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Discussion Starter #1
i would like to train my dog to bring me "something", lets say a ball. how can i teach her that? she doesnt show much interest in playing with things and if she does, she does not bring them to me.
any advice? i would like to work towards advanced obedience (not in the near future, but when she is older) and there they have to bring things. so i would like to start a little with that "task".
 

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Are you familiar with clicker training? I recommend reading up on it, because it's the most efficient way to teach new tricks and behaviours.

Basically, you teach the dog that the click means she's about to get a reward. So you can then reward her away from you and for very specific things by clicking. For teaching fetch, you could sit on the floor with the ball in front of you, clicker and treats in hand, and then click her any time she shows interest in the ball or toy (you can use anything she doesn't mind putting in her mouth). It would start with her just looking at it, then taking a step towards it, nose touching it, then work up to mouth it and picking it up, and once she's doing that you can get her to pick it up and put it in your hand, then increase the distance between you and the ball, so she has to pick it up, walk to you, then put it in your hand. Etc.
 

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Basically, you teach the dog that the click means she's about to get a reward. So you can then reward her away from you and for very specific things by clicking. For teaching fetch, you could sit on the floor with the ball in front of you, clicker and treats in hand, and then click her any time she shows interest in the ball or toy (you can use anything she doesn't mind putting in her mouth). It would start with her just looking at it, then taking a step towards it, nose touching it, then work up to mouth it and picking it up, and once she's doing that you can get her to pick it up and put it in your hand, then increase the distance between you and the ball, so she has to pick it up, walk to you, then put it in your hand. Etc.
This. The process is called "shaping", and it's a lot of fun. You can adapt it to teach a lot of different tricks. For example, tonight I started working on "shame": my dog will put her head down and cover her eyes with a paw. I just started with the head down part. At first I clicked/treated for any downward head movement, but within a couple of minutes, my dog understood that head down earned treats. We'll work on this for several more short sessions before we start with the paw movement.

A couple of notes: Shaping works best with high-value treats and a very food-motivated dog. Also, as dogs learn that they need to think their way thru problems, they often gain a lot of confidence, building a strong bond with their owner. These tricks might seem dumb, but they serve a purpose, and most dogs love practicing (despite many owners' notions that training must be hard/boring/forced). As they gain practice with shaping, most dogs will figure out that they should just try stuff until they hit on something that earns them a reward.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I dont use clicker , just because i dont fully understand it. So far i use treats only. I will read into it though.
 

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Check out the rest of kikopup's channel for how to teach all kinds of things using a clicker.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
thank you for the video link.
i still dont fully understand. whats the difference between click - treat or only a treat?
is it just so if the dog does something by itself und you want him to do it again, you would click?
 

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I dont use clicker , just because i dont fully understand it. So far i use treats only. I will read into it though.
You don't have to use a clicker. A clicker is only a tool. The basic concept is "mark-and-reward". A clicker is a good mark, but so are other things if done right. However, a "mark" of some kind is absolutely necessary. The "reward" is NOT the same as the "mark".

As far as teaching this for ultimate obedience work, it is generally recommended to use a back-chaining method rather than a forward shaping. Back-chaining is also a form of shaping, but for this exercise it seems to work better. Both forward shaping and back-chaining break the complex behavior into a series of simple steps, but with back-chaining, you begin with last of the chain of steps rather than with the first.

In other words, we start at the end. So in this case, we start by teaching the "take-from-hand, hold, and give-to-hand'" behavior. Many people use the actual cue words "take", "hold" and "give" for this. But of course you can use whatever cue words you want. It's better to start with an actual retrieve object if at all possible - so for obedience training, that would be a dumbbell - but you don't have to.

For our training, we have found the book "Competition Obedience" by Judy Byron & Adele Yunck to be an invaluable reference - well worth buying, in other words. But here is a website that does a pretty good job on this way of teaching.

Back Chaining - Morten and Cecilie Style

Just a cautionary word here. Most people consider the retrieve exercises in general to be the hardest ones to teach, because they comprise so many steps and are so easy to 'poison' with improper teaching. It's very important, for example, that you have taught a really solid recall to the front ( also, a good, solid finish) before you proceed much further . This is not an exercise group that you want to mess around with or you will have serious problems down the road.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
ok, thank you. she is doing great with all other things so far. she knows sit, down, stay, working on heel, and recall gets better too (only practice on a long leash). she is still young and really destracted outside. but in the backyard and in the house she is really good. i always use treats and then start to only give her a treat like every 3rd time or so.
we start dog school next week, because i do not know a lot about dog training. my theory just always is to be consequent and positive. so far it worked. but i really need to learn some "real" dog training knowledge.
 

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All that the click noise means to the dog is that a reward is coming next. To teach this all you need to do is click, wait 1 second then give a treat. Do this 10 - 20 times and the dog should have a pretty good idea that click = food is coming. If you don't have a clicker you can use a word as a marker instead of the click. Most people use "yes". The clicker is more precise to the dog than a word because the sound is more distinct.

