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Flashy Friday Week 2!

Flashy Friday! Week 2 -  "Spin" Whew! A whole week between posts, sorry guys! Like I've mentioned before we're pr...

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Flashy Friday Blog Hop!

Flashy Friday!
Week 1

Hey fur-friends! Welcome to Flashy Friday!

Part of our 2016 New Years Resolution is to really commit to our trick training. The book 101 Dog Tricks by, Kyra Sundance has been sitting on my coffee table for over a year now. Poor book, it's been sitting there. All alone, collecting dog/cat hair, slobber (the dogs fling far and wide!), and dust. Barely cracked open, a couple pages marked *things we want to learn*.

Well no more! Here's where you come in!

We're inviting you to join us for a new blog hop - Flashy Friday to be exact! If you're new to trick training their are lots of great videos on youtube, Kyra Sundance is a well known trick trainer who uses positive reinforcement, she has tons of videos we highly recommend you checking out. Some other great trainers we love are Kiko Pup and Karen Pryor.

Quick Intro to Positive Reinforcement Based Training.

I used to hate clickers...until I understood how they are meant to be used.

Quick blast from the past - Dante and Ziva are the reason we initially began learning about training methods and dog behavior. It was with Ziva where it really all started.

I grew up following dominance based theories, if the dog doesn't do what you want you punish the dog for disobedience. We quickly jumped to conclusions such as, "the dog is being dominant or pushy". I wish I had known better, but we didn't. We loved watching a certain television celebrity, and quickly jumped on the bandwagon using alpha role techniques. Looking back it makes me kind of sad, but we DID learn a lot! I also learned alpha techniques don't really work, in fact it tends to make things worse for everyone involved.

We began to research how to deal with unwanted dog behaviors such as food aggression/resource guarding with our first foster Tex-Anna. Poor dog was a mess! We learned a lot with her and Dante just helped us keep the ball rolling as we continued to learn about positive reinforcement, but he was an easy dog.

Ziva, however, was a different story. Ziva was never dog reactive until she was attacked by a Mastiff, probably during a fear stage of her puppy brain development. Our little girl began snarling and lunging when she'd see a dog from a distance. It certainly got worse the closer we got to the other dog.

We tried a couple different techniques because we weren't sure what to do, jerking on her collar and attempting to force her to quit looking at the other dog made us feel like assholes and resulted in a still high anxiety, now trembling puppy whose reactivity worsened.
And what did she learn from it?  Other dog = mom/dad being mean.

However clicker training changed all that by helping us associate dogs with treats/toys/fun things, breaking the cycle of her fear reactivity to a quiet although suspicious look in the other dogs direction. Yes I still bring toys and treats when we go for walks, it is our tool and it works! We can NOW safely and quietly walk past maniacal dogs behind fences and ill-mannered dogs on the sidewalk. Other dog = fun things happen, pay attention to mom/dad!

The whole point of using a clicker is to very quickly - Mark your dog's behavior. For example if you ask for a, "sit" as soon as the dog's butt hit's the ground you *click, and reward your pup.
If your dog has never been introduced to a clicker you want to start by associating the clicker with food. This is called, "Charging your Clicker".

Exercise 1: Treat Association
*Click - Treat
*Click - Treat
*Click - Treat
Do this about 10 - 20 times.
Now start walking.
*Click - Treat
*Click - Treat
Do this again for 10 - 20 times.

Here is great intro to Clicker training from Kiko Pup!

And if you have more questions about it, HERE is a link to Karen Pryor's website answering basic questions about clicker training.

This week's challenge was: Free Shaping a Trick using a prop.

Ziva already knows how to "target" - front paws on an object. However she tends to be wary of new objects even if the behavior is known especially if the object wobbles in any way, so what we did was ask for her known behavior on a brand new object, in this case our cooler which you guessed it - tends to wobble.

She was a bit skeptical at first, but she quickly got the hang of it!  Yay Ziva!

