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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...

Monday, February 1, 2016

Training Confession

Pay No Attention To That Mom Behind The Curtain!

My poor dogs put up with so much from me sometimes! Normally I only show our training successes but our training challenge for the "Positive Pet Training Hop" was to write up a post about a training mistake. Or a couple in my case...

Things I am good at? I'm great at using my clicker and marking the behavior that I want to mark.

But I am also to early sometimes and click before they have completed what I asked them to - thus marking the wrong behavior. I also mix up my verbal cues, change my verbal cues, say a verbal and give the wrong hand signal, move my body too much during training, talk too much to my dogs, drop treats, hand out the treats too slow, forget to throw a treat party for a big success, occasionally make to large of a training jump for a new trick, lure too much, and sometimes get frustrated at myself when I'm clearly not communicating in an effective manner.

*Sigh... This is why I started Flashy Friday though, to hold myself accountable and to not give up teaching Dante and Ziva new tricks! I hope you guys will join us soon! Every Friday I post the last week's challenge video and a new challenge to work on, if we don't get more hoppers joining in then I'll keep posting - because really it is for us and your enjoyment. But I will end the linky list for a while. Check it out if you haven't already!! Week 1 Flashy Friday - Target & Week 2 - Spin.

Trick training is so much fun! It definitely helps your dog to learn to focus more, on rainy wet and stormy days it's a great way to exercise their brain if you don't want to brave the elements, certain tricks can be good muscle building exercises for your dogs, and of course who doesn't love a chance to show off their moves!

I'm the goof this time..

Here is a recent session with Dante, it's unedited... Poor Dante dealing with a confusing mom like me. The first thing I did was signal him for a clockwise turn and use the wrong verbal, "counter" for counter-clockwise...No wonder he hasn't picked this one up with verbals yet!

However this is a learning process right? So we must remain focused and optimistic, we've already accomplished a lot and the year has just begun! Our hardest trick so far has been "beg", it took Dante a whole month to figure it out and I was trying everything! And then Ziva immediately got it figured out after watching Dante do it. It's one of my favorite tricks actually, I think it makes Dante look like an adorable giant sized chocolate meerkat!

"Hello Ladies!!  I'm kissabull!!"
Trick training though has helped me be a little more creative in problem solving, for example with "crawl" Dante kept popping back up into a stand position instead of staying on his belly. After some brainstorming we tried getting him to go under a chair and it worked!

Although I wish I had an unedited version of that first training session...there I was laying on my belly trying to coax Dante to stay in a down position and crawl. I think he thought I was nuts not to mention mean cause I kept dragging the treat slightly further from his nose! Hahaha! But he's got it figured out now.

I would like to say thank you to Dante and Ziva for putting up with the slightly nutty mom hiding behind the camera. Usually withholding a treat or toy to get the perfect picture, they are always so enthusiastic when it comes to training time. Ziva with her great focus and Dante with his psycho exuberance.

I love positive training, with some patience, time, and maybe some creative thinking you can do anything.


  1. I click too early all the time, too! It's so frustrating, haha.

  2. I'm a terrible trainer. Most times I forget the clicker and have to rely on my verbal cues, I forget the names of my cues, and I change my cues. Thank goodness most of the time my dogs figure out what I want.

    I think you did pretty well. :-)

    1. Hahahaha, our poor dogs! Glad to know i'm not the only one who is confusing!

  3. Creativity is definitely why I love positive training! I have confessed many times that I didn't used to be 100% positive. When I think to teaching a crawl by pushing on a dogs back it makes me cringe but it also requires no thought or skill. The critical thinking required to stand back and figure out "how can we do that?" or "how can we improve that?" is just a better experience for the human and not just the dog.

    I am also guilty of clicking too soon and luring. It basically comes down to patience and even trust in my dogs. They will figure it out, they always do! I don't have to lure them or click at the wrong time. It is a good thing they are smarter than me and forgive my training bads! Thanks for joining the hop!

  4. Dante is awesome & looks so cute begging and I have to say, I'm not at all good with clicker training, I use signals and verbal commands better.

  5. mmmm, Chocolate Meerkat! I love that picture!

  6. I am so guilty of lumping! I have to be careful about it because Mr. N gets super frustrated when he's not "right." Dante's beg is adorable.

  7. I think that's the awesome thing about PR if you mess up the dog might just end up a little confused versus the fallout that happens with punishment. :)

    They are too cute! :D

  8. You all look like you are having SO much fun, and I think that is the most important thing. I screw up all the time....I tend to miss the behavior I'm looking for when shaping and miss clicking and treating it. When my hubby and I took Luke to a trainer, the trainer said my hubby was way better at the clicker than I was (in a joking way). Ironically, I do all the training now though! My post will be up tomorrow. We had a good month so I didn't go with the theme this time!
    Jan, Wag 'n Woof Pets

  9. awww...what a man! :P

    best wishes, luana

  10. I think it's probably better to click too early than too late! When we first started shaping, I decided to aim to click a second before I thought something would have happened, if that makes sense! It was really important to click when Nala was moving and not still, because she didn't really know how to offer lots of behaviors, and if I waited too long she just wouldn't move at all. So I don't think that clicking early and often is a problem at all. ;)

  11. It isn't easy to get the clicker timing just right, which is one of the reasons that I'm so freaked out by aversive methods.


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