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I got recommended clicker training from someone on here, then a few other people highly recommended it. I've decided on giving it a shot when the puppy comes.

But I do have a few questions.

I'm getting him when he's 8 weeks, 4 days old. When should I start clicker training? As soon as I get him...a few days later? A few weeks later?

What do I start with? Sitting? Walking beside me? Stay

Does it basically work like saying "sit" when he sits, click the clicker and give a treat?

Am I getting in over my head? LOL I know nothing about it. I'll need to look at a few more websites in more detail...Is there any books you highly recommended for beginners and clicker training?

I want to be completely prepared for when little Ty comes :)
 

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When should I start clicker training? As soon as I get him...a few days later? A few weeks later?
8 week I awfully old to start clicker training. :p
http://www.puppyprodigies.com/VideoClips.htm

What do I start with? Sitting? Walking beside me? Stay
You'll initially start with no behavior, just an association that click = food reward. Once you have that established, name recognition and recall are important, but anything the pup can do can be put on cue.

Does it basically work like saying "sit" when he sits, click the clicker and give a treat?
You dont give the behavior a name, like "sit", until the behavior is robust. Meaning the dog is offering the behavior regularly for you. But yes, it would follow the ABC's of learning. A = Antecedent (cues like sit, or lures, or whatever is driving the behavior) B = Behavior (what the dog does). C = Consequence (food rewards, a belly rub).

Am I getting in over my head? LOL I know nothing about it. I'll need to look at a few more websites in more detail...Is there any books you highly recommended for beginners and clicker training?
http://www.dogforums.com/3-dog-training-forum/33841-free-clicker-training-course.html
 

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I think you should start training him when he seems comfortable in your home with your routine. Each dog is different, but probably a week or so after he comes. When he seems like he's not scared from the relocation of his little life, then I'd start.

I started with sit, down, place and find it.

It works like this. You first teach the puppy that the sound of the clicker means a treat is coming. You do this by simply clicking and then giving him a treat. Once you read more, you'll get an idea of how to do it and how long to do it. (Book referral to come) Then, once the puppy knows that the clicker means a treat, you start watching for him to do something that you want to teach. Let's say you're sitting there doing a training session and he sits (on his own) You click as soon as his bottom hits the floor and then give him a treat. When you're teaching a behavior (like sit) you don't add the command until later. I know it seems odd, but it really works. After your puppy sits and gets a treat, you take a few steps to make him get up, and then start watching again. He will eventually sit and just like before you click and treat. After he is doing this fairly regularly, you bring in the command. Right when he sits, you say "sit", click and treat like normal. Then you start moving the command a little earlier, right when he starts to sit. Then move it to a moment before he sits. Pretty soon, you're giving the command, he's sitting and then getting a reward.

I'm sure others can probably explain it better. LOL (I see CP has done just that.) Fortunately there are books. My favorite is Click for Joy. It's a good beginners book. If you have 18 days, go to a bookstore and pick it up and start reading. Get a clicker, too! You'll be a pro in no time.

This is a video of my husband going over some commands with Jaia when he was a puppy. He had already learned the commands from me. My husband's timing is way off on some of the commands (the click should happen EXACTLY as the dog is performing the task) but it's a cute video nonetheless. :) I was laughing like a fool! LOL

Jaia Clicker Training

Another good clicker site: Clicker Solutions
 

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It's basically like CP described. You don't want to add the name for the behavior until you're happy with the way the dog is performing it. So you start by either clicking when the dog voluntarily offers the behavior, or by luring her into position with a treat (i.e., hold the treat above her head until she sits, then click and give the treat).

A great foundation training program for a dog or puppy using the clicker can be found here:

http://www.dragonflyllama.com/ DOGS/ Dog1/levels.html
 

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I highly suggest you check out some of the videos here:
http://clickertrainusa.com/clicker-training-videos.htm
They'll give you a better, more visual demonstration of what clicker training is about. There are more specifics that you need to know that aren't shown in those videos (like jackpots, free shaping, etc) but they give the basic idea. Watch the "Charging the Clicker" video, and then maybe the "Sit" video or the "Go back" video.

