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Customer Review

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Changed my training style.., May 1, 2012
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This review is from: Teaching the Dog to Think: My Year of Dog Agility Training with My Collie, Willow (Paperback)
I borrowed this book for my kindle (I'm an amazon prime member) I was just browsing for "dog training books", this came up. I thought Hmmm, sounds interesting.

It is no exaggeration to say that I changed my style of teaching my dogs! After reading this book cover to cover, I did clicker training with my young dog. First thing I did was "down." She's had a decent down, but I've always had to stoop down and lure her with a treat.

*5* minutes and she was dropping down when I asked for it.

the one thing that was kind of odd was when she was training willow for the dogwalk in agility. Her trainer had her luring Willow onto the "plank" I was wondering why bother? Just use shaping?

Joe Fisher
Kalispell, MT
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: May 5, 2012 7:11:15 PM PDT
Hi Joe...good question on luring! While luring is usually the least favorite method of clicker trainers, there are still times it's useful. While you certainly can shape a dog to do the dogwalk, and indeed many of us do, it's not a particularly good method for a class, because it generally takes a long time for a dog to be shaped to do it. Many dogs in a class setting wouldn't ever go over it at all, as shaping is often best done at home when you can give the dog several short sessions every day. Once a week just isn't going to work. Luring is often a good way to introduce the dog to the dogwalk, just to get them comfortable with the idea of even going over it at all. It lets the handlers and dogs have some success and many dogs once they get their footing after going over it a few times will happily do it afterwards without a lure. Another popular method is back-chaining, where you pick the dog up or use the pause table placed next to it to have the dog just do the exit plank, about halfway down. When they are happily doing that, you can back up and have them do 3/4 of the down plank. Then the entire plank. And then so on until you are all the way back at the start.

Hope that helps!

In reply to an earlier post on May 6, 2012 9:37:29 PM PDT
Joe F. says:
Good points all Mary Jo. I did try back chaining with my young dog Teaghan. She was *so* freaked when I lifted her on the exit plank that I knew I had to do a different way.
For now I have a 4 foot rubber covered piece of shelving in my living room. I'm shaping her to get on it, but you're right. That wouldn't work in a class setting.

In reply to an earlier post on May 7, 2012 7:54:15 AM PDT
Yeah, a lot of dogs don't like being lifted up, that's why we'll use the pause table, so they can jump up on that, and then come down the ramp themselves. But yeah, making your own training plank at home is always a good idea as well. Bigger dogs in particular do better with regular practice on planks to get comfortable with them.
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