Once the dog has learned that click = "treat is coming" then you can start clicking for specific behaviours. If you were to teach sit you would click the instant the dogs bum touches the ground and reward him a second later. The dog eventually learns that he can make you click and will actively try to do this by offering behaviours. In this example he might start sitting and expecting to hear the click.

The clicker really shines in teaching things where you couldn't just hand over food for performing a behaviour. With sitting it is easy to simply feed the dog while it is in a sit. But, for teaching a dog to hold a toy in his mouth you can't exactly do that because his mouth is full. With a clicker you can click when he has a bite on something, a toy for example, then toss a treat on the ground. It won't take long for the dog to catch on that picking up the toy will cause the click. Next you could click for picking up the toy then looking in your direction. After that for taking a step in your direction with the toy in his mouth. Keep asking for more until you have your retrieve.
 

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I dont use clicker , just because i dont fully understand it. So far i use treats only. I will read into it though.
There is plenty of information on clicker training available. It gives you an extra, very effective way to communicate to your dog exactly when they are on the right track. Treats alone don't do that.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
i read a little about clicker, not ready to use it yet though. but i am wondering how you stop using the clicker? you can not always click. isn't the doog getting too used to the cklicker?
 

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As far as teaching this for ultimate obedience work, it is generally recommended to use a back-chaining method rather than a forward shaping. Back-chaining is also a form of shaping, but for this exercise it seems to work better. Both forward shaping and back-chaining break the complex behavior into a series of simple steps, but with back-chaining, you begin with last of the chain of steps rather than with the first.

Back Chaining - Morten and Cecilie Style

Just a cautionary word here. Most people consider the retrieve exercises in general to be the hardest ones to teach, because they comprise so many steps and are so easy to 'poison' with improper teaching. It's very important, for example, that you have taught a really solid recall to the front ( also, a good, solid finish) before you proceed much further . This is not an exercise group that you want to mess around with or you will have serious problems down the road.
Actually, I teach the individual behaviors involved before I actually start backchaining. And having done the backchaining workshop with Morten and Cecilie at Clicker Expo, I know they also do that. And I think the retrieve, if taught with a clicker, is one of the easiest and most fun exercises for the dog.
 

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i read a little about clicker, not ready to use it yet though. but i am wondering how you stop using the clicker? you can not always click. isn't the doog getting too used to the cklicker?
Once you have put the behavior on cue (which means, you name the behavior and the dog knows what to do when you say that word) you will start phasing out the click for that behavior. There are many ways to do it. You can wait for a slightly longer time before clicking. You can ask for MORE behavior or better behavior before the click. Actually if your dog understands the clicker, and you go slowly enough on phasing it out, putting the click on a variable schedule makes the behavior stronger. Personally, I never completely phase out my marker (though in advanced training it may be a word) and will always try to mark exceptionally good efforts. I also go back to the clicker to teach new behaviors. Always. Even with my dog who has multiple, multiple titles in several things and is 10 and a half. She's still learning new behaviors all the time.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
ok, so i officially own a clicker now. but its super loud :-/ i dont have whatever the lady uses in the video. how can i make it less loud?
 

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Mine is loud too, it doesn't bother the dog. I think that loud ones are easier to hear when working outside or at a distance. You can put a couple of strips of tape on the metal part that you press to make the click in order to dampen the sound.

Remember that it is most powerful if a treat is given after every click.
 

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Once you have put the behavior on cue (which means, you name the behavior and the dog knows what to do when you say that word) you will start phasing out the click for that behavior. There are many ways to do it. You can wait for a slightly longer time before clicking. You can ask for MORE behavior or better behavior before the click. Actually if your dog understands the clicker, and you go slowly enough on phasing it out, putting the click on a variable schedule makes the behavior stronger. Personally, I never completely phase out my marker (though in advanced training it may be a word) and will always try to mark exceptionally good efforts. I also go back to the clicker to teach new behaviors. Always. Even with my dog who has multiple, multiple titles in several things and is 10 and a half. She's still learning new behaviors all the time.
If I wanted to teach my dog to "sit" on command by using clicker training, would I say "sit" first, then if action is performed click-treat? Or would I click-treat any time he sits down and then say "sit"?

Kind of a continuation of the question about phasing out clicker use, but I would eventually like to teach him to perform actions on command, but with no clicker so when I'm in public I can just say "sit" or "down" and my dog obeys with no clicker sound.
 

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If I wanted to teach my dog to "sit" on command by using clicker training, would I say "sit" first, then if action is performed click-treat? Or would I click-treat any time he sits down and then say "sit"?

Kind of a continuation of the question about phasing out clicker use, but I would eventually like to teach him to perform actions on command, but with no clicker so when I'm in public I can just say "sit" or "down" and my dog obeys with no clicker sound.
I capture (click when it happens) or help it happen and then nane it when the dog is already in the act
 
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