Q: Can you give me some pointers for using clicker training to stop my dog from jumping on visitors? I have gotten her to stop jumping on family and frequent visitors, but new people are at her mercy.
Humans are notoriously verbal creatures. We love to talk, and we do so automatically, even when the person we're talking to doesn't speak our language, can't hear what we're saying, or even when the "person" isn't a person at all.
From Bob Sessions, Thunder, and Sky: Karen, I must thank you again for the training foundation skills you share so generously. I am with Maryland Task Force 1, one of the FEMA Task Forces. I was on the first recon team to enter the Pentagon on 9/11.
The best example of a clicker trained dog that I know personally is Lynn Gardner's Aussie rescue named Maggie Mae, in Ontario. Maggie's owner has trained her to recognize over 200 cues, and often does clicker demos with her in schools. Maggie's click is the blink of a flashlight, just a regular pen light pointed at her; and most of her cues are American Sign Language words. The trainer holds the light in one hand along with the target stick if using one; and treats in the other, just as we do with target and clicker. The dog has to be watching the trainer to see the blink, but she watches very carefully, you may be sure! Once when Maggie was sitting in front of Lynn, at attention, Lynn gave her a hand signal, and the dog rolled over on one haunch and scratched herself. I couldn't help but ask, "What was THAT signal?" "Relax," said Lynn.