Me And My Pup Asher

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by JoAnne, Apr 11, 2011.

  1. JoAnne Well-Known Member

    I'm an 'old world' dog trainer; my Boxer had his CDX and an ATT. I was the Obedience Instructor at a Petsmart in sw subs of Chicago since they opened there, (1994) and when they did it was a really good program! I thought it was going to be terrible, but it was the exact methods I was taught to compete to earn my CD. At one point they changed the program and hired someone to teach us all Karen Prior's methods, so I know all about her and how it started and a lot about clicker, too. I didn't actually do it; more I taught clicker as I had mixed thoughts about being in a room with 17 people clicking at once. I just explained how to do it and you have to admit that it's a lot easier to verbalize about, than do. So this is just the first time I'm using one, as I'm a mere human and at the time refused to believe in anything new. (I also never took a cruise for fear of falling off the end of the earth!)

    So here I am like a pup learning to be trained and although not totally a greenhorn, (which might be better), still often onfused. Soooooo all help and advice will be greatly appreciated. And try not to judge too harshly as I still even stop my car like Fred Flinstone!

  2. JoAnne Well-Known Member

    Oh, and as long as I've got anyone's attention, has anyone out there tried to teach a different animal in their hom using a clicker, eg a bird? Killer Whales are illegal to keep as pets in my town:LOL:.
  3. tx_cowgirl Honored Member

    Lol, no judgements here. ^^ We're all here to help each other. :) When I first joined this website, I used aversive methods, and part of the reason it brought me here was that it wasn't working for my shy boy, and it's hard to teach lots of tricks that way! I knew Mud had a lot of potential and wanted to teach her everything I possibly could and found this site. One of the members, who no longer is here, gave me a harsh wake up call and gave me toooooons of links to great info to sway me.

    I am forever in debt to her; I do so wish she was still here for me to thank. She has changed my dog training life forever. NOW, I am 110% positive training only, and so very against the methods I once used. I've always been open-minded to all new methods, because I know that I can never stop learning. Something I told Tigerlily once that she has now made a "quote" on her profile(as if I'm quoteworthy! :ROFLMAO:):
    Learning to reach our dogs, teach our dogs, and understand our dogs is an ongoing process. We never really stop learning.

    Since getting into positive reinforcement training, and clicker training, my dogs have blossomed in so many ways. Zeke approached a stranger, on his own, for the first time EVER last year, which is unmeasurably huge for him. Just a few months ago he went to the vet and actually ENJOYED it, and wasn't stressed AT ALL for the entire day. He heeled and did tricks for my tall male friend. He has improved so so much since I've changed my ways.
    Mud has mastered sooooo many tricks, and she loves it so much. And I am completely hooked!!!

    I have seen YouTube videos of people clicker training horses, llamas, and cats. I haven't tried it with my horses yet, but did attempt it with my cat when she was a kitten. I kind of bailed on it although I'll try again one day. She is the result of inbreeding(she is the only cat I have, so it's not my fault!), and although she SOMEHOW, by the grace of God, does not have health issues, she is very dumb. Lol. I love her to pieces and she's very sweet--she thinks she's a dog. But, she is very difficult to work with because she just doesn't understand things. I'll try again someday, though. ^^
    Oh, and a trainer friend of mine used to work for a big cat rescue...she's clicker trained Ocelots and numerous other "wild" cats.
    And I do believe it was Karen Pryor that has a video floating around somewhere that taught a fish to "target" her hand against the top of the water or side of the fish tank. Or to come to a light....don't remember which. Didn't use a clicker, but still an example of positive reinforcement training.
    JoAnne likes this.
  4. JoAnne Well-Known Member

  5. JoAnne Well-Known Member

    Well, Asher seems to be learning slowly...despite my clumsy clicks. Hey...how do I make that my user name? Clumsy Clicker!
  6. sara Moderator

    Karen Pryor taught a fish (an Oscar) to swim through a hoop. and a crab to ring a bell. She started clicker training with Dolphins (using a whistle) She's clicker trained horses, cats, wolves... really anything she can get her hands on!
    JoAnne likes this.
  7. JoAnne Well-Known Member

    As a matter of fact, just finished reading, "Researching the Animal Mind". Loved it; I wish now that I had paid attention in those lectures. Naw, wasn't mentally ready to absorb the informaion, now I am!
  8. jackienmutts Honored Member