I'm getting him when he's 8 weeks, 4 days old. When should I start clicker training? As soon as I get him...a few days later? A few weeks later?
You can start charging the clicker the day you get him. After that, you don't necessarily have to immediately begin basic obedience cues (sit, stay, down, come, etc) if you don't wish to (though you can certainly begin if you wish to). You can just start clicking for random, good behaviour throughout the day. Like chewing on his own toy instead of on the carpet. Or lying down quietly in a room. Or going into his crate on his own.

Does it basically work like saying "sit" when he sits, click the clicker and give a treat?
As you saw in CP's post, and in the videos above, the cue isn't introduced till the dog is readily offering the behaviour.

If you're seriously interested in clicker training, I suggest the following resources:

http://www.clickersolutions.com
http://clickertraining.com/15tips
http://www.dragonflyllama.com/ DOGS/ Dog1/levels.html

I've found videos to be particularly useful for clicker-training, just to see how it's demonstrated and visually note what I should be doing.
www.youtube.com/user/kikopup has some really great videos on clicker training. Some of the tricks may be a little advanced, but it will help give you a good idea of when to click, when to reward, etc.

As for books, check out Karen Pryor's "Don't Shoot the Dog" and Pat Miller's "The Power of Positive Dog Training". Both very enlightening.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
8 week I awfully old to start clicker training. :p
http://www.puppyprodigies.com/VideoClips.htm
LOL you had me scared for a second! Those videos were CUTE!

Ok so I think I get it now...Get him used to: Click = treat. Then bum on ground means click which means treat. Then bum on ground = word "sit" which has a click and a treat. All once he has them perfect first.

Am I getting in over my head? LOL I know nothing about it. I'll need to look at a few more websites in more detail...Is there any books you highly recommended for beginners and clicker training?
http://www.dogforums.com/3-dog-train...ng-course.html
Thanks for that link! I signed up :D

You did great FourIsCompany. I'll go get that book this weekend, or after work if I get out on time for once, I live at the book store so I'm sure I can find it somewhere!

Thanks for the link nekomi, I'll check it out as soon as I post this!

Rosemaryninja, thanks for all the links! I'll check them all out when I post this as well. The videos help cuz I'm more a visual person rather then read and do. I'll see about getting those books as well, you can never have to many books :D

I have a few more questions as well. What do you use as the treats? I was thinking of using pieces of Benny Bully's, kibble and another treat that I haven't decided on yet. Is Benny Bully's a good choice?

When do you stop giving the treats, or cutting down, and the clicker? I'm guessing when he does the "trick" perfectly with the command?

There is more people than just me that will be training him, is it better if its just one person? Or if everyone gets a clicker, would that be ok as well (for the if he sits on his own, someone that sees "clicks + treat", if that makes sense)

How often should you start with the sessions? 5 minutes once a day, a few times a day? Work up with time after that?

Thanks everyone for your replies!
 

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I have a few more questions as well. What do you use as the treats? I was thinking of using pieces of Benny Bully's, kibble and another treat that I haven't decided on yet. Is Benny Bully's a good choice?
Use treats that are small and, if possible, soft. You want to be able to deliver the treat and move on with training as quickly as possible so the dog's mind is still "in the game". I cut up Natural Balance rolls, use pieces of beef jerky or roasted chicken, and lately have been using a lot of Ziwi Peak 'Good Dog' treats. Wellness makes good soft treats that you can cut up, though they tend to be expensive here. I also really like Grizzly Nutreats. When we are just doing revision of stuff they already know, I'll sometimes use their kibble meals.