A video posted by DZ Dog Mom (@dzdogadventures) on

Dante also learning to "target" with two paws on!

The awesome thing about using positive reinforcement based training methods is that while we are learning tricks, these techniques can be directly applied to training different behaviors.

This is how we taught Jack to "heel" both on and off leash as well as many other things; crate training, sit, down, stay, beg/sit pretty, bang/play dead, shake, bounce... i'm sure i'm missing some. He was such a smart dog! From runaway risk to successful off leash took us a good 6 months to accomplish but we did it! And his family informed me he's still doing great!

Sorry its so dark, we're hoping for rain today, just wanted to show you Jack's progress! From runaway risk to low distraction off leash sessions, he's doing great! πŸΎπŸ‘πŸΎπŸ‘πŸΎπŸ‘πŸΎπŸ‘πŸΎ #FinesseNotForce #prongcollarssuck #positivedogtraining #positivelytrained #prongisntwrong yes it is!! We train using positive methods, this does not mean that their are no consequences but rather that we don't use pain to teach a dog to do what we want him to do. To loosely quote @zoepheedogs we Manage their behavior, Train alternative behaviors, we are Consistent, we Exercise and Mentally Stimulate our dogs, and we give Timeouts when necessary. Many trainers would have put Jack on an e-collar to teach him not to runaway, but why use shock when you can teach him in a different manner? You may think it's working for your dog but you may just not be seeing the consequences yet, aversive training boils down to lazy dog trainers who want a quick fix rather than an actual trained and learned behavior, positive training stretches beyond tools and only requires you. #chokecollars and #prongcollars are painful and damaging to your dog and your relationship. #PositiveTrainersUnite ! πŸ‘Š #rescuedogs #foster #adoptdontshop #dogtraining #dzdogs #muttsrule #anexerciseddogisahappydog @twoblockheads
A video posted by DZ Dog Mom (@dzdogadventures) on

Each week on Friday we will be posting a video or picture of our accomplished or trick we're working on, along with some tips/troubleshooting we learned along the way, and then we will be posting next weeks challenge for you to play along if you'd like!

Now Hop to! Copy the Flashy Friday Page to your blog post, link back to your host that'd be us - and enter the linky list!

A few other posts about clicker training if you want to read more!

Training Using Free Shaping

Understanding Poisoned Words.

Crate Training Using Positive Reinforcement.

Training a a dog to not bolt out of the door.

Teaching Ziva Impulse Control using a clicker!

I hope you enjoy our Flashy Friday Blog Hop! Join the hop or just enjoy the links below!
Please grab the badge and link back to your host!

Next Week's Challenge:  Spin both directions!!


  1. A great post full of valuable info! Me and Stanley are clicker dogs. Mom says it really helps us understand what she wants!

    Keep Calm & Bark On!

    Murphy & Stanley

  2. This is awesome! They did so good learning to stand on the ice chest! Great job!

  3. This is great! We've been a bit lax on teaching new tricks lately so this is good inspiration!

  4. Blueberry and I both hate the sound of the clicker, but I still use treats. I suspect that if I were using a clicker it would take less time for her to learn new things but I am not in any rush. :)

    1. Hahaha! Well if you're happy! I used to hate clickers too, but now they don't bother me.

  5. Hailey got the clicker, but Phod was terrified when we first got him. As an abuse survivor we didn't know if the sound reminded him of something so we stopped. I have never gotten back to it, I really should.

    1. I sometimes use "yes" to verbally mark a behavior instead of the clicker. :-) Have you guys tried that?

  6. This is so great! I love clicker training. Nola is my first dog and has been positively trained from the get-go, but family dogs were always dominance based trained. I'm happy to say I've now converted my parents to positive reinforcement, too. It's kind of adorable to see my tough dad toting around a treat bag, haha.

    1. That's awesome!!! My parents are coming around too! :-)

  7. What a great post and so informative! I have a clicker but I've never used it :(


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