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I've been reading a fair bit on clicker / marker training, and thought I'd try it on some of the shelter dogs where I volunteer. But then it struck me - if I click for one dog - won't the others, within hearing range, expect a reward as well? (Given they were 'conditioned' to react to the same clicker) so would I end up "buying a round" every time?

I am looking at getting the humane society to buy Karen Pryor's book on clicker training in the shelter environment, but for now, would you suggest I just 'practise' on one dog, or maybe try different dogs with different markers?

Thanks for your opinions!

Karin
 

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Dogs can learn that the clicker only means a treat when you are working directly with them. Think about how people in a multidog household would train.
 

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It's like calling JOOOOOOOHHHHHN in a crowd. 20 guys might look at you but if you don't look back at them they will turn and walk away. But the ONE you're looking at will react ;-)
 

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If you can, I would recommend starting by taking one dog out on leash or to a dog run type area and working one on one, vs within the actual kennel. I know that's not possible in all places though.

One really easy thing to do is to click and reward for quiet while you're in the kennel area.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the replies!

I actually decided to just start out with the first dog i took outside. She caught on to the clicker so fast, it almost blew me away. I don't know if she has been trained with a clicker before, or if she is just that smart (i have yet to meet a dumb dog at this shelter, it seems that their intelligence is what gets them into trouble to begin with...)
By the time we got back from the walk, i was nearly out of treats and she was responding to her name reliably, even out on the street next to heavy traffic. So, i've got to learn on my feet here to keep up with her. and bring more treats to get some of the other dogs started as well...

There is only one dog whom i would have to work with inside exclusively for now - he still has to learn to accept treats from me without growling or showing teeth. I think we're well on the way to get there, but i am waiting with trying to work with him until i can at least reward him without fear response (or losing a finger)... trying to "just walk him" at the point where he allowed me to pick up his leash, ended up getting me bit, so i am working on a plan to build more trust and at least some respect, before trying it again - hence my foray into clicker training... the other dogs are usually in a different room, so they would probably understand that i wouldn't be working with them at the time.

I'll let you know how my next visit goes!
 
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