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Old 02-17-2014, 10:32 PM   #1 (permalink)
ilivenanigloo
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Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: South Carolina
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Default Clicker Training with a Ball

I am currently training my mutt with the clicker method and all is going well.

This is going well because Banshee loves food. But I got to wondering... what if you're dog doesn't love food? Everything I have read about clicker training seems to assume food is the best thing ever to ALL dogs, no exceptions. It makes sense, of course. Food is tasty and necessary for life. However, I think more than a few GSD owners have dogs that don't think food is the best.

When Lupa was little, she didn't eat much and even raw meat couldn't hold her attention for long. All she wanted was a ball or game of tug. Even today, she's is only slightly more food motivated than as a puppy. My attempts to train her with treats were a disaster; she would stop accepting the treat after 3 or 4 commands and run off to grab a toy. Once I started training her with a ball or tug reward, though, training took off and we soon got bored and had to add new commands and complexity to keep it interesting.

Could one clicker train a dog from the start, including loading, with toys and games? How would one do this? It seems a few problems would arise, namely you have to get the ball back somehow before the dog has learned the drop it command. Treats are advantageous at the beginning because they don't last.

Also, when wouldn't you recommend clicker training? Do Schutzhund trainers or human shepherds use clickers?

Any thoughts?
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1 German Shepherd (Lupa), 1 Cat (Hungry Joe), 1 Corn Snake (Caduceus), Banshee (pitt and/or boxer mix)

RIP: 1 Betta Fish (Quasimodo)

Last edited by ilivenanigloo; 02-17-2014 at 10:35 PM.
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