Help Am I Teaching Too Much Too Quickly To A 13 Week Old Pup? Do I Have To Use The Clicker?

Discussion in 'Dog Tricks' started by Isi Havanese, Jun 12, 2011.

  1. Isi Havanese Active Member

    :p:D Hi all! I have so many questions and everyone here has been so knowledgable, please help! :notworthy:My trainer wants me to use the clicker this is not my first or only dog and I have never used one before. When we got home from our first class I used it and it seemed to frighten her a bit and set her back in her training a few days. :(
    Now we are back! :pShe will be 14 weeks old on Tuesday and this is her running list of tricks so far....:rolleyes:she sits, stays a short while:oops:, lays down:barefoot:, twirls:ROFLMAO:, jumps, jumps with a half twirl O_oand dances on her back legs *(bounces):p. Today we went swimming. :DShe loved the long rubber float that kept her just above the water she seemed so proud (y)and when I would take her out she indicated twice that she wanted back on. I gently gave her a brief swim prior to the float and treated afterwards, she was OK with it not thrilled but OK. While on the float once she ran and jumped off O_o:unsure:into the pool and I quikly rescued and praised her again with treats:p. She is trying to master rolling over :ROFLMAO:too.
    :unsure: Is this too much too soon and too young? She and I have such a great training program going on ourselves do I really need the clicker?:whistle: I dislike treating every time and I am beginning to have her do 2-3 tricks to earn a treat every now and again instead of every single time. :notworthy:What do you all think. She is a 2,6 lbs Havanese almost 14 weeks now. They are known as circus dogs and she has a naturally silly bouncy trick like antics:rolleyes: that prebuilt into this breed I am just naming her natural behaviors and getting her to perform them on command. Advice is GREATLY appreciated!! :notworthy::notworthy::)Thank you in advance:love:
    Jean likes this.

  2. Hayley Thompson Well-Known Member

    I personally don't think you can ever teach a dog too many tricks too young, as long as its still fun for her! Keep the training sessions short so she doesn't get bored or frusterated, but other than rock! I like to use the clicker with my year old border collie, but I dont have it on hand with me all the time. She will do tricks she already knows without the clicker and sometimes with treats sometimes without but always with praise. I like to bring out the clicker all the time for new tricks though as she gets it sooo much quicker! And doing a chain of tricks before treating her is a great idea! Just make sure you mix up the order, I remember when I would study spelling words when I was younger and my mom would always mix them up from the order I learned them in, because she always said you might just be remembering the order rather than fully understanding each word..which makes sooo much sense, if you do chains that way your pup will be sure to know what sit and lie down means individually rather than thinking hey when i put my butt on the floor and then my belly im gonna get a treat! Doing chains of tricks is always fun too when you throw in a new one that she hasnt mastered yet and you get to watch her think...then sit...then think...then lie down, roll over and then FINALLY realize...oh wait...I think she wants me to give her my paw! Too cuuute! Anyways best of luck!!
  3. running_dog Honored Member

    I don't use a clicker. My dog doesn't know a whole lot of tricks (20?) but then lurchers aren't known as trick dogs and I'm rather lazy about training. I'm thinking about trying out a clicker with Zac as I think that he'd like it. But there are some things that I'm training him now (basket, pass, splat) with his favourite toy, a football, and getting any treats out actually sets him back a long long way. Once the treats are finished he's like, "Hey, now the work's done lets have some real fun" and he does all the tricks again lots better than with the treats :rolleyes:. When I'm training the same things with a tennis ball he needs treats because he'd sooner run off with the ball and go to sleep :sleep:! The other thing that is worth remembering is that "click and treat" does not necessarily mean "click and food reward", with Zac and his football I could "click and have a kick about".

    A clicker is a training tool. You can train positively and well without one but I think that with a really clever trick dog like yours in the future you might have to work harder without a clicker - you have to make the effort to praise at exactly the right time to fix the behaviour that you want. Watching and reading about clicker training really helps with this. I don't know if it is true for everyone but certainly I am slightly slower with a verbal fix than a hand movement (potentially a click), this can mean it takes longer for a dog to understand what it is you like about what it has just done. I'm never sure how big an impact this has on Zac's training because he'll understand but after doing a difficult trick perfectly once or twice in a session he starts pretending that he can't remember :D.

    Why not train tricks just as you are doing without the clicker, it sounds like you are doing really well and having lots of fun, but in separate sessions just click and treat your dog until she stops being scared and gets used to the clicker concept? What is important is that you don't limit your and her potential for the future, that clicker might be just what you need later on to train a particular trick and if she's already used to it then you can get right on train without having to waste time introducing the clicker :).
    Isi Havanese likes this.
  4. Isi Havanese Active Member

    Thank you! I have just bought that Kyra Sundance trick workbook with the flash cards and after reading the first chapter where in she soes not start with a clicker but introduces later as an option I decided exactly that. Izzi learned the paws up in one command with one tap on the box and she had it down . So eventually capturing the action with the reward may require a clicker as things get more complicated later on. I appreciate your response. :notworthy:
    Oh and one more brag:pif you will tolerate it ..( I am very proud of her can u tell?) we are over half way to mastering the shake in one day the same 15 minute training session as the paws up. She sits, then I say shake and she gives me her right paw , I reward with treat and "Good" at this same time quickly, while a shake her paw. So the multi-tasking has begun and I have seen the light for the use of a clicker on that one trick alone. :D
  5. Isi Havanese Active Member

    Oh, do you have an opinion about using Kyra's trick books? I found that I have essentially have been using her methods already and she only uses positive rewards. The book and the cards seem like they will be useful for 1/ giving me ideas and 2/ breaking down how to train the more complicated tricks.I seem to think they will spell out some basics then I will be able to gather my ideas from here as I move on. What do you think?(y)or(n)
  6. running_dog Honored Member

    I've got one of Kyra's books (101 Dog Tricks) after seeing it get a good write up on DTA. I don't think I've ever trained directly from it but it has given me lots of ideas and a better thought process for training, I'd say a definite (y).

    It is funny how sometimes dogs get a trick really quickly - Zac sussed cop cop fast but he can't understand a variant of the weave that I'm trying to teach him now. I think it was because cop cop was unlike anything else we have done but although his mind knows what I'm asking for the weave his body goes into autopilot for what he's already learnt!

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