Tatum is Officially Clicker Savvy

First off, dogs like to lay their heads on keyboards, and it makes it hard to type!

So anyway I want to teach Tatum flyball the right way. And she’s not very high drive when it’s just me and her… so we are working on the small bits. I want her to have a nice swimmer’s turn.

There is a good article on training the box, which starts with very basic steps, over on Flyballdog Tag. And we need basics. Microshaping, even.

I got out the clicker and treats and I put down a white lid. Tatum knows to touch it with her nose, to run over to it and get treats, but not how to put her feet on it. So first step, get the feet on it. Well, she wasn’t moving her feet at all, so I put the white lid away and started to teach her to just move her feet.

She laid down, which was fine, and to get her to move her feet I put a treat in my hand and moved my hand far too her right. When she turned her body (lying down) to get closer to the treat, I clicked and gave her the treat. I kept moving my hand around to encourage her feet to move during the first training session.

We did this for a few minutes and then stopped.

A few hours later we tried again. I’ve been wondering how clicker savvy she is, as she’s very calm and subtle in her movements sometimes. We did the same thing.. I’d move my hand, she’d move her foot (either one, didn’t matter) and click treat.

Then I stopped moving my hand to see if she was getting it. First couple of times she just stared at my hand for a good minute, I swear. So I moved my hand again. But she was thinking about it. So I laid my hand still again, with treats in it, and she moved her foot! Click Treat! After a couple of those, she started putting her foot on my hand! Yay!

She is officially clicker savvy! I’m excited. She doesn’t offer much behavior to me.. not like Levi does, who throws himself all over the place to see what I want. But she’s a girl, she’s more posed than my goofy boys. And she’s still a bit shy when we work alone together. But to see her think and figure things out is great. I’m excited. I need to just learn to understand how she learns, and how she offers behavior, and how to shape her so we find out what we want.

And then put the behavior on cue, Only on cue, and Always on cue! Then I’ll be happy with my own training!

Oh.. so the next step is to get her to put both feet on the target, then put the target on the flyball box, and then get her up with all four feet. But that’s a while away so far. It’s gonna be great to have a flyball collie!

I just watched the AKC Invitationals… I would love to see Tatum there. Would love too! Sometimes I have too many toys hooked up to the HDTV and I need HDMI splitters too watch all I want. I want an HD DVD or a Blueray DVD… someday!

Drawbacks:
Now I have to also consider the consequences of doing this. At first, I was letting her nibble on my hand to get the treats. But she has such a soft mouth now I don’t want to reward her for being bitey when taking treats so I stopped that.

In addition I need to consider the white target. I use it for other things too, and usually it’s just a target to do a nose touch with and to get treats from. If I teach her to put two paws on it, she has the potential to do that all the time in all training environments.

So maybe I need to use something else.. when we reach that point. Maybe I need to make a special flyball target so I can still use the white lid for obedience targets and agility targets. Hrm… something to think about.

Comments

comments

10 thoughts on “Tatum is Officially Clicker Savvy

  1. That’s alot the think about.
    I’m considering getting my three-year-old a dog. Any thoughts on what kind would be good for inside the house (alone for about eight hours per day) and who has hair — not fur?

  2. That's alot the think about.
    I'm considering getting my three-year-old a dog. Any thoughts on what kind would be good for inside the house (alone for about eight hours per day) and who has hair — not fur?

  3. Hi SouthernBell. With a 3 year old, I would recommend you wait and not get a dog right now. Your 3 year old should get all your attention, and a dog is a lot of work. Maybe when you child is older, maybe about 10 or so, and you can teach responsible pet guardianship, that would be a better time.

    I would, of course, recommend rescue. And adult dog would be easier to bring into the family, if you work with a rescue they will match you with a great companion.

    All dogs have fur… it’s a myth, actually, that there is a difference. Or so I have read in the Whole Dog Journal. Some dog breeds don’t have as much dander (people are allergic to the dander, not the fur) and people are not as allergic to them, if that is what concerns you. You can get a breed where the fur keeps growing, does not have a period of time that the growth shuts off… these breeds are more considered ‘hair’ breeds, where you have to groom and trim their fur on a regular basis.

    I would recommend you doing a lot of research on what breed would best match your family. If you work all day, you do not want a breed like a border collie that will need a lot of mental stimulation to remain healthy. Adopting an older, mellow dog would probably be best!

    Good luck!

  4. Hi SouthernBell. With a 3 year old, I would recommend you wait and not get a dog right now. Your 3 year old should get all your attention, and a dog is a lot of work. Maybe when you child is older, maybe about 10 or so, and you can teach responsible pet guardianship, that would be a better time.

    I would, of course, recommend rescue. And adult dog would be easier to bring into the family, if you work with a rescue they will match you with a great companion.

    All dogs have fur… it's a myth, actually, that there is a difference. Or so I have read in the Whole Dog Journal. Some dog breeds don't have as much dander (people are allergic to the dander, not the fur) and people are not as allergic to them, if that is what concerns you. You can get a breed where the fur keeps growing, does not have a period of time that the growth shuts off… these breeds are more considered 'hair' breeds, where you have to groom and trim their fur on a regular basis.

    I would recommend you doing a lot of research on what breed would best match your family. If you work all day, you do not want a breed like a border collie that will need a lot of mental stimulation to remain healthy. Adopting an older, mellow dog would probably be best!

    Good luck!

  5. How clever is Tatum to have picked that up so quickly. I’m thinking of trying flyball with Moxie at this new school thats opening next month. I will print off this to start her on the swimmers turn. The only difference would be I can’t use the clicker (she’s scared of it). I’m excited about starting flyball. I know we will probably never compete because Mox is coming up on 9 years old now, but its still a fun thing to do together.

    Rachael’s last blog post..Sick Kitties

  6. How clever is Tatum to have picked that up so quickly. I'm thinking of trying flyball with Moxie at this new school thats opening next month. I will print off this to start her on the swimmers turn. The only difference would be I can't use the clicker (she's scared of it). I'm excited about starting flyball. I know we will probably never compete because Mox is coming up on 9 years old now, but its still a fun thing to do together. <em>Rachael's last blog post..<a href='http://riverflower.blogspot.com/2008/02/sick-kitt…rel="nofollow">Sick Kitties</a></em>

  7. How clever is Tatum to have picked that up so quickly. I'm thinking of trying flyball with Moxie at this new school thats opening next month. I will print off this to start her on the swimmers turn. The only difference would be I can't use the clicker (she's scared of it). I'm excited about starting flyball. I know we will probably never compete because Mox is coming up on 9 years old now, but its still a fun thing to do together. <em>Rachael's last blog post..<a href='http://riverflower.blogspot.com/2008/02/sick-kitt…rel="nofollow">Sick Kitties</a></em>

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