just finished reading Kathy Sdao's "Plenty In Life Is Free", and it really got me thinking about different techniques to solve certain issues with Lego, as well as using the clicker around the house. I'm going to start working with the girls on their manners by clicking and treating whenever I see them behaving and making good decisions, but then I'm faced with a problem.. How on earth are the girls supposed to distinguish between which click is for who? If I click for Lego's good behaviour, won't that confuse Streets, who will have heard the click and alsp be expecting a treat? I'm just really confused as to how to make this work without confusing the dogs..

    Any ideas?
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  2. fickla Experienced Member

    If I'm having a training session with one of my dogs, the other dogs are allowed to be near and watch as long as they don't interfere. they certainly know the clicks are not for them.

    Outside of formal training sessions if I want to reward one of my dogs for good behavior I generally just say their name. I typically don't have a clicker on me anyway. Alternatively you can quietly just go over to them or toss a treat without saying anything. Most home manners don't require the precision of a clicker, typically people reward duration based behaviors such as lying down calmly, leave its, offering- and holding- a sit...
    Dogster, luckylego, Maura and 4 others like this.
  3. jackienmutts Honored Member

    Fickla nailed it. I've read Plenty In Life Is Free (LOVED it!) and unless you're doing a formal training session, you really don't need a clicker to implement a lot of what she recommends. When she suggests constantly rewarding for good behavior, do as Fickla suggests above - just "catch Lego and/or Streets doing something right" (maybe laying quietly, or staying on a bed, or staying out of the kitchen while you're cooking, not barking when the mailman comes, or .... it's endless) and toss a treat. Keep that pile of treats handy, or your pocket full, and use it all thru the day, anytime, anywhere - no clicker necessary.

    When you're doing a formal training session, it's different. Work with one at a time, and either put the other on a down-stay, or behind a baby gate to start out, til they get used to relaxing while you're working with the other one. They won't get confused by the clicking/treating going on at all. If anything, I've noticed mine will watch what the other one is being c/t for, and catch on even faster when they get their turn. Think of the clicker as a way to mark a behavior you've asked for - not to just tell them you like what they're doing in general. Have fun!
  4. MaryK Honored Member

    Great posts Fickla and Jackie.(y)(y)

    I train both my boys together. For home training, I don't use the clicker, just Good Boy (using the dog's name).

    Formal training, I start with the two together, doing simple tricks, as Zeus is getting on a bit, then have him sit/stay while Ra Kismet goes through his tricks. I quietly give Zeus a treat every so often for sitting and staying like a good chap. I haven't found they get confused at all.
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  5. Maura Well-Known Member

    I've noticed this with beginning clicker trainers. You think that everything must be clicker trained. My DH used to chastise me when I would work our (then) puppy without using the clicker. Clicker training is excellent for advanced work, for fearful dogs and other special instances, but dogs that are being trained all the time pick up on the "reward for certain behavior" more and more quickly. I almost never use the clicker any more with the dogs (several fosters) because I have become better at focusing on specific behaviors and what suits the dog as a reward.
    Mutt likes this.
  6. luckylego Experienced Member

    Actually.. I wouldn't say that at all. I am aware of the usefulness of a clicker, and that it need not be used for every little thing, however, I have found that it makes a remarkable difference in Lego's day to day training sessions, as well as for marking specific behaviours. As a result, it has greatly improved her general behaviour and mannerisms around the house. I may definitely use it more often then some, BUT, to each his own!

    Gahh.. You're so right. I went back and reread.. I could have sworn that she had said to click, but looking back she just suggested that you mark the behaviour somehow. Apparently my brain automatically converted that into "click".. These sites/books must be rubbing off on me, haha!

    Annnd now I feel a bit silly asking my original question in the first place since the answer was so simple in the end - just train them separately. Somehow that thought never popped into my head, I just kept wondering how people with multiple dogs distinguish the two clicks.. D'oh! Thanks for humoring my silly question guys :oops::p
    Dogster, MaryK and southerngirl like this.
  7. MaryK Honored Member

    We all over-look or forget at times. The only 'dumb' question is the one which is never asked!:D
  8. Khya Active Member

    Since getting my new German Shepherd I have only been concentrating on training her mainly, although at times my old boy just joins in when I am in the yard teaching stays. For me I find it easier just training her atm and occasionally give my old dog a treat. I don't want him putting on any more weight so don't want to keep treating him too and often lock him in the house whilst I have a ten minute training session outside. He is so good and easy to live with and I only have to look at him if he comes in the kitchen when I am cooking and he's off. I must have that look haha. So yep try just training one at a time, it will be easier on you and the doggies.
    MaryK likes this.
  9. Pawbla Experienced Member

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