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So, I have achieved leaps and bounds with Ido using the clicker to train her to follow behind my left ('close') or right ('side') hands...

 

But when I asked if I could use the clicker in class to teach Ido what I'm looking for on the command 'End' (which is our cue for two on two off) ...he said no. His reason? It takes away from the human/dog bond. :D

 

So, now I have to figure out a way to teach her to look at ME for the end, and to stop dilly dallying around the contact looking for tidbits left behind...*sigh*

 

We work on two on two off at home with random objects, but Ido tends to take things very literally. What she learns on the ottoman or the stairs she does not apply to the dog walk or A frame... :rolleyes:

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Although not as precise as a click, you can use a marker word like YES! in its place. Teach your dog what it means just like you did with the clicker. You can also (preferably) use a touch plate without food. Get the touch to the plate, click/YES!, then reward with either food (from your hand given low between dog's front legs) or toy. Good luck.

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God knows what your instructor is thinking. the click is what the dog will be waiting for and will be looking at you for it. So just use the clicker at home and you instructor cannot tell you not to use it at training. Just work on the edge of the class when it comes to contacts or refrain from working on them at training at all until Ido gets it. I often do this if an instructor disagrees, i just save it for at home and then work on it at training when they understand. Move the contact plank your working on as she will be sniffing for treats because there would have been some there. So you need to be teh first person to work on contacts and make sure noone else has had treats in that area or move the board. If she mucks around give her a release and no reward and start again. If she looking at you the second she hits the contact rewards or release and reward. Eventually ask for a longer time for her to look at you. Just becareful you dont ask for something your not meaning too. I did that and now my oldest screams whilst nose touching but is silent if not=conclusion? no nose touches :rolleyes:

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So, I have achieved leaps and bounds with Ido using the clicker to train her to follow behind my left ('close') or right ('side') hands...

 

But when I asked if I could use the clicker in class to teach Ido what I'm looking for on the command 'End' (which is our cue for two on two off) ...he said no. His reason? It takes away from the human/dog bond. :D

 

So, now I have to figure out a way to teach her to look at ME for the end, and to stop dilly dallying around the contact looking for tidbits left behind...*sigh*

 

We work on two on two off at home with random objects, but Ido tends to take things very literally. What she learns on the ottoman or the stairs she does not apply to the dog walk or A frame... :rolleyes:

 

Can you get a plank to use at home? You can make a ramp from the ottoman or stairs to the ground. She might generalize that better.

 

As far as the click taking away from the human/dog bond, that's hogwash. Not to mention, the dog is learning a behavior. A behavior that, optimally, you want to be an independent behavior!

 

To get the dog to orient back to you after taking the contact, you can reward on the floor and then stand a bit out from the contact and have a piece of food in your hand. The next treat comes from you. She would learn that after a number of repetitions. Then she would learn the pattern - focus on the contact behavior, then mentally tune in to you.

 

I know from experience that a dog that is too handler focused while on the contacts is not a good thing! Contacts are no place for sharing and bonding between dog and handler! You'll have problems when courses are set out so you can't be where your dog expects you to be.

 

Just my take. I would use a clicker to train a stopped contact, myself. I've never found that using a clicker for anything has reduced the dog/human bond. Quite the contrary.

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Contacts can be dangerous if not taught correctly. The dog should be concentrating on completeing the contact corrrectly and safely . Then worry about where the handler is. Teaching a touch or whatever you use at the end of the contact is great, but do you teach a release word ? Once my dog does the contact , I say "OK" , then the dog leaves the contact.

I would teach the release word , using the clicker , then only treat after the release.

In my opinion , this will cause the dog to want to get to the end then look at you for the release so he can get the treat. (just my two cents)

I wouldnt stop using the clicker , it can be a very useful tool if used on time and fairly. But , sometimes it can be tough for some people to use and hold the treats , maybe thats what your trainer means ?

Also to fade out the clicker , I use marker words like "YES" instead of the click , like Rave has mentioned , its a very easy transition for the dog.

Good luck.

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That is is the silliest thing I've heard in a while, if you've trained with the clicker up to this point there is no reason not to continue. Insist on using it, you are paying them but they are not the end all and be all of training. I used a marker word to train contacts 2o2o with a target and so far so good

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That is is the silliest thing I've heard in a while

 

Mmmm - informed opinions are one thing, condemning a method apparently through ignorance quite another.

That sort of statement would make me question the value of his advice generally.

 

None of our club instructors is a clicker user to anything but a minimal extent, and some not at all, but members are free to use them if they wish. I keep an eye on them to make sure they are using them effectively.

 

Pam

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I do not see my instructor permitting me to use a clicker in class. He is pretty set and firm in his ways, and insisted if I wanted to use it at home, I am free to do so of course...but not in his class.

 

I will try fading the clicker to another word, this way I can bring my "secret weapon" along with me to class...

 

I like this instructor, for the most part. But there are a few things--such as this clicker issue--that set me off about him. I mean, srsly, if I havea method for teaching my dog something that works far better than peppering an obstacle with food, why not let me try it??? ...Another is we had a great dane (10 mo) in class this past week, and this dog was going through the same tunnels as everyone else... :rolleyes: HE WAS HUGE! ...Now, I on' know if thats the accepted norm, or if they get bigger tunnels to fit their greater size, but geeeez... The same with the weave poles. This giant dog was expected to go through the same spacing as my 27lb border collie. Needless to say, the poor lummox was tripping over poles and pole guards every which way, which only complicated his willingness to do the obstacle...

