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Is anybody tried clicker training. I’ve been only reading books about it. But didn’t have time to start it. If anyone had a positive experience – may be can share? The only advice I got from a friend that you don’t really need a clicker for it – you can use finger snapping, or tongue – to make a clicking sound. It might be really easy. Don’t think that possible to carry clicker always with you.

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Hello Inna ~

I have not tried clicker training. Joss is very very food motivated so we use treats (his favorite is ham, if I told him to fly with ham in my hand I think he'd grow wings). I am training Joss like I did my first setter and so far he has exceeded my expectations for picking up lessons. I am very eager to get him into an obedience class so he has more puppies and people around when I ask him to do things. He can do his work at home in the house just fine but I want to know he can work through distractions also.

He knows Sit, Stay, Come, Wait, Finish (this was nearly impossible for my old setter but with ham in hand it took Joss only 24 hrs!!), Lay Down, Roll Over, Watch Me, Off, No Bite/Gentle and Heel. Each 'trick' has a particular hand signal and I am also very happy to note he recognises that 'Watch Me' means I will use no more voice commands and he must pay attention to only the hand signals.

He is getting much better on his leash work and for the most part knows to remain on my left side and no further than a few steps in front of me before expecting a correction. But he's still a puppy and walks are for fun so I let him cheat on the way down to the park, on the way home after he's bounded around and sniffed the planet we work on walking correctly.

So far a structured game is not something he really gets. He's rather lazy during the days with bursts of energy. We go for out walks, play a little fetch (which turns into him chasing but not retrieving the stick as he gets bored), we do some obedience work and then he's asleep for a few hours. He gets up, goes potty and we repeat. He chews his toys and romps around with me great but if I asked him to go get a toy he doesnt seem to understand. I am working with the words 'stick' 'toy' 'ball' 'stuffie' and hoping he can figure those out soon, then maybe we'll get better at 'Get your ------!' or 'Find your -------?' and 'Fetch the -----!"

Please keep me updated as to whether the clicker training is something you and Amber enjoy!

Amber does well with clicker. Yesterday before going to work I was on a kitchen making sandwiches for family lunches. Amber was with me – watching. I decide to spend a little time and remind her clicker – since we just started. I teach her to go to her mat, lay down on it, even when I move mat to different places.
She got it. When she goes to the mat, I throw treat a bit farther, so she need to get up to get it. After she goes back to mat, and so on. Since I am always in a hurry in the mornings, we did a short session of clicking and then I hanged mat over the ex-pan side. Amber got in to the ex-pen, drugged mat out and brought it to the kitchen and lay on it. I was laughing watching her watching me. I got a smart one. Now it’s all up to me to teach her.
I had to read this story to my husband as this just made me laugh!! They really are a smart group of puppies - sometimes too smart!! Great story Inna.
She did the same again yesterday night. My best friend came over and I showed her how Amber listens and goes on a rug. After we finished, I put it away and she bought it back.
But she still doesn't want to stay on it for longer time. When family having dinner she wouldn't stay on it. Just need to practice and practice. And probable more practice.
I am so excited to tell you all that I am very proud of my dog! Yesterday in the morning I show her how to do “shake” (giving me a paw). We did it may be 3 minutes in the morning AND in the evening SHE DID IT HERSELF!!!! She got it! Can you imagine! She is brilliant! I am so so so proud of her!
It’s very encouraging to get a quick results, even with something not very complicated and “shake”. But still – I am full of confidence that we’ll do fine!
Congratulations Inna & Amber! I love it when they just pick something up like a dream.
I am getting more and more confident with our success. At lunch time in the office I have time to look at dog’s websites and get new ideas what to train my Amber. Last night I tried couple new things and she got it all. It works. Clicker training – GREAT!
I thought her to touch my hand. We repeat this morning – she remembers it. In the beginning – she was biting my hand. I might click and treat by mistake once – so she thought this is what I expect from her. Funny.
One of the biggest problems we have – it’s barking. Her voice is beautiful, but a bit too loud. My ears are ringing after her barks. And my daughter cries – saying they hurt. Anyways – she barks mostly when she wants something from me – mostly it is food that is not for her.
So I start teaching her yesterday command “speak” (with a hand signal) and a bit later show her new command “Shhhh”. SHE GOT IT!
I realize we have lots of practice to do, but at least I have a smart dog and she understands what I want from her. Now it’s all up to me. I do hope I’ll find enough time and energy to continue training her.
Please guys white about you! I want to know if anyone is as much excited with their dog as I am!
Hi Inna!

It sounds like you are doing wonderful with Amber! I too think Izzie is wonderful! I haven't done much work with her yet, like it sounds like everyone else has. She goes everywhere with me and I have yet to be disapointed in her. She has a really great memory, for doing the right thing and for remembering where all the dead things are along the road. I did start working a little obedience with her a month or so ago and she went through that "I'm confused stage". She could remember that she was suppose to do something but not what it was. For example, she's not allowed to go running up to people or other dogs while we are out running. She doesn't have to do anything she's just not allowed to approach them but the other day we were at the golf course and there was a man walking a black lab and Iz saw them but confused the "don't approach" with her sit when she is healing. I look over and she's sitting on top of a hill just watching them go by. I had to release her. It was funny cause I knew she was thinking "I'm suppose to do something but I can't remember what it is".

We also had a funny thing happen Sunday at the golf course. Iz had dropped behind me and was sniffing a water meter cover. It had black stuff coming up out of the hole but when I looked closer the black stuff was moving and all of a sudden Iz comes diving across the grass running along with her nose buried in the grass thrashing around and it dawns on me that she's covered with bees and more headed our way. Thank God she has so much hair on her back cause they were lighting on her back and trying to dig in. I'm swatting, we're running and we finally outdistinced them. Poor Iz's face blew up like a balloon that night though. Couldn't hardly see out of her one eye. She was pretty for Mothers day at my house.

