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  1. #1 Don't Shoot the Dog 
    Administrator SaintLouieWoman's Avatar
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    Last night SR and I attended this lecture at the Zoo. The Humane Society and the Zoo joined forces to bring Karen Pryor to St. Louis. It was a fun, fascinating talk on understanding the animal mind. She showed videos on a lion learning to sit and do other behaviors with the use of a clicker. A gorilla was shown learning with a clicker to follow specific instructions with the clicker (positive reinforcement to guide the animal into a specific behavior).

    What was most astounding was the animal being led to creatively try a new behavior of its own creation, reinforced with the click, then doing it again, so not just a random thing.

    She showed an expriment with a training school for guide dogs for the blind. The dogs, trained via conventional training, voice commands and food rewards, had a 35% graduation rate. Those with clicker training had an 85% positive rate.

    I'm going to find the clickers that I had for the dogs, languishing in one of the junk drawers. The problem is around here that Darlene is teaching us. She started making a snapping sound wth her mouth when she wants something.

    Now Darlene "snaps" when she wants us to do something. Darned dawg, training us with her own clicker. :D

    HAS ANYONE ON THE BOARD DONE CLICKER TRAINING WITH THEIR PETS?

    GUEST SPEAKER
    Karen Pryor, author Don't Shoot the Dog and Reaching the Animal Mind Tuesday
    September 22, 2009
    7:30 - 9 p.m.
    The Living World-Anheuser Busch Theater
    Karen Pryor is an author with an international reputation in the fields of marine mammal biology and behavioral psychology. Through her work with dolphins in the 1960s, she pioneered modern, force-free animal training methods, and became an authority on applied operant conditioning-the art and science of changing behavior with positive reinforcement. Zoo and animal trainers recognize her as the author of Don't Shoot the Dog, a classic book on animal training. She is the founder and CEO of Karen Pryor Clicker Training. Karen will speak about her new book, Reaching the Animal Mind, in which she shares her personal experiences training and communicating with a wide variety of species and the results of her quest to find out from leading neuroscientists why clicker training works. She will be available to sign her new book which will be available for purchase at the event.
    The event will be held in The Living World at the Saint Louis Zoo and will benefit the Saint Louis Zoo and the
    Humane Society of Missouri.
    http://http://i145.photobucket.com/albums/r231/SarasotaRepub/83069bcc.png

    " To the world you are just one more person, but to a rescued pet, you are the world."

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  2. #2  
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    My mother had stones-in-a-Coke-can, if that's the same idea. Nothing worked with that idiot black lab.
    "Today, [the American voter] chooses his rulers as he buys bootleg whiskey, never knowing precisely what he is getting, only certain that it is not what it pretends to be." - H.L. Mencken
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  3. #3  
    Administrator SaintLouieWoman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by linda22003 View Post
    My mother had stones-in-a-Coke-can, if that's the same idea. Nothing worked with that idiot black lab.
    I think that probably would be a deterrent, shaking it when the dog was doing something wrong.

    That click thing seems to be pretty complicated, when you have to coordinate the click sound at the exact moment the dog is doing something right.

    It was interesting showing how to teach a dog to not jump up on people. With this training, if the dog jumps, there's no reaction. When the dog gets down and stays down, the click sound is made and they get a food reward. She had a dog from a shelter that had no previous training that she taught to not jump up with a total of maybe 3 or 4 clicks.

    Karen Pryor said that the clicker is a consistent reinforcer, more effective than voice, which doesn't make the same sound each time.

    She's famous for her initial dolphin training. Many shelters around the country are utilizing this training, to help dogs be better trained and stay in their adoptive homes, rather than being returned because of bad behavior.
    http://http://i145.photobucket.com/albums/r231/SarasotaRepub/83069bcc.png

    " To the world you are just one more person, but to a rescued pet, you are the world."

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    A Nation of Sheep Breeds a Government of Wolves!"

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  4. #4  
    Quote Originally Posted by SaintLouieWoman View Post
    HAS ANYONE ON THE BOARD DONE CLICKER TRAINING WITH THEIR PETS?
    Sure. People have been using clickers on horses for a long time now and it seems to have hit the dog world about 10 years ago.

    Clicker training is very fast. I use them with the dogs to teach them tricks (say your prayers, bang-you're dead, sit-pretty, etc.). I teach the trick with the clicker and then transition the clicks to a voice command or hand signal. It's also very good for heeling.

    The only downside to clicker training is that it's time-intensive. You have dedicate yourself to it for awhile and then be alert to reward every wanted behavior instantly. You can't verbally praise a dog (at least not during the learning period), you have to use yummies. This means you are carrying smelly treats around a lot and being hypervigilent.

    It works, though. I think the time investment is probably better spent on complex behaviors like tricks (or service dog stuff) than on very basic obedience but some people like to do it as hobby in its own right.
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  5. #5  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gingersnap View Post
    Sure. People have been using clickers on horses for a long time now and it seems to have hit the dog world about 10 years ago.