 

I can't seem to win for losing. Finding the perfect agility instructor in this town is getting more and more complex...

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Another is we had a great dane (10 mo) in class this past week, and this dog was going through the same tunnels as everyone else... :rolleyes: ..........The same with the weave poles. This giant dog was expected to go through the same spacing as my 27lb border collie.

 

Yikes - a 10 mo GD doing agility, and weaves in particular.!!!!!

No No No.

I don't know of any responsible instructor who would allow that. The poor dog is still growing and will hardly be aware that it has a leg at each corner, never mind the control needed to do agility, quite apart from the potential health issues.

 

Pam

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I can't seem to win for losing. Finding the perfect agility instructor in this town is getting more and more complex...

 

I think if I were you and my instructor would not allow me to do something that is working for my dog even if it were just one thing I would find another instructor. I almost left my puppy class luckily my instructors changed and that was just for sits and stays.

 

You don't want to be messing around with training different ways for one contact, it could confuse your poor puppy. I am teaching contacts now with my 6 month old. Just the basic position and we are clicker training. I basically just wait for any contact with the board and click then refine it down to back feet on front feet off.

 

I suggest when choosing an instructor, before the course starts just ask them if there is anything they disagree with or don't recommend doing in their classes. Ask them if they are willing to let you experiment even if it is not their preferred method as long as you are using the method you choose correctly. They can offer input but it is ultimately up to you and it should be fun. I was using a ball as a motivator for a bit in the weave poles and my instructor explained to me why it was not a good idea so i took her advice on board and whilst i still used the ball in class we cut back how long the ball was used for. If i can explain why i am doing something and it makes sense or it won't somehow mess up the thing i am teaching my dog then she is all for it. Afterall it is what works for me!

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Yikes - a 10 mo GD doing agility, and weaves in particular.!!!!!

No No No.

I don't know of any responsible instructor who would allow that. The poor dog is still growing and will hardly be aware that it has a leg at each corner, never mind the control needed to do agility, quite apart from the potential health issues.

 

Pam

 

I would think twice bout taking lessons from a trainer who would allow a 10 month old GD dog do anything but ground work .

Unbelievable !

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I totally agree with running from an instructor that allows a 10 mo dog of any breed to do weave poles YIKES! Common sense and knowledge of basice canine growth and development even I know better

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I totally agree with running from an instructor that allows a 10 mo dog of any breed to do weave poles YIKES! Common sense and knowledge of basice canine growth and development even I know better

 

 

They were not encouraged to do them fast, just 'walk' them, but the dog was still tripping every which way regardless.

 

Looks like my search is on after the end of this 6 wk course.

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I do not see my instructor permitting me to use a clicker in class. He is pretty set and firm in his ways, and insisted if I wanted to use it at home, I am free to do so of course...but not in his class.

 

I will try fading the clicker to another word, this way I can bring my "secret weapon" along with me to class...

 

That guy is a bit clueless...

 

I use "yes" quite often as a mark. The dogs picked up on it ridiculously fast. Doing it again, I might try a different word as "yes" is used so often everyday, but it works quite well for me when I don't have a clicker on me!

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They were not encouraged to do them fast, just 'walk' them, but the dog was still tripping every which way regardless.

 

He shouldn't have been anywhere near agility equipment at that age though - 18 months absolute minimum for such a big breed IMO.

 

Quite apart from the health problems it can cause, a dog needs body awareness to do agility. If the dog is still growing, which a GD will be, then every lesson will feel different to the dog so you can't train for consistency since the dog itself is still changing. It really isn't fair on the dog.

 

Pam

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Yeah, Pat...Ido and I waited a long time for this. :rolleyes: She turns 4 this year. We have done so much work, only to find that the hardest part of all is finding some one we can learn from...

 

...I shouldn't be too harsh. He *IS* teaching us some things. But it is frustrating to see that my dog could be excelling far better if he would only let me use my clicker in class. He's just so set in his ways...for instance, he got on to me for saying 'here!' to call my dog to me. He stated: "The word is COME!" ...*sigh* I taught her 'here' (because I feel that word carries over distances better.) ...she does not know what 'come' means. Oi.

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Just some words of encouragement. The right instructor is out there for you and you'll find that person.

I've been through 3 instructors (for various reasons) and finally I've found someone that I understand and who understands me and my dog.

We're still in a class and I love that for Chase and think he and I both need the class setting but I just didn't feel I was getting enough practice runs and help during the class. I'm taking privates with an awesome instructor every other week in addition to class and I love this woman! It took me a year to find her but I'm glad I did.

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...But it is frustrating to see that my dog could be excelling far better if he would only let me use my clicker in class. He's just so set in his ways...for instance, he got on to me for saying 'here!' to call my dog to me. He stated: "The word is COME!" ...*sigh*

 

I make a click noise with one side of my mouth, like clucking to a horse (having been a horse person in a previous life.) It's not as loud as a regular clicker and I use it in classes all the time, plus in the agility ring for my young dogs. Make sure you do the "cluck/feed" sessions at home with the new sound so the dog knows that is the reward indicator. You could also use "Yes" or another happy word as the reward indicator in place of a click. In my mind, "Yes" is overused so you might use a different word.

 

Personally I'd drop this instructor like a hot potato.

 

Good luck!

Debbie

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