German Shepherds Forum banner

1 - 6 of 6 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
714 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
So ... In addition to my 2 disabled GSD's I have 2 black labs. Sam is 18 months old who I adopted last November after he was hit by a car. Long story short he ended up having a hip replacement and has had to be crated for 3 months to recover. Of course he is now somewhat wild and has forgotten all the basic training I taught him.

Today he was at the vet school for his 3 month recheck and his orthopedist (who is also a good friend) was on to me about how "untrained" he was. Needless to say I am taking this as a challenge and am determined to have a well behaved dog by the time his 6 month recheck rolls around. Thankfully Sam is very food and toy motivated so I hope training will go smoothly (as well as rapidly)! I found a clicker and am going to hit the local bookstore tonight to see if they have any of Karen Pryors books.

I tried clicker training once and to be honest couldn't quite get it right - I think the dog was smarter than me! Any advice/experiences would be welcomed as I'm determined to show my friend that Sam can be well behaved.

Joanne, Spirit and Eli
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
27,245 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
714 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
I just do what I can for a few pups at a time - I just happen to love the guys most others don't.

I got a copy of Karen Pryors clicker training "starter kit" today. I'd never tried clicker training and it was amazing - within 5 minutes Sam was sitting and lying down! We're not up to verbal commands yet, but I think I'll have the bragging rights when Sam goes back for his recheck :)

Joanne
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,415 Posts
Starting with Karen Pryor is a great place to start - good job! There's tons of information out there on clicker training, but she's one of the first who really got the movement going here in the U.S.

The key to it is get the timing down so that you mark the behavior right when it happens. That's not always natural for us to do. Humans tend to key in on what's wrong instead of what's right, so we have to re-set our way of thinking in order for the method to work. But once you do, and once your dog starts responding, it's amazing how quickly the training goes.

Patience is also vital and that's where many people cave in on this method. You have to be willing to give the dog time to think, instead of wanting immediate perfect response from day one. Personally I love watching my dogs work through things (I can almost see the little wheels turning in their heads .. *L*) and so I don't have much problem with patience. But when I first went to positive reinforcement training (initially being an "old school" trainer) it was hard for me not to push my dogs to do something immediately when commanded. Now they respond quickly because they want to, but during the early stages of training they often have to stop and work things out.

I intermittently use a clicker - mostly I use a verbal marker ("YES!!!" spoken in a very enthusiastic tone, with the "SSS" drawn out a bit). It's exactly the same concept as clicker training, though, just using a verbal instead of a click.

I'm sure that you will have some great bragging rights when you take Sam back to the vet! I always show up at the vet's with a pocketful of treats and practice our sits, downs, tricks, etc. in the waiting room and also reward for calm and proper behavior in the exam room.

Melanie and the gang in Alaska
 
1 - 6 of 6 Posts
Top