Click for Joy : Questions and Answers from Clicker Trainers and Their Dogs

Click for Joy : Questions and Answers from Clicker Trainers and Their Dogs

by Melissa C. Alexander

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Sunshine Books, Incorporated
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8.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.60(d)

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1About Clicker Training1
What is clicker training?2
Will it work for my dog?4
I'm interested in canine sports. Can a dog be clicker trained for activities such as agility, tracking, competition obedience, flyball, or Schutzhund?6
Where can I find a class or private trainer?7
I can't find a clicker class. Will it confuse my dog if I attend a class that uses another method?9
Chapter 2Equipment11
What kind of equipment do I need?12
How do I juggle all the equipment? I need eight hands!15
Where can I get a clicker?16
Chapter 3That Magical Click17
What does the click mean?18
Does the click have to end the behavior?18
Do I have to treat after every click?19
Does the click have to be followed by a food treat?21
My dog doesn't seem to know the clicker means anything except that a treat is coming. How can I teach her that the click is an event marker?22
Should I carry the clicker around and click and treat every time I see the dog doing something I like?23
Will I have to use the clicker and treats forever?23
My dog is afraid of the clicker! What do I do?24
Chapter 4Reinforcement27
What can I use to reinforce my dog?28
Shouldn't my dog be working for me or for the love of the job instead of for food?30
My dog isn't interested in food/is on a restricted diet/is overweight. Can I still clicker train?32
What if I can't offer a food treat or if my dog isn't interested in the reward I'm offering?33
Does the reward have to follow the click immediately?34
If the click ends the behavior, does it matter what the dog is doing when I deliver the reward?35
Can I treat without clicking?35
All these treats... am I spoiling my dog?36
How do I move from food treats to praise only?37
How soon should I begin doing "two-fers" and "three-fers"?39
Chapter 5Getting Started41
What is "charging the clicker," and how do I do it?42
Is the timing of the click important? How can I improve my timing?44
My dog is too food-obsessed to do anything but stare at the clicker and treats. What do I do?46
What's a "crossover" dog?48
Where should I start?49
Do my dog's emotions play any part in training?50
Chapter 6Punishment, Mistakes, and Errors51
Aren't unpleasant consequences a normal part of learning?52
What do I do when my dog makes a mistake?54
What do I do if my dog intentionally disobeys a known command?55
Shouldn't I tell my dog both what he does right and what he does wrong?57
What is punishment?58
Are aversives and punishers the same thing?61
How do I solve problem behavior?62
So let me understand this. Even if my dog is running toward a busy street or about to bite someone, I'm not supposed to use punishment?63
I've read that I should mimic wolves to communicate that I'm displeased with my dogs. Is this true?64
Chapter 7About Training Sessions65
How long should I train at one time?66
How often should I train?67
Can I train more than one behavior at a time? How many behaviors can I train during one training session?68
When I start a training session, my dog "throws" all of the behaviors he knows at me. Am I damaging these behaviors if I don't reinforce them?69
Should I keep records?70
My dog gets bored easily. What should I do?71
I have more than one dog. Can I train them at the same time?72
How do I end a training session?73
Chapter 8Getting the Behavior75
What does "getting the behavior" mean?76
What do you mean by "criteria"?78
When should I click? (How do I choose my criteria?)79
How do I know when to "make it harder"--increase my criteria for training?80
I set my criteria, but my dog advanced a lot further than that. Should I raise my criteria accordingly?82
I set my criteria, now I'm getting few correct responses. Will he get better with more practice?83
How do I begin shaping?84
My dog doesn't "offer" behaviors. How can I clicker train?86
How do I shape a complex behavior, such as a fast, straight, square sit?88
How do I train a chain of behaviors, such as a formal retrieve?90
Chapter 9Making the Behavior Perfect91
How can I train a behavior before I add the cue?92
When and how do I add the cue?93
My dog is responding slowly to the cue. How can I get a faster response?96
When and how do I fade the clicker?97
How do I add duration to a behavior?98
How do I add distance to a behavior?100
How do I train against distractions?101
How do I generalize to different locations and situations?103
Chapter 10Reliability and Fluency105
Are clicker-trained behaviors reliable?106
All this cookie training is great, but how do I teach my dog there are some instances where he has no choice?108
I don't simply want to participate--I want to win! Are clicker-trained behaviors precise enough and reliable enough for competition?110
You say I can do competition obedience, but I can't use a clicker or food in the ring. How can I clicker train?111
What is "fluent" and how do I get there?112
How long will it take to train my dog?114
At what point does my dog "know" what is being asked of him?116
Chapter 11Specific Behaviors117
If my dog already knows a behavior, should I use the clicker?118
What is targeting, and why should I do it?118
How can I get my dog to pay attention to me even in a distracting environment?120
How do I train my dog to sit?124
How do I train my dog to lie down?126
How do I train my dog to come when called?128
How do I train my dog to walk on a loose leash?131
How do I train my dog to stay?137
My dog pulls on leash, and a friend recommended a head halter. Unfortunately, my dog hates it! What do I do?138
How do I crate train my dog?140
How can I train a behavior not covered here? (Making a training plan.)144
Chapter 12Solving Problem Behavior147
How do I stop destructive chewing?148
How do I stop my dog from barking?149
How do I stop puppy mouthing? (Bite inhibition training)151
How do I stop jumping?154
How do I handle fearful behavior?156
How do I handle aggression toward other dogs?158
How do I handle aggression toward children, strangers, or other people?161
Chapter 13Beyond Training163
How do I build a good relationship with my dog?164
What is management? How do I "set my dog up for success"?166
What are the practical uses of training in everyday life?167
My dog is constantly throwing behaviors at me, even when we're not training. How can I stop this?169
How can I know when my dog is stressed, and what can I do about it?170
How do I socialize a new puppy?172
How can I establish myself as the "leader" in my home?174
Chapter 14Beyond Method: The Underlying Science177
What is operant conditioning?178
Are clicker training and operant conditioning the same thing?181
What's the difference between punishment and extinction? Which should I use and why?182
Sometimes extinction doesn't work. Why not and what should I do?184
What's a "no reward marker" (NRM)?185
Continuous reinforcement, differential reinforcement, variable reinforcement--what do these terms mean? And how are they relevant for my training?186
What is a keep-going signal?188
What's a jackpot, and when should I give one?189
What's the Premack principle?190
What's a satiation curve?191
What's the future of clicker training?192

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