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Old 10-14-2008, 10:19 AM
Gempress Gempress is offline
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Default Some fun clicker and/or target tricks?

I felt like teaching the boys some tricks, so I dusted off the clicker last night.

For lack of anything better to do, I started teaching Voodoo to "target" my outstreached left hand. I figured that, if anything, it might be useful in teaching other things. Turns out Voodoo loves this one. Gives the demon an excuse to actually bonk something with his nose legitimately.

So any ideas what I can teach? I'm looking for some fun and silly things.
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Old 10-14-2008, 11:04 AM
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You could teach him "PEEK". Now that he know to target your hand, have him behind you and have him target your hand so he peeks up between your legs. Sophie loves this one....she's done it to a few unsuspecting people (my dad) when they appear to be assuming the position.

I run ahead of her and say PEEK and she comes flying and does the cutest peek, then I run again...and again... She loves this one, but had learned how to adjust to my height as she got taller and I....well, did not!

You could also teach a combat crawl from a down position or maybe a BANG where he drops onto his side when you 'shoot' him.....or combine the two, combat (begging for mercy) then shoot him anyway!

Sophie knows all sorts of the silly stuff, I should take a video..
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Old 10-14-2008, 11:10 AM
Gempress Gempress is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dr2little View Post
Sophie knows all sorts of the silly stuff, I should take a video..
Yes you should!!! *hint hint*

Voodoo is your typical bright dog. I haven't yet added a cue word, but he had target figured out within 5 minutes. I could move that hand all over the place. He was crouching down, jumping up, and twisting around just to bonk it with his nose.

As for Zeus' clicker training....well, he's Zeus. He's a sweetheart, but I swear he doesn't have two brain cells to rub together. He hasn't yet figured out how to offer behaviors. Maybe he's too well-mannered--he'll just sit there with a politely wagging tail, giving the sad eyes. It takes a lot of ridiculous coaxing, revving up and dancing around on my part to get him to do anything.

I'm trying to teach him "target" too. Last night, after a bunch of coaxing and cajoling, he somehow touched his nose to my hand. Click and major payday! Then he sat there with a blank look on his face: "Uh....what did I do again?" He's getting a bit better on "target", but still has a long way to go.

But how I do love my sweet, dumb boy.
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Last edited by Gempress; 10-14-2008 at 11:23 AM.
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Old 10-14-2008, 11:18 AM
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I'll dig up my tri-pod and give it a go.
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Old 10-14-2008, 11:29 AM
Gempress Gempress is offline
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Doc, I edited my previous post to describe Zeus' clicker training. Is there anything I can do to help Zeus do better in clicker training? Or do I just have to give him more time, and accept the fact that his train of thought is coal-powered?
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Old 10-14-2008, 11:43 AM
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There are a couple of things that you can do Gemp. You're may already be doing your short sessions in the least distracting room possible but if you're not, find a very quite room to start, door closed, no outside noises
.
Things like targeting to the hand - some dogs do need a little extra help. Have you tried touching his nose for him with your hand *click/treat* several times first? This way he can make the connection between action/event and result without having to think about it. Once you do this several times, try moving your hand just a spec away and wait...even a move towards your hand should ellicit a click/treat. There's no shame in a little head start.

To encourage shaping, rather than picking a behavior yourself, try watching Zeus for things he typically does..again in a very quiet room. If you can capture something that he does often and use that as his behavior, it can really help to jump start his grasp of the shaping concepts.

Have you tried object targeting? Maybe a CD case or tupperware lid? Place it on the floor, and just wait. When he investigates it, *click/treat*. Move it slightly to renew his interest and keep repeating until he gets the idea.

You may also want to train Zeus at meal times, when he's really motivated. For some dogs this works wonders...for others it can just be too much with the nagging anxiety about "where's my dinner", so you'll have to guage Zeus's level of motivation.

Remember too, it's most difficult to get that first strong light bulb moment..once you have it, you can really start incorporating more interesting and challenging behaviors.
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