Before we got Sprite we thought that we would try clicker training as it seemed really effective. I now have one clicker upstairs and one downstairs along with a bag of treats in either place. (I always forget where I leave things I need.)
The night before we collected Sprite I thought I would try out the clicker on Harry and Elspeth. The first step is showing them that 'click' meant treat incoming so they adored their first 15 minuet session as I did as the book told me and just clicked the clicker and gave them each a treat. After they clearly understood that I started tried 'target'. I had one problem with this and that was that I had no stick with an obvious place to poke with their noses so I looked all over the house and all I could find that would work was one of my daughters drum sticks so that was the stick sorted. Then we had to find something to put on the end to make them want to poke it.
In the fridge we had stinky cheese of some sort but I did not want to deal with their stomach upset the next day and peanut butter! So peanut butter it was to be.
I proceeded into my office which is the quietest room as it has sound proofing. (I have a 5yr old with a drum kit, trust me the sound proofing was needed hehe.)
Harry was first. He smelt the peanut butter and that was it, that stick was to be his!
I had no sooner lowered the stick and 'woosh!' it, and Harry were gone off to the far corner of my office and under my desk! I went to retrieve the stick. Harry looked at me like I had done something horrid and hurtful when I pulled it out of his paws but none the less he followed me back to the sofa.
Harry sat down and looked at me so very confused as to why I had offered him a treat and then taken it away again.
I firmly held the stick this time and held it out, pointed to the end and said 'target'.
Harry sniffed the stick and then went up to it with his mouth open ready to take it again. I quickly tapped his nose with the end, clicked the clicker and told him 'good target!' and gave him a treat.
He then spat the treat out, licked his nose and headed for the stick again. This time when I tapped it on his nose with hopes he would get the idea he was ready for it. The second it came near him he pounced on it and licked the stick.
At the same time my partner had decided this clicker thing can't be so hard and went about showing Elspeth what she should do. He taught her somehow in little to no time that 'crate' means go in your crate!
Harry and I decided to take a break and went to see Elspeth doing her amazing new trick.
I am astounded how well my partner and Elspeth managed to accomplish this. Normally to get them to go in their crate they have to know it's bedtime or a meal time but now just the word 'crate' when said by my partner and aimed at Elspeth and off she trots, happy as Larry!
Harry seems to need a class mate to learn with.
Now that we have Sprite Harry will happily learn with her. I think it helps that as she is a dog she is easier to train and Harry has been learning by example. The two of them have become very good friends.
Here is the two of them playing:
Well good night!