Oz Working Dogs - Assistance & Working Dog Equipment

For assistance/service dog equipment, as well as guide, therapy, detection, search & rescue, police and dogs in training equipment check out my website http://www.ozworkingdogs.com.au - I make and sell vests, capes, belly bands, harnesses, handles and more... and will post to the world!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Clickers arrived today!

I know it is very much getting ahead of myself, but I had clickers arrive today, purchased from ebay. The fiance and I had some silly fun clicking each other for things, and a tiny bit of serious practicing timing. I will be using the clicker to train my dog, (assuming I am able to get one without too much of a fight) as it really seems the way to go these days for early puppy training right up to the advanced stuff you expect from a highly trained service dog.

I wish clicker training had been more popular when I trained my Cavalier King Charles Spaniel (who died, young, in 2000 after a battle with a nasty heart murmur). While the place I did my training then did use positive reinforcement, its techniques were nowhere near as flexible and full of possibilities as clicker training.

The main places I have been getting my information from on clicker training have been the user "supernaturalbc2008" on YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/user/supernaturalbc2008), who posts many videos helping people all over the world train their own service dogs with clicker training. They also have a blog here at http://www.onlineclickertraining.blogspot.com/ with more information, with even sessions for sale over webcam for clicker training all over the world if you need help! The other fantastic place is Karen Pryor's http://www.clickertraining.com/, with videos and articles by many different trainers. Some of the videos are free, some of the you have to pay for. I plan on buying some of the puppy clicker videos when (hopefully not if!) I get my pup. There are a lot of other places with moderate amounts of clicker information, but I have found the supernaturalbc videos best for service training in practice, and the Karen Pryor site by far the best for clicker training theory.

As for the other training aspects a puppy needs, I have a book on socialisation and raising puppies right arriving soon which I hope should get the pup off to a good start on socialisation. I have been making lists in my mind every time I got out, and looking around at places to see if they would be ok for my pup-to-be. I've read the puppy should meet 100 people by the time it is 12 weeks old. Considering it doesn't have full immunity from shots until 16 weeks, that means you have to try to pick places for meeting people that dogs aren't going to be. Also you need to chose places where there will be a wide range of ages, ethnic mixes, energies etc. I still have some considering to do to get a solid 8-16 week socialisation program worked out. Meeting lots of people and places, going for lots of car trips etc, but without contact with other dogs. Tricky! Then at 16 weeks he can start meeting adult dogs, and that means we can go to a wider range of places. I know it isn't good for the dog to go everywhere with me, I just need to get that happy medium. I want to give my dog the best chance to turn out well, and suited to my needs, as possible.

As for gear I have a fairly good idea of which way I am going, we will start at six-ish months with a pretty simple light harness, enough to help me up and pull me along a bit, keep me steady at times of dizziness and migraines, but not a full-on harness until the dogs growth plates are settling and it can take some weight from me. In the very early stages I'll just have an assistance dog in training cape on, maybe a very light harness to get it used to wearing one from day dot and so it knows what 'work clothes' are. Thinking of using a light martingale collar as the main training collar, we shall see closer to the time. I used a choke chain last time and whilst it was effective a properly fitted martingale should be perfectly sufficient for a clicker trained puppy.

Anyway, that's all for now. Those are just some of my training thoughts and ramblings.

1 comment:

  1. dog clicker training makes your dog a happy and obedient dog.