Dear doG Trainer of Hooligans,
Okay, I realize I'm probably being really dense here, but I've read instructions on clicker training, but...I don't get it. What's the point? I'm interested, because Max, my 18 month old ADT puppy, is very smart and quick to pick things up, but he has puppy ADHD, and I know that some folks have had good luck with clicker training. But I don't see the advantage.
I click and treat, until he associates the two (on weeks when he's not afraid of the clicker, that is <g>). Then I start clicking for behaviors...when he sits on command, I click as his butt touches the floor. And then what? I don't really understand the advantage. Or am I just over-thinking it? Is it just a way, beyond 'yes!' or 'good job!' to tell him he's done the right behavior? And how long is this puppy fear stage THING going to last anyway????
This is something we will need to work on together instead of discussing in an email, so that I can show you the impressive results clicker training will give you. Where clicker training really helps the most is in shaping the kind of behavior you want from your doG. Ditto talking about fear stages. Let’s make an appointment for next weekend, as I will be out of town this weekend picking up another rescue dog.
Mom of Hooligans
And Tess replied:
Just as well, as Max spent about a week absolutely terrified of the clicker sound. That was after a week or so of clicking & treating and him being fine with it.
Yesterday, it was the plastic that I was using as a tarp and that terrifying folding card table next to the door. <g> After the 'incident' with the plastic, I had to keep going and getting him out of the living room. I'd find him just sitting up there in the middle of the room. I'd bring him back and make him sit with me in the den and give him a treat, but the minute I went back to work, he'd disappear again. And weirdly, the minute something spooks him, he remembers the 'monster with 4 arms' that sits in the ceiling. Once he's spooked about something, the ceiling fans start worrying him again even though he hasn't glanced at one for days.
Today, the 'big scary thing' was a firetruck.
I wonder if I'm getting a reputation for being 'not quite right' in the neighborhood. I wonder what people think when Max and I walk around and around some object, or stand for minutes, doing nothing, beside a traffic cone. <g> "Look at that! She must be high again. You should see it. She just zones out and stands there, staring off into space. And that dog is so good. He just stands there with her. Sometimes, the poor thing tries to get her to take him home. But no matter how hard he pulls, she's just gone."