Oh just one more "smart puppy" story. We took Izzie up and had her snake trained two weeks ago. They put a shock coller on them that has settings from 1 to 10. They put them on a long line and the first cage they take them up to is full of rattlesnakes with no rattles but it smells awful. Iz goes up to it and they zap her at about a three and then they take off running (teaches the dog to run away from the smell). Then they walk out across the desert to another pen that has two huge rattlers in it and they start rattling from 100 yards away. Course Iz is like what's that sound? and she goes inching up to the cage and as soon as she gets sorta close they zap her again and she took off running. The last one is a concrete pipe, like 10 inches in diameter and they have capped the ends with wire so the snakes can't get out and put one in there that rattles, cause dogs like to go stick their noses down in holes and culverts when they hear that sound, and poor Iz had had enough. As soon as she heard that snake she wouldn't have any of it. They tried to walk her around to the other side and come in from a different angle but the snake started up again and Iz took off and when they tried to drag her closer she laid down and they had to drag her in. There was no way she was getting anywhere close to that noise or smell. Snake training won't save them if they stumble across one while running but it helps if they can smell or hear one.

Keep up all the good work and keep writing, I love to hear about all the puppies. Lora
Hi Inna & Lora ~
I'm so stoked for Amber with the clicker. And well, not stoked for lil' Iz and the bees. We had a HUGE tree blow over in the neighborhood and it was full of bees. I didn't see this but James was out walking Joss and he did. Oddly, Joss was not as interested as James was. You can guess who got the bees to chase them HAHA! No stings though.
Joss participated in his first show a few weeks ago, he got first in IS Puppy 3-9mnth and 3rd in the group. He had a great time at that event and we are planning to go to 2 days of shows in June. Cross our fingers it will be just as fun!
Joss has found his BIG dog bark now and he's guarding the yard like a pro. James took the bike out the back gate for a change and rode down to the store to pick up a few things for dinner. Until that night he's always taken the bike out the front, we seldom use the back gate. So Joss and I were in the back yard and it was getting dark when James came home. I was fooling around in a flower bed when I hear this really scary growl. I turned around and Joss has his hackles up and he's all crouched down. Then I heard James fiddling with the gate latch and the bike. He opened the gate and pushed in the bike - WHOA I had to grab Joss fast! He was barking and growling and I was laughing so hard while James is juggling grocery bags the bike and calling out to Joss, telling him it's ok. Remember it's dark so Joss really didn't even believe that it was James for a good minute he was so far across the yard I don't think Joss could see him clearly. He had to set the bike aside, drop the groceries and then I had to walk Joss over to see that it was really James. He took a few good sniffs before he believed it too then he was all bounce and wiggle cause Dad was home. Well, at least we're safe!
Amber that's funny about Joss barking cause I've owned Setters all my life and I've never had one as protective as this one. She tries to eat everyone when they come in the yard even my son and husband and then she's all embarrased when she realizes who it is. But she gets down right mean!

Congrats on your show! wish things would slow down enough for me to even go looking. I can't imagine showing my furry little mess. Still I get "what kind of dog is that?" Even my husband keeps bugging me to shave it all off. Sometimes she looks like a setter but mainly when she's flying across a field hunting birds. C'est la vie!
Hi All,

How wonderful to hear about the puppies - it just makes my day. I have done the snake training with my 12 mo old boy and it was interesting. Lora - do you do it more than once or is once enough?? I was wondering if I needed to repeat the training as he was only about 7 month old when I did it. Inna - I think the clicker training you are doing is amazing - I may just have to try it. So good to hear about Joss - can't wait to hear how he does at his first show.

Rio is also very smart - way too smart!! She loves to chew up anything paper and she can sneak anything out of any room or off of any counter before we even know what is going on. Tonight I came home to a paper towel mess everywhere. Her and my dachshund puppy (5 months old) play chase around the picnic table and all you can do is laugh. She is very birdy and spends hours "stalking" the birds. When she can't find birds she stalks the dachshunds! lol Her first show is over Memorial Day weekend. It is going to be pretty funny in the ring as Rio continually wiggles her butt. But...you guys should have seen her mother Journey - she never could hold a stack well because everytime the judge came up she would wiggle so hard she would almost fall over. Sure made some judges smile though...

Inna - Amber's mom was soooo very food driven it was almost scary. She would literally eat something right out of a frying pan if I turned my back. So...I know where Amber gets her love of food!

Lora - these puppies carry a ton of top coat. You need to "strip" it out - you can use a Mars Coat King #26 fine blade. It pulls out the long puppy coat pretty quickly and makes a HUGE difference. Don't let your husband convince you to shave the topcoat - it never comes back the same. I am stripping Rio about twice a week and she still had long topcoat. You can order a Mars Coat King from the website www.petedge.com -
they are the cheapest.

So good to hear from you all.

Hi Pam,

You know that we're heavy snakes down here, never a weekend goes by that I don't run into one or two while riding, so the school suggested that we do it again in the fall, right around a year of age and then they offer a cheaper price, I think $25 to redo it once a year, which we probably will do a least for a couple of years as we come into summer snake season.

I know not to shave the puppy coat out, it's like shaving a baby horse, they're three years old before they ever have a decent coat again but I guess my question is, Iz has a really heavy mahoganey coat on her back and then her head and legs are covered in yellow puppy fuz. She has adult feathering coming in on her tail but her legs are all puppy fur. When I use the stripper I don't do her adult coat on her back right? just the legs and head?

I'm in trouble. I never did like halter horses I'm more of a rider. How do you feel about her getting her obedience titles instead of her "pretty" title? (kinda kidding) I need help! Guess I'd better make some calls.





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