From Charleen Cordo: I am a member of APDT and have been clicker training and teaching clicker training in my classes for about the past 7 years now. I also have the youth at the Colorado Boys Ranch learning to use it. We work with shelter dogs whom we adopt out to appropriate homes through a program called New Leash on Life. These are "throwaway" dogs but they respond so well that they adapt readily and appropriately into their adoptee families after we work with them for 9 to 10 weeks.
Six weeks ago I received a call from a lady who had taken lessons from me before. She had gotten a new puppy and was wanting to train her to be a good dog. I learned that the dog, a female boxer, had been taken from her mother at 3 weeks and sold to this lady at 5 weeks. I was in shock and didn't really think I would be able to make a difference with a dog weaned this young. Knowing that clicker training works with all animals, we decided to give it a try since the breeder refused to take the dog back.
We started with click and lick and the tiny puppy responded beautifully. We just finished our 6th lesson and the puppy is able to differentiate sit and down. She is doing a short stay. She has an awesome recall and follows off leash even with distractions. She is able to be handled by a variety of people in an appropriate manner and I believe she is going to be alright behaviorally.
When we began to work, Baby would lunge at your face if restrained in any way. She would scream and flail about trying her best to bite you. She was extremely aggressive for a young dog. With the help of the clicker marking appropriate behaviors and ignoring the obnoxious behaviors she is very sweet and gentle. She can be handled everywhere and has done fine at her vet visit.
I since have had a lady call me with two German shepherd pups and another with a lab mix who were purchased at five weeks and were unruly and unpredictable. They are all responding beautifully as well to this method of training.
Thank you for the clicker. I believe it is the only way to train behaviors.
Help with clicker program in shelter environment
I am the trainer for a shelter in California. I am in the process of implementing an all staff/ volunteer program using clicker training for our dogs and cats.
I would like some advise on the following:
In our shelter the newly arrived dogs are most of the time housed in either pairs or up to three dogs per run.
I am afraid that clicking and treating dogs when they are more than one per run might elicit fights over the resources (treats)
Am I missing something here? Any sound advise into how to implement a clicker training program under these circumstances is most welcome.
Almudena Ortiz Cue
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