How Does Using A Clicker Affect Your Dog Training?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic & Chit Chat' started by running_dog, Nov 5, 2012.


How does using a clicker affect your dog training...

I have never tried using a clicker with my dog 0 vote(s) 0.0%
My dog learns slower when I use a clicker, I wish I never bought one. 0 vote(s) 0.0%
It makes no difference to my dog whether I use a clicker or not, it was a waste of time buying one. 0 vote(s) 0.0%
My dog learns complex tricks faster when I use a clicker, we can do so much more than before 4 vote(s) 30.8%
My dog learns all kinds of tricks faster when I use a clicker, clicker training is FANTASTIC 10 vote(s) 76.9%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. running_dog Honored Member

    Once upon a time there was a clicker resistor called Runningdog. When Runningdog finally succumbed at first she didn't even buy a clicker, she used one of those biro pens with a clicky point.



    Even a clicky biro opened up a whole new line of communication with my dog.

    Suddenly my dog could learn faster, adding to his already quite extensive trick list at a rate that would have been unthinkable before, he was more excited about training, I could capture behaviours he did naturally, he could learn more complex tricks, we became a team... he was always clever but I found he was even brighter than I had ever imagined - not that he uses that cleverness to my advantage :-)

    I wonder how many people there are who are reasonably committed to training their dogs and who actually regret buying a clicker?
    Dogster and MaryK like this.

  2. jackienmutts Honored Member

    I don't think *to date* there's a faster way to tell your dog "that's it, that's what I wanted" cuz we can't speak that fast, but we can click and then reward that fast - and dogs 'get it'. The clicker was the best thing I ever did!! (y)
    Dogster, MaryK and Mr-Remington like this.
  3. southerngirl Honored Member

    Before I had ever heard of Positive Reinforcement or clicker training I had a hard time teaching Missy tricks other than the basics. When I started using tricks I found that Missy could learn all types of tricks quickly. I've found when I didn't bring my clicker when I go on walks or take her somewhere I really regret it.(Missy is reactive toward dogs)
    MaryK likes this.
  4. MaryK Honored Member

    I too started with just rewards and treats, NEVER physical punishment and my younger boy learned well but after changing to the clicker training boy I have a job to keep thinking up new tricks (thank goodness for this forum) as his learning and retention rate has skyrocketed.

    Plus after he was attacked by a dog when we were out walking clicker training has helped him over come his fear/over reaction to other dogs in about two months, he's almost 'there' now and looks for his treat rather than over reacting to other dogs. Couldn't have got this far so quickly with just treats!

    My older boy was originally trained just using treats/praise, never one for tricks other than the basics. Now even at almost 12 years, living with Cushings disease, he's learning new tricks like shake, peek a boo. I have to keep his tricks easy, as in no weight on the hind legs etc. ( any suggestions of suitable tricks would be appreciated), but he's catching on so fast, he now offers his paw as soon as I reach for the bait bag! And if you knew Zeus, that's really a MAJOR breakthrough. He's a super cool dude, almost to the point of being a tad lazy:rolleyes::D

    Clicker training is awesome! If my almost 12 year old boy can learn new tricks with clicker training then any dog can. As I said, he's not really been into tricks, his sister the late adored Tiger Lily was the trick dog.
    southerngirl likes this.
  5. Dogster Honored Member

    Before I joined this site I didn't know much about clicker training, and I didn't think it would affect Shivon's ability to learn tricks.

    But WOW!!! What a difference!!!!:D

    I started noticing that Shivon was learning and understanding tricks waaaaay faster than I expected her to. Since I've started using the clicker, Shivon has learned over 50 tricks and commands!!!!:eek::) The clicker is a very powerful training tool that changed trick training with my dog. I LOVE it!!!!:D
    MaryK likes this.
  6. running_dog Honored Member

    Thanks everyone... There seems to be a consensus of opinion so far anyway - lots of us regret buying a clicker... NOT :)

    Jackienmutts - I do so agree, the clicker was the best thing I ever did for Zac's training too.

    MaryK. - LOL I did a clicker training session with Gus and then a non clicker training session with Zac (because I thought Gus would break his stay to join in the session if I used a clicker). Zac looked at me like, "do you really think you can cheat me like that!" Like Zeus he's a cool dude to the point of appearing lazy (that's great for stays though) anyway he was so uninspired I risked the clicker. Thankfully Gus handled the situation well (until I got too involved in Zac's training and he came to remind us he needed treats too).