    Clicker training is very fast. I use them with the dogs to teach them tricks (say your prayers, bang-you're dead, sit-pretty, etc.). I teach the trick with the clicker and then transition the clicks to a voice command or hand signal. It's also very good for heeling.

    The only downside to clicker training is that it's time-intensive. You have dedicate yourself to it for awhile and then be alert to reward every wanted behavior instantly. You can't verbally praise a dog (at least not during the learning period), you have to use yummies. This means you are carrying smelly treats around a lot and being hypervigilent.

    It works, though. I think the time investment is probably better spent on complex behaviors like tricks (or service dog stuff) than on very basic obedience but some people like to do it as hobby in its own right.
    Karen Pryor said to combne the click with a specific "cue", otherwise the animals can get confused.

    They're using it at many zoos for husbandry reasons. Rhinos, even crocodiles, are taught specific behaviors to allow keepers to give them shots, take blood, etc. Our keepers use the targets (you've probably seen dolphin trainers use those sticks with the padded ends) to teach the animals to lift their feet for care or to turn to one side or other for blood draws.
    http://http://i145.photobucket.com/albums/r231/SarasotaRepub/83069bcc.png

    " To the world you are just one more person, but to a rescued pet, you are the world."

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    A Nation of Sheep Breeds a Government of Wolves!"

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  6. #6  
    Quote Originally Posted by SaintLouieWoman View Post
    Karen Pryor said to combne the click with a specific "cue", otherwise the animals can get confused.

    They're using it at many zoos for husbandry reasons. Rhinos, even crocodiles, are taught specific behaviors to allow keepers to give them shots, take blood, etc. Our keepers use the targets (you've probably seen dolphin trainers use those sticks with the padded ends) to teach the animals to lift their feet for care or to turn to one side or other for blood draws.
    A pen laser works pretty well inside and a long, thin dowel works just about everywhere but you can use anything that works for you. I used the pen laser to teach the canine crew that they cannot come within 3 feet of the front door when the doorbell rings or when people knock. They have to stay back.

    Now, you'd think there was an invisible, radioactive wall in the foyer. :D
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  7. #7  
    Administrator SaintLouieWoman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gingersnap View Post
    A pen laser works pretty well inside and a long, thin dowel works just about everywhere but you can use anything that works for you. I used the pen laser to teach the canine crew that they cannot come within 3 feet of the front door when the doorbell rings or when people knock. They have to stay back.

    Now, you'd think there was an invisible, radioactive wall in the foyer. :D
    It was interesting that Karen Pryor talked about helping animals conquer their fears. Someone in the audience asked about helping dogs with storm phobia. She gave a few answers, but said sometimes it can be a long, complicated process and referred to her new book, "Reaching the Animal Mind". We got the book, one of the last 2 available.

    Xena has always been fearful of anything out of place. If I'm doing laundry and put sheets or something on the kitchen chair (laundry is in the kitchen), she gets upset and spooks. Bags of all kinds spook her. One of the problems with rescue dogs is not knowing what they've gone through before we get them. I know she's never had anything other than love and support from SR, and later with both of us after our marriage. Blue is spooky, but he was like that before he came into my house.

    Both of them have improved. Darlene is afraid of nothing, has always been an outgoing and happy hound. Surprisingly, I think she's probably the one who went through the worst. Her owner had ordered the kennel manager to put her down, not to give her to an adoption group. She was spirited out of the kennel and waited a year at the adoption kennel for someone to adopt her.

    Blue was fostered in a prison and is afraid of most people. The only people he seems to love are SR and me and the petsitter. He avoids everyone else. He seems to like some of the seniors at the home and allows them to pet him.

    I think that I have a lot of careful reading. Perhaps it will help Blue and Xena. And Darlene will benefit from additional training. She's a very bright dog.
    http://http://i145.photobucket.com/albums/r231/SarasotaRepub/83069bcc.png

    " To the world you are just one more person, but to a rescued pet, you are the world."

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    A Nation of Sheep Breeds a Government of Wolves!"

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  8. #8  
    The problem with fears and phobias is that fear is the behavior. I've had two dogs with thunder-fear. I tried everything you can imagine with dog number 1 but nothing worked and the problem just got worse with age. Eventually, my cousin just gave me some tranks to give her when things got out of hand.

    When I started to notice the very first thunder-fear symptoms with dog 2, I did the complete and total opposite of what everybody had told me before - I pretended nothing was different.

    I didn't console the dog, distract the dog, ignore the dog, or anything else. I acted like nothing was happening and gently but firmly repositioned the dog when he tried to push up against me.

    He still doesn't like thunder or fireworks but now he just sits under the table until it's over. He's not exactly "cured" but he's not crazy-scared, either. :)
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  9. #9  
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    Yeah yeah. It works on dogs. So what. You want to impress me get a cat to obey a clicker:D
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  10. #10  
    Senior Member Megaguns91's Avatar
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    I wonder if anyone has tried the clicker on their kids.
    ...Government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.
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