Sunday, October 21, 2007

Positive reenforcement training and clicker

Well, I had an interesting day!

Mommy took me to a seminar on clicker training. No, this does not mean that I can use the tv remotes (I wish). It's a very interesting way to attempt and make us dogs obey. It uses a 'clicker' which makes a clicking sound when I do the right thing. The point is for mommy to mark (using the click) the exact moment I do the thing I'm being rewarded for. So for example, to practice me looking at her while there's distractions around, she'll have me sit in front of her and hold a treat out to the side. The second I look at her, not the treat, even if it's by accident, she clicks and gives me the treat. It didn't take me that long to associate looking at mommy = getting treat! Gradually, she's supposed to give less treats, so that I'm just working to hear the click, associating click and positive things. I like it a lot. Of course, since I'm doing all of this for cheese, I learn pretty fast.

There were quite a few of us four-legs at the seminar, but as usual, I was the biggest. The only other large-sized dog was the teacher-lady's very friendly pitbull who wanted to play with me big time. I wanted to play with her too, but our mommies wouldn't let us. Stupid mommies. The other dogs were all small. There was a pekenese, a japanese chin two mini poodles, a jack and a chinese crested dog (or however you call those), but of the furred variety. And black. She was pretty afraid of me at first, but her mommy and mine worked on that until I could sniff her without her panicking. Yay her!

In all, it was lots of fun and it was great to spend a whole day outside with Mommy, even if I wasn't allowed to go play with Ivy the pitbull. We should do this more often, especially if there's snow.

Just to know, do any of your humans use the clicker on you? As a dog, what was your "training" like and how did you condition your humans to give you treats?


1 comment:

The Army of Four said...

Hmmm... we aren't clicker trained, but going to a seminar and meeting a friendly pit bull sounds like fun! We have friends who have been successfully clicker trained; Mom thinks the sharp noise might bother Stormy. What with our "all for one and one for all" mentality, we don't use clickers.
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