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There was a reallly good article in this months Whole Dog Journal about training an over reactive dog that I decided to try with Rocky. He is a 5 month old half chow half husky who over reacts on walks to any sight/sound by hiding behind me and coming to a stop. He was developing a real fear of other dogs because they would all run out of their yards barking at him and other people on walks would let their dogs lunge at him barking and growling. I suppose they thought their dogs were just "being friendly".
We always do clicker/treat training with Rocky anyway so the clicker/treat approach to reactive training worked WONDERS for him. It only took one of two walks for him to walk right past dogs now without hiding behind me at all. His tail will still drop to half mast but I slip him a treat and a click and he keeps on walking. It must be body language because the dogs in their yards don't even bark when he walks by them anymore. Rocky actually trots ahead of us on his walks now and instead of being scared of the horses we visit, he stuck his head in the horse fence to sniff the horse and then laid down with his back to them out of boredom. It's a real good article and I think it's available on their website to read. His teacher in puppy kindergarten was amazed at his confidence this week. He even let her snuggle him and he kissed her face for the first time ever!
 

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Cool. It's amazing how many people laugh at clicker training and have no interest in using it. It is absolutely, beyond a doubt, the fastest most effective way to teach proper behavior to any animal no matter what the species. I have trained dogs, cats, rats, mice, birds of prey, and chickens using a clicker. I have watched and/or worked with clicker trainers working with elephants, rhino, gorillas, orangs, rabbits, llamas, horses, otters, seals, dolphins and killer whales. I have seen a video of gold fish being trained using the same principles.

I taught clicker training for 6 years.
 

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Wigs??? WTH?

Chowder- I read the article and have been doing it with my dog too! I started last Monday. Clyde will go to the door or window and bark at nothing. So now as soon as he barks I say "leave it" and he stops immediately and runs to me for a treat. I was afraid he would start barking just to get a treat (He's VERY food motivated). But actually he is rarely barking anymore and has been alot calmer. He caught on by the second time he barked and it's been working well ever since!

I haven't done clicker training yet, but am very interested now. It's been constant training with this nutty dog. I think he has fear aggression due to puppymill breeding and a terribly neglectful and abusive home up until he was 8 months old. We have done obedience classes and have seen a behaviorist. The clicker training sounds like it may work well with Clyde since his issues are behavior issues. I think I'm going to go get a clicker today! :)
 

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Rocky is the second Chow that I have clicker trained and it is a great training method. There are several books on the subject but you can find out a lot just by doing searches on the internet. There are a lot of classes out there that do clicker training. Rocky was very scared and reacted to every sound when we got him from a rescue but he has improved tremendously. One of the best things he's learned is to "watch Momma" (or you can just say "watch me'). It focus's all his attention on me while we are in class or out in public and doesn't let him get over stimulated by a strange sight or sound. The teacher practiced it with me by rolling tennis balls past him while he was watching me and he'd keep his eyes on me the whole time. You can practice it at home or on walks when cars or squirrels go by. It's good for hyper dogs (or nutty ones!).
 

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Cool. It's amazing how many people laugh at clicker training and have no interest in using it. It is absolutely, beyond a doubt, the fastest most effective way to teach proper behavior to any animal no matter what the species. I have trained dogs, cats, rats, mice, birds of prey, and chickens using a clicker. I have watched and/or worked with clicker trainers working with elephants, rhino, gorillas, orangs, rabbits, llamas, horses, otters, seals, dolphins and killer whales. I have seen a video of gold fish being trained using the same principles.

I taught clicker training for 6 years.
I laugh at clicker training because of how fast Owen will be in a completely different room when I want him to come work on new stuff and I blink and he is right there!!! :) It is the funniest thing in the world. But we have to do something when I tease him like that or he will just think nothing of it before long. I will usually work on his focus and his sit/down/stay stuff.
The other thing that he goes crazy for is his ball. It doesn't really matter what ball it is or who it really belongs to, when he sees it, it's his and he is the most focused dog!! Izzy started trying to pick a fight with him last night and he kept walking away from her and then I picked up his ball. I don't think I have ever seen a dog fly around so fast to focus on that ball. I threw the ball and he didn't even see Izzy and ran her over! She could not figure out what was so interesting about that thing I was throwing away from him!
 

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I laugh at clicker training because of how fast Owen will be in a completely different room when I want him to come work on new stuff and I blink and he is right there!!! :) It is the funniest thing in the world. But we have to do something when I tease him like that or he will just think nothing of it before long. I will usually work on his focus and his sit/down/stay stuff.
The other thing that he goes crazy for is his ball. It doesn't really matter what ball it is or who it really belongs to, when he sees it, it's his and he is the most focused dog!! Izzy started trying to pick a fight with him last night and he kept walking away from her and then I picked up his ball. I don't think I have ever seen a dog fly around so fast to focus on that ball. I threw the ball and he didn't even see Izzy and ran her over! She could not figure out what was so interesting about that thing I was throwing away from him!
I was watching the Incredible Dog Challenge this week and one of the Agility Dog owners used a tennis ball as her dog's reward when he finished his course. All that dog cared about was getting that tennis ball at the end!! Must save a fortune in treats.
 

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I was watching the Incredible Dog Challenge this week and one of the Agility Dog owners used a tennis ball as her dog's reward when he finished his course. All that dog cared about was getting that tennis ball at the end!! Must save a fortune in treats.
Oh believe me I do!! :) especially when it was just me and him. Now I have the other dogs and I have to use treats again. The 2 new ones don't know what I am doing when I start playing with them. They have been outside dogs and they think I am a loon for trying to play!! :)
 

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The one Chow pup I adopted (and then lost soon after) had been raised outside alone and didn't know how to play. It was the first dog I had that didn't know how to play and I'd never seen that before. It was really sad. Luckily Rocky was from a rescue group that fostered all it's dogs in family homes and he was only 8 weeks old. He can't stop playing! As soon as we move and get our farm (we are newly 'forced to retire') I want to get into chow rescue. I am amazed at the number of Chows out there that need to be taken care of now. People are just dumping their dogs left and right.
 
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