    Hi JoAnne, welcome to DTA. I'm behind, playing catch-up. Welcome also to the world of clicking. It is a clumsy place at first - but once you 'get it', it's a wonderful wonderful place, indeed. May I recommend yet one more book to you, that may really help explain things to you? The Thinking Dog, Crossover to Clicker Training - by Gail Fisher. Gail is a 'crossover trainer', as you are - and wrote this book (it's available on dogwise, or amazon). It's excellent!!! Gail has quite the credentials, she has a huge training facility in the east, she's been a trainer for 30+ years, she's on the board of the APDT, she's spoken at the Clicker Expo, etc. I'm on the forum on Dogwise, also, and she was a guest author a year or two ago - she led a terrific discussion about her book, training, crossover training, thinking dogs, how to train "crossover dogs" (and people), etc. You may get all your questions answered in the book, she does a really great job of explaining things so you can understand them, plus she gives lots of examples (so things are really clear). She goes thru lessons so you can learn the clicker, etc. I just can't say enough about the book - I've recommended it to several people, who've all loved it.

    As for training other animals, I know the trainers at our facility have gone to "chicken camp" and spent time working with chickens and clickers - it's made them better dog trainers, plus they said they had a great time! :)

    I think a lot of us are crossover trainers - I certainly am. Clicker training wasn't around when I had my first dogs a zillion years ago. I was never one to use really harsh methods, I could never hit a dog, can't stand e-collars, the list goes on and on. But I was only introduced to clicker training about 4 years ago with my fear-aggressive rescue (my female GSD) when an old-school trainer insisted I use a prong collar on her and correct her bad behavior out of her. I refused to do so, left right then and there, and had to search for something better -- that's when I found our facility we've been attending ever since. Clicker training changed our lives for the better. One little clicker + a whole lot of chicken (and loads and loads of patience and time), and we can now take relaxed walks around our neighborhood. The power in that little clicker is amazing - and it's what gets your dog to thinking.

    Just one more comment on the triple-clicking - no, don't do it. One click only. Click/treat. If you click accidently, then treat. Click will always mean treat, even if you screw up and do it carelessly, by accident, when you shouldn't, at the wrong time, for the wrong thing, or even for the wrong dog. :confused: But only click once. They won't interpret a bunch of clicks (click click click) like we interpret "oh goodie goodie goodie". They don't need a conversation, only a click. They really don't need any conversation at all, no atta boy's, good girls, nothing - just "click/treat" - and they get the message loud and clear. The "click" marks the exact behavior you wanted, faster than you could possibly say "good boy/girl". That click is providing information to your dog (I asked you to do something, you did it, and now this behavior is over) - and 3 clicks, well, not sure what that is saying. It's noise, and as Tx said, it will dilute the meaning of the click - clearly not something you want to happen. Keep it simple - ask your dog for something, he/she does it, then click/treat.

    No judgments here, I think we all love when people crossover to clicker training/positive reinforcement. Ask questions, loads of great people here on DTA to help. Again, welcome - and happy clicking!! :p
    tx_cowgirl and JoAnne like this.
  9. JoAnne Well-Known Member

  10. JoAnne Well-Known Member

    Thank you, (and thank you all) so much and I'll be finding that book as soon as we 'hang up'. I've got a question, and no I'm trying not to be what Karen called a resistor, I'm just so anxious to understand more clearly. If the treat is sooooooo important after every click and they learn so quickly, wouldn't accidental/timing click followed by treating send the wrong information? I'm having a helluva time clicking while he 'holds' quick enough that I worry about it meaning 'release', since that's what he wants to the most and I don't think it's because he that anxious for the treat.
  11. sara Moderator

    I'll step in here. I know it's slightly confusing, but the "hold" trick is actually two parts. first part is the hold, the second part is the release. to teach the hold, start with small increments. he picks it up, you immediately click, he'll drop it to get the treat. slowly increase length before clicking. one second (a handful of times or more), then 2(repeated as needed) then three, etc. if he drops the object before you click, then he doesn't get the treat, does he? He WILL drop the object after the click, that's as it should be. but once he's mastered the hold, THEN you add in the release. Some will teach it as a seperate trick, then chain them together, some will add it in as if raising the criteria.

    I personally like chaining, rather than adding criteria. and Karen Pryor explains the science and thought process behind chaining in "Reaching the Animal Mind" (primary, secondary and tertiary reinforcers) Though I need to read it again, as I forget alot of it. I found the book really facinating and I was excited to read it, so I read it too fast :rolleyes: and forgot alot of what I read!

