What if....

Discussion in 'Off-Topic & Chit Chat' started by stacypress, Dec 20, 2008.

  1. stacypress New Member

    I am clicker training, my husband has nothing to do with it, and it still comanding the dog to do things and trying to teach him tricks?? Will this be confusing to the dog? Will it hurt the effort I am putting into trianing??

  2. snooks Experienced Member

    The clicker is not so important for him to use. It would be easier and faster for him if he did but that's his choice. It will be much much more effective if he use the same cues and intonations and copies how you tailor the reward system and where you are on fading rewards. Once you teach a behavior with the clicker and he uses the same cues and reward level you use it won't be confusing. I do all the training with clickers and hubby at least buys in and uses my cues unless he's going to do it very differently I ask him to use different words.

    Once he saw how effective and how much faster it was he actually is using the clickers now. If the dog is at all confused or he does things really different than you train then just get him his own cue vocabulary. Your down might be his settle, shake/paw, spin/right etc. Clickers are really meant for short period use to teach new behavior. The bigger part of your success is that you both use SIT for example with the same intonation. Preferably downward pitch at end of words not up so that it sounds like a question sIT?

    Remember the dog doesn't know what the word means. It learns the sound or hand signal. Variations of pitch and speed of delivery can make the word unrecognizable to the dog. Just like it would be confusing for a student learning English to hear a really strong Boston accent like pahk the cahhh compared to central U.S. park the car. This is a huge difference for a dog.
  3. CollieMan Experienced Member

    To be honest, no, at this stage, I don't think it will have much impact on your dog or your training progress. I think what is far more important is that the dog is getting a variety of stimulation and fun, which it sounds like it is.

    However, should you ever wish to pursue something like competitive obedience, where the style of sit becomes vital, for example, then you might run into problems. If one of you let's the dog get away with a 'lazy-sit' while the other is training for a competitive sit, then I suspect this may begin to hamper progress, but even that is quite a remote chance.

    In my experience, dog's are masters at putting things into context. Your 'sit' will sound completely different to your dog than the 'sit' issued by your husband. It may well end up that the dog learns he can get away with things from your husband that you won't allow, such as a lazy sit. Then there's the difference in voice as well. All these things add up to the dog, so I really wouldn't worry about it at all.

    Again, in my experience, the dog will ultimately respond the most positively to whoever rewards the most liberally and the most consistently. :)
  4. stacypress New Member

    Thank you for your input guys :) I do not plan on getting into competitions with my pups, so I suppose what he lets him get away with (for the things like sit and down) don't matter too much then.
  5. snooks Experienced Member

    It sounds like it probably won't matter much on the mechanics of the cues like sit or down. Dogs tend, esp when young, to roll back on their hips more into a sloppy or lazy sit. If you want a nicer alert sit you could teach pretty or some other cue for a nice straight alert sit.

    What you might want to pay attention to is your stay and come. If hubby never enforces a stay or puts the dog in a stay so that the dog eventually self releases then that will be confusing for the dog. For teaching tricks and such like spin and play dead it shouldn't matter at all what you do differently if he never/rarely asks the dog to do these things.

    I would try to work together for teaching come or have him use a totally different word. It's sometimes a life saving cue for a dog to really learn well. If he's not going to enforce a come with a food reward initially or calmly go get the dog on leash and make sure puppy understands then use a different word for recall.

    One thing to predict from personal experience. Your hubby probably will get frustrated if he never works with the dog or trains less motivationally than you do. Mine gets frustrated quite often b/c the dogs "don't listen to him." The reason is I taught with a clicker and treats and they listen to me because there is something in it for them. I'm also home all day with them and interact more. Even when I've faded treats to seldom for a given cue the thought of "maybe" is always there with them associated with me. The same is not so for him.

    You can always be there to positively show your hubby how you cue it and get him to try the same way you do it. While mine still don't listen to him like they do to me I can at least minimize confusion/frustration. What I do stay diligent about is use different word cues than I do so you won't poison my hard work. One time of not enforcing a cue takes about 20+ times to rework so the dog understands oh I really DO have to stay. I've had to switch out a few cues and retrain them b/c they were not enforced or used inconsistently.
  6. stacypress New Member

    Oh man that is exactly what happened with my pug when Benj came home from being overseas. and it happened in the span of like three weeks. Benj of course thinks i am crazy, that stan never listened, but he wasn't here for two years when I had stan much more obedient than he is now! Good advice. I am going to tell him to use different words, because he is NOT consistent with them what-so-ever. I have tried to get himt o do training with me, but he is stuck on the notion that our dogs will never listen. I will show him. They will listen to me! :)
  7. snooks Experienced Member

    StacyPress you WILL win this one b/c you're on the side of 99% of the dog trainers in the world that it also works for. You might want to switch words and use the new ones yourself if your hubby is like mine he forgets that its MY word. Though when I start with a new cue I often find my hubby has heard me, seen the results, and starts using my new word because it works so well. I have to remind him---eh MY WORD! :doglaugh:

    I find that teaching some really cute tricks and complicated things converted him for the better though. When you have both dogs listening maybe he will too? :dogwink:
  8. stacypress New Member

    I think I will have better luck with the dogs listening than my hubby!:msngiggle:
  9. snooks Experienced Member

    I hear ya! :dognowink:

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