Boogie shakes hands

January 15, 2010 at 11:29 pm Leave a comment

New book!

to add to my doggie booklist…

I havent read ALL of these, btw.

Clicking With Your Dog is like a beginners level book with lots of pictures which makes it super easy to follow.

Example page –

As fun as clicker-training is it’s sometimes hard. For me it’s  having to problem-solve laterally ie, figuring out other ways to get Boogie to do something without physically touching/manipulating him and instead, creating a situation where he does the behavior on his own so that I can reinforce it. Check out this amazing article about people testing out their clicker training skills <- THIS is what I mean by lateral-thinking.

So our Boogie monster here doesn’t know any tricks. I tried to teach him to shake hands by repeatedly lifting his paw and saying “shake hands”, then giving him a treat and he NEVER EVER got it. I had taught Rocky (my blind ex-foster dog) to shake hands this way and he got it in 5 minutes. Not Boogie.

So recently I decided to try again this time using a clicker. I read that the way to get your dog to lift his own paw is to hold a treat in your hand and move it around in front of him until he paws at it at which point you  “click”. This method didn’t work with Boogie who has the amazing ability to sit and stare at you for 30 minutes without moving until you give in.

So I took Boogie’s paw, and lifted it off the ground. CLICK-AND-TREAT.

I think I understand why they say don’t physically manipulate your dog to do something. When I lifted Boogie’s paw (click and treat), his body fell off-balance to one side. A moment later when I said “Shake Hands”, Boogie tried to sit LEANING to one side and almost collapsed! Uh-oh.

Eventually he got it because he’s a smarter cookie than I am. After a few more practices doing this with the clicker (I was careful that he wasn’t leaning to one side or in an uncomfortable position) Boogie learned the cue!

Here is video evidence! (no clicker involved at this stage)

p.s. Usually the tennis ball gets him running but this time he wanted a food treat

So far, I still think THE BEST THING we have accomplished with a clicker is  hand-targetting. Now when some random person sticks their hand out in front of his face, Boogie no longer shrinks away (or uses his teeth).  He goes forward and sniffs their hand 🙂

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Entry filed under: Cool Products, Social stuff, Training.

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