    I think actually it is in two dog situations I find the clicker difficult to use. Dogs seem to get the idea of separate training sessions but you can't do capturing and life skills training in quite the same way as with a single dog and as do a lot of training on the go I've ended up using the clicker less recently.

    Southerngirl & Dogster - I kind of felt like I'd suddenly got a direct dial into Zac's brain! Isn't it amazing that something so simple works with pretty much all dogs, big small, young, old, reactive, lazy, hyperactive...
    MaryK, southerngirl and Dogster like this.
  7. MaryK Honored Member

    I have the same problem when I train the two together. Ra Kismet is pretty good, will wait or just go off and play a little, but Zeus will stay for a short while (unfortunately his laziness doesn't extend to lengthy stays when treats are involved) but I find, as today, I ask Ra Kismet for roll over and Zeus has VERY quietly wandered up and roll over becomes 'roll into your Big Bro":rolleyes:.

    I think I'm going to have to 'split' training. Do a little with both dogs, to keep Zeus happy, then separate them (Zeus inside and barking:rolleyes:) so Ra Kismet can train alone without distraction. Maybe end with both dogs working together again, to keep the peace! Zeus has the worst bark in living or past history, his only real 'flaw':rolleyes::eek::D and he 'protests' when shut inside with Ra Kismet outside training - all those treats he may miss out on!:eek:
  8. running_dog Honored Member

    Yes I've been there too!

    Or you get the echo effect with an extra dog following all the commands in the background.

    Or the funniest of all, Zac lay and watched me trying to train Gus to wave. I'd never taught Zac wave. The lesson went on for a while with Gus not really getting the idea at all. At last Zac sighed, unfolded himself and ambled over to sit in front of me and... waved!
    Dogster, MaryK, Anneke and 1 other person like this.
  9. southerngirl Honored Member

    Zac was like okay this is getting annoying it's a piece of cake see.:rolleyes:
    MaryK and Anneke like this.
  10. Anneke Honored Member

    I voted on my phone and checked the wrong box:oops: I meant to check the last box, but hit the third...:rolleyes:
    Clickertraining taught me a lot, not just my dogs. I learned how important timing is:D
    Anyway I use the clicker for tricks, but not in everyday training. I find it too difficult to use a clicker with a reactive dog and uncontrolable situations.

    I do recognize both running_dog and Mary K's scenario's...
    The other day I was training the jump into stand from sit(tutorial video on Susan Garrett's facebook page
    I haven't done this for a while, because I got stuck with Jinx. She will jump up, but she lands back in a sit:rolleyes:
    So I thought I'd give it another go.
    Cooper was watching and I could see him thinking: I know this, I know this!!
    Jinx is still landing in the sit. I swear, I don't know how she does it!! Silly girl!
    But after a few minutes Cooper jumps up and touches my hand(pushing Jinx aside) and demonstrates a perfect jump into stand:D With this huge smile on his face. Sooo funny.

    The shadow effect is when I train "shame" Jinx knows this, Cooper still struggles with it.
    So when I work with Cooper I can see Jinx do SHAME from the corner of my eye. It makes me laugh every time.

    Yes clicking two dogs at the same time is nearly impossible. I have been trying to get them to sit up at the same time, but they are not in sync yet. So I end up having to treat them both, because I clicked... Haven't figured that out yet.
    Dogster and MaryK like this.
  11. MaryK Honored Member

    :LOL: That's gorgeous. Zac unfolding himself, ambling over and waving to you! Love it!:love: He must have been fed up with Gus not 'getting it" so decided to show him how it was done. Nothing like 'remote' learning. Shows how smart dogs are though doesn't it!(y):D

    There's hope yet Zeus will do the same! Instead of just getting in the way!:rolleyes:
  12. MaryK Honored Member

    I've managed 90% of the time to get both dogs to shake paws together. Sit pretty's not an option for Zeus because he hasn't the strength.

    That's beautiful that Cooper came and showed you just how he could do jump to stand. Just love that:love:

    You've given me an idea with 'shame/shy' still cannot get Ra Kismet to do that, so I'll try to teach Zeus and hopefully the same flow on effect will happen, Ra Kismet will start doing it in the background!

    I'm the same, I hand out treats all the time to both dogs because one has done a trick and the other wanders over, especially Zeus Ra Kismet will go play when I'm just training Zeus. LOL I think it's part of a plot between them to get more treats!:rolleyes::LOL:
    Dogster and Anneke like this.

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