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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-02-2012, 10:54 AM Thread Starter
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Afraid of clicker

So, I got all excited reading the previous post where everyone shared their dogs' tricks and decided it was time Ozzie upped his game. He knows how to sit, stay, leave it, roll over and do a weird move we call butt up....he lays his head sideways on the floor and sticks his butt in the air waiting for us to pinch it! Super funny and one day I might be able to get a picture! Anyway, I went down and bought the clicker, got out the cheese and proceeded to try to introduce it to him. I let him smell it and check it out but as soon as I clicked it he took off in a flash. He even left the cheese behind, that has never happened! I have tried muffling it so its quiet, hiding it behind my back, clicking in another room but he sure hates that thing! I mentioned it to my groomer the other day and she said he is a sensitive one and I always kind of knew that. I don't want to stress him out over something that should be fun so I guess we will just go back to "good boy" but I was wondering if anyone else has had the same experience.
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-02-2012, 11:16 AM
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Originally Posted by gertchie View Post
So, I got all excited reading the previous post where everyone shared their dogs' tricks and decided it was time Ozzie upped his game. He knows how to sit, stay, leave it, roll over and do a weird move we call butt up....he lays his head sideways on the floor and sticks his butt in the air waiting for us to pinch it! Super funny and one day I might be able to get a picture! Anyway, I went down and bought the clicker, got out the cheese and proceeded to try to introduce it to him. I let him smell it and check it out but as soon as I clicked it he took off in a flash. He even left the cheese behind, that has never happened! I have tried muffling it so its quiet, hiding it behind my back, clicking in another room but he sure hates that thing! I mentioned it to my groomer the other day and she said he is a sensitive one and I always kind of knew that. I don't want to stress him out over something that should be fun so I guess we will just go back to "good boy" but I was wondering if anyone else has had the same experience.
Most dogs will get used to and LIKE a clicker, but not all. First, make sure you have one of the quieter clickers... The big rectangular ones are MUCH louder than the small, oval shaped ones. Then try muffling THAT type of clicker. If that's still to much for him, develop a "marker word" "Good Boy" is too long. It needs to be short, one syllable, and distinctive. Many people just use "Yesss!" or "Yup!!!" then you "charge" this word with food, just as you would a clicker at the start of clicker training. It's important to remember that EVERY time you say the word, or click the clicker, even if you've clicked or said the word by accident, you MUST follow it up with a food reward.

Don't worry about him confusing a "Yesss!!!" marker word with "yes" in a regular conversation. The tone of voice and context wont be the same. He won't get confused.


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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-02-2012, 11:27 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks so much Karen, thats great advice! I did get the oval type but even the quietest click sends him running, weird! I am anxious to step up his training a bit, we seem to be in a rut and I know its my fault for getting lazy. I think I'll go with YaY! Thats how I feel when he does good
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-02-2012, 11:32 AM
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Thanks so much Karen, thats great advice! I did get the oval type but even the quietest click sends him running, weird! I am anxious to step up his training a bit, we seem to be in a rut and I know its my fault for getting lazy. I think I'll go with YaY! Thats how I feel when he does good
"Yay!" will work fine! Anything you can get out quickly, and will consistently remember!


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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-02-2012, 11:50 AM Thread Starter
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"Yay!" will work fine! Anything you can get out quickly, and will consistently remember!
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-02-2012, 12:51 PM
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Louis is afraid of the clicker. When I first used it, he shut down, avoided eye contact, slinked away and when I approached he laid down and showed me his stomach. I tried the clicker again, and he'd run away like I was going to hit him.

It's been suggested to use a clicking pen in place of a clicker, but I think a word like "yay" or "yesss" will work better for clicker sensitive dogs.

I trained Louis using free shaping. You wait till they do the action you want, and treat. You keep doing it till they consistently do the action for the treat, then assign a cue word. Louis knows sit, stay, shake, lay down, and dance (although this one is a little shaky). He knows how to do flips when playing with a cat toy, and I'd love to train him to do it on command!

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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-02-2012, 01:34 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Tokipoke! Sorry I dont know your name....I forgot Ozzie knows how to dance too! I appreciate your advice, that is kind of how I've been training so far but I'm kind of haphazard about it. I really want to work on obedience more, it would be so great to be able to trust him off leash! I had my last dog trained pretty well but that was 25 years ago (long story). Flips would be awesome! You need to get a video that
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-03-2012, 07:05 AM
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Django was terrified of the clicker. I remember putting it out for him to sniff, clicking and treating with a super plus treat like turkey. He eventually associated turkey with the sound and then about 2 weeks into it he was no longer fearful of the clicker.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-03-2012, 06:11 PM
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yeah if you're just doing a couple of tricks you can go with a marker work .If you get hooked ,LOL , it would be very easy to rehab the fear of the clicker. Just so much better with a clicker http://www.clickertraining.com/node/226

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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-03-2012, 10:13 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks littlebuddy, that makes me feel better Dave, I might already be hooked! I am so amazed at how smart these guys are and I think it is so good for them to have a challenge. Me too! I might keep trying with the clicker but will also use the marker word for now. I am enrolling him in a good citizen class this fall and we will see where that takes us....thank you all for your great advice!
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