Help with charging the clicker - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-04-2010, 03:40 AM Thread Starter
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Help with charging the clicker

I've had my 2 year old for almost 2 weeks now, which I know isn't a lot but I don't think that is a problem for training. I want to start clicker training him, I've tried on 3 separate occasions to charge the clicker and he seems to not care about the clicker at all, is there something I'm doing wrong? how long does it generally take to charge the clicker with an adult GSD that has never had any training and is still adjusting to a new home? I'm just wondering because I've seen videos of dogs understanding the clicker in less than 5 minutes, each time I've tried to charge it, I've done it for about 10 minutes with no success, I've gone through A LOT of treats already and have not seen any improvement from the first click he's ever heard. Please help me on this because I'm kind of stumped.

GSD: Hercules
Born: June 13, 2008
Rescued/Adopted: July 23, 2010
Re-homed: December 30, 2011
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-04-2010, 03:43 AM
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Can you explain how you're going about charging the clicker?

Are you using your dog's favorite treat in the whole world?

Paula
Shasta - GSD (4/30/10)
Thor - GSD (3/12/12)
RIP Duchess - Shetland Sheepdog (12/25/88 - 2/14/04)
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-04-2010, 04:24 AM Thread Starter
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Well I'm using the basic click and treat method, he just comes and sits in front of me, I click and treat and he couldn't care less about the click, as far as his favorite treats, I've had him for almost two weeks now so I don't know if his FAVORITE TREAT IN THE WHOLE WORLD but he does love it.

GSD: Hercules
Born: June 13, 2008
Rescued/Adopted: July 23, 2010
Re-homed: December 30, 2011
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GSD: Zeus
Born: April 2, 2012
Adopted: June 15, 2012

Golden Retriever: Juno
Born: April 6, 2012
Adopted: June 16, 2012
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-04-2010, 06:27 AM
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I am sure someone with experience will give you advice but in the meantime, if you aren't already, maybe try using 'human food' as treats. I know my girl will do anything for a tiny piece of hotdog

Miss Molly Moo (aka The Piranha/The four legged Mouth) GSD 31/10
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-04-2010, 08:36 AM
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Forget about trying to find his "favorite" treat ... for the next two weeks, hand feed of his meals and load your clicker there. He gets no food unless he hears a click first. Heck, if you want, he gets no water unless he hears a click first. When training with food, I don't go around looking for fun stuff for the dog to eat, I just use the dog's meal and I make sure the dog is really really hungry. Breakfast and dinners are a big deal for most dogs with a normal appetite, so take advantage of the opportunity there.

Also, not sure if you know this or not, by when loading the clicker, don't ask for any obedience (no sit, down, look at me, things like that). It should be click, eat food, click, eat food, click eat food, etc.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-04-2010, 09:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason L View Post
Forget about trying to find his "favorite" treat ... for the next two weeks, hand feed of his meals and load your clicker there. He gets no food unless he hears a click first. Heck, if you want, he gets no water unless he hears a click first. When training with food, I don't go around looking for fun stuff for the dog to eat, I just use the dog's meal and I make sure the dog is really really hungry. Breakfast and dinners are a big deal for most dogs with a normal appetite, so take advantage of the opportunity there.

Also, not sure if you know this or not, by when loading the clicker, don't ask for any obedience (no sit, down, look at me, things like that). It should be click, eat food, click, eat food, click eat food, etc.
Some dogs DO take awhile to understand the 'charging the clicker' thing, so don't get discouraged.

I agree you need a MUCH hungrier dog. While I also think you can mix in the kibble during the training, I'd still use REAL treats. So if you cut up a roast chicken from Walmart/Cosco and mix in kibble. Then bag it all into individual ziplocks that you freeze............ Take one of these out every day INSTEAD of normal meals and try the charging thing.

Make sure you click and then give the treat FAST so there's a immediate connection to the sound and miracle of food appearing.




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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-04-2010, 10:15 AM
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You'll know your clicker is charged when you dog is looking away from you and you click it (don't try this too much). If his head snaps around so he can look at you, you're good to go.

"What's there to dominate when your dog is well trained and it does what you ask??" - DoggieDad
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-04-2010, 10:38 AM
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This is also a very new to you adult rescue correct? I am not sure if you have any idea what his previous associations with food are, how well he was fed or not fed, if he's food motivated what food "means" to him, etc?

I have an adult foster right now that I was trying to charge, he also was not responding, so I let it go and worked on other positive training techniques with his squeaky toys and happy voices, and treats. I could sneak the clicker in if I wanted so he associated the happy with it, I guess, but when he's ready, we'll try again. He's doing well with the other stuff for now.

Lucky dogs people care enough to try these things with them - they are just happy to have a home in the beginning and can't absorb all the goodness around them at once.





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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-04-2010, 12:24 PM
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I'm beginning to understand how lucky I am that Shasta responds "with enthusiasm" to anything edible during training.

Paula
Shasta - GSD (4/30/10)
Thor - GSD (3/12/12)
RIP Duchess - Shetland Sheepdog (12/25/88 - 2/14/04)
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-04-2010, 12:28 PM
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I was not doing much at two weeks with my rescues. We were just spending time together, taking walks and hanging out. It was some time before I really began clicking or much training. It can take quite awhile for these dogs to settle in and become comfortable. At this point, I would not be worrying so much with a clicker.
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