When do you stop giving the treats, or cutting down, and the clicker? I'm guessing when he does the "trick" perfectly with the command?
I would phase out one at a time. First the clicker, then the treats. The clicker is needed to show the dog what to do. Once you are at a stage where you do not need hand gestures or lures, and you can say "Sit" and have his butt hit the ground, you can start praising him and giving him a treat without the click. Phasing out treats is a little more complicated. You do this by treating him for some successful behaviours, but not others. Let's say for every five good sits, you treat him for all of them but the third one, for which you only deliver verbal praise. Once he's good with this, start reinforcing only three of the five. And so on.

Dogs are gamblers. If they think they stand a good chance of being rewarded for a behaviour, they will perform it. The key to phasing out treats is to tweak the proportion of reinforcements so that they keep believing that the odds are in their favour.

There is more people than just me that will be training him, is it better if its just one person? Or if everyone gets a clicker, would that be ok as well (for the if he sits on his own, someone that sees "clicks + treat", if that makes sense)
One of the best things about clicker training is that the clicker is uniform. So yes, it's fine if everyone has a go with clicker training him. In fact, you'll notice in the early stages of teaching a behaviour, before the cue is added, very little needs to be said by the trainer at all (besides things like "Good Ty!" and "Smart boy!") so it really doesn't make all that much difference.

How often should you start with the sessions? 5 minutes once a day, a few times a day? Work up with time after that?
I did three sessions a day when my dogs were puppies. You want them to be short, as puppies don't have wonderful attention spans, and you want them to always end on a positive. Don't train until you or the puppy is frustrated or bored with training. Train for maybe five minutes, then when he's done something well, resist the temptation to pursue his success. Praise him profusely, give him a jackpot (say, five pieces of treat instead of one) and the training session is over.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks a lot Melissa you have me a lot of great info. Alright, so clicker training doesn't seem all that hard, as it did when I first heard of it! Not that I'm not going to look up more info, books other links est.

I'm sure I'll be asking a lot more quesitons as I look at the links and when Ty comes

Thanks again! :)
 

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My neighbor is from Norway,and her mother trains their animals by the clicker method. So she bought a clicker, treats and we started with the older dog. It does work and to start you reward the good behavior that is spontaneous. Examples when the dog sits you click as soon as the butt touches the floor and reward, if the dog plays with a chew toy you click and reward. Once they learn they get rewards for doing the "rightthings" then add commands. We started and believe it or not it does work. Bella is 5 weeks old and I am workng with her already. I will let you know how well she does with the click training. Right now we are attempting to housebreak her. I take her out in the yard when I take out the other 2 dogs. I have done the housebreaking like this when I was a breeder and had 12 puppies housebroken by 8 weeks. It is all in being cinsistant and rewarding for good behavior. Good Luck!
 

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For me, the hardest part of clicker training is finding the dang clicker. Seriously - I actually stopped clicker-training my dog partly because I lost five clickers in the span of three weeks, and got sick of buying new ones. I may start again if I ever find the ones I'd already lost.

Yep, I'm an idiot.
 

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For me, the hardest part of clicker training is finding the dang clicker. Seriously - I actually stopped clicker-training my dog partly because I lost five clickers in the span of three weeks, and got sick of buying new ones. I may start again if I ever find the ones I'd already lost.

Yep, I'm an idiot.
Get a 99 cent wrist bungie at the store (anywhere they make keys). Keeps it on your wrist, and makes it bigger, harder to lose. I put mine in my treat pouch when I'm not using it.

That said, I have lost about 5 in the past year. I just bought a bunch from sitstay.com for $2 each and scattered them around the house so I'd have one in every room :)

"YES" also works for this. As much as I prefer the clicker, I also taught Sadie YES so I can capture behaviors when my hands are full or I lost my clicker.
 

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Yeah, 'Yes' is what they taught me in obedience school. It does work, and it's convenient for me because of my aforementioned clicker problem, but I've noticed that it's much, much slower. With the clicker, my dog would learn a command within 2-3 repetitions; with the verbal cue, it could take 10 to 20 repetitions per day over several days.
 
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