    As to possibly giving the wrong information to the dog when accidentally clicking: Dogs are very forgiving, and a few accidental clicks will not ruin the trick's training, however it must be VERY important that a click ALWAYS means reinforcement. Though it doesn't always have to be a treat. I use a ball alot, when I want Ollie ramped up and ON. he is alot calmer working for a treat, but hyped up when working for his ball.

    I hope I helped in some way!
    JoAnne likes this.
  12. JoAnne Well-Known Member

    I have two totally different style clickers. Am I asking to trouble using one for my African Gray parrot, (who's name is just "Bird" because that's what she's chosen to call herself), and the other for Asher? One is a box and the other an eye and they do sound different but I've got plenty of time with her because the bird will live a lot longer than Ash;). Just kiddin' about that, but very curious if the two different clicks can work or if I'm holding hnd grenade here.

    Oooooh, one more question. This morning when we were working on hold, he began chewing on the hold. When I didn't click for that he shut down, :poop:.
  13. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    Well, Asher will learn chewing on the hold gets no treats. But, i bet, next lesson, Asher will again try to discover how to get that treat again....and be sure you are increasing his hold time slow enough for him to win. LIke, don't try to go from 3 seconds to 2 minutes all in one fell swoop, slowly increase the time, slowly, so he doesn't get honked off or confused.

    But, you were right, you don't want to reward behaviours you do not want. Also, be very sure you do not use the word, "no" during training. Simpley ignore wrong moves and reward correct moves.

    Be sure to keep all lessons short, always stopping before your dog zones out......3 to 5 minutes is plennty long for dog new to training. But, repeating it later is fine.
    I try to always end on positive note, with some trick Buddy knows well, and praise him for doing that trick right. (not sure if that matters or not to the dog, but, i always do that).

    And always always follow with play session. I always do that, so Buddy feels sessions = fun, and, so IF Buddy developed any internal stress during trying to figure out the cue, he gets chance to release it by playing.
    Sessions should always be fun anyway, if they aren't fun for both you and the dog, you're doing it wrong. ha ha!!
    Buddy is soooo used to all lessons are followed by at least a few minutes of play, once i forgot to play, and he came over and dropped toy in my lap, like, "Hey, you forgot THIS part.." ha ha.

    I think your plan to train bird with one clicker and dog to a different clicker is great. Asher will figure out, that is not MY clicker. Some ppl use ink pens for their clickers. Whatever clicker you use for Asher is probably best if you always use that kind. Get extras, and don't let family members screw around with the clicker when the dog is around, ha ha!! People just pick it up and start clicking, confusing to dogs.
    JoAnne likes this.
  14. JoAnne Well-Known Member

  15. JoAnne Well-Known Member

    Not a problem w/other family; had one human baby and found out right away that I would have much preferred a small litter, (of pups I mean). Are we a small, odd lot or is it just me?

    I'm now wearing the bait bag all the time although it does look a bit weird under scanty nighties!:D
  16. Ina Well-Known Member

    LOL - I am the same but ended up with 3 kids. Now I am considering to get a Border Collie to "herd" the kids together :)
    JoAnne likes this.
  17. JoAnne Well-Known Member

    old joke alert!!! Mother: "Doctor, my chilren are alergic to the dog".
    Doctor: "You'll just have to give them away"!:LOL::LOL::LOL::LOL::LOL:
  18. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    too funny! btw, borders need a very experienced dog person, to put them with small kids. It's harder to stop a border from herding, even herding your kids, than you'd think. Herding also involves nipping their heels, etc.
    but, i know you were joking!!:p
    Yes, having raised kids and dogs, i gotta agree, my dog never sasses me, obeys me 99% of the time, never wrecks my car, never hangs out with bad influences, doesn't need new clothes and expensive tuitions, never rolls his eyes at me, (okay, my dog kinda rolls his eyes at me, but not too often) rofl!!
    JoAnne and Ina like this.
  19. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    btw, Joanna, i bet the bait bag + lingerie is very fetching combo!! ha ha!!
  20. Ina Well-Known Member

    Dogs also don't have sleepovers, don't need daily showers because they don't STINK after a little bit of exercise. Dogs also don't get pimple faces ... oh dear, I could write a whole BOOK on this subject. Maybe we should start a new threat: "Why dogs are better than kids" ;)

    And Joanna, keeping the bait bag under your nightie ensures that you won't have any more kids either. I LOVE THAT IDEA .. evil grin
    tigerlily46514 likes this.

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