My Thorn is SO much better after an incident where he (sort of) bit someone... (a previous thread)
I've been fetching him to exhaustion every day and training every day.
I fully believed my Thorn would respond best to "clicker" training and he currently understands that clicker=treat; that is to say the clicker has been charged.
I love the positive methods of training - though many claim you have to be fairly dominant, rough, or aggressive with ACDs, Thorn is very soft and downright mellow for an ACD - in fact IME he seems more mellow than other young dogs in general with the exception of his response to (a) other dogs, and (b) introductions/appearance of new people on the scene. He isn't aggressive usually, just very excited.
Today I had a training experience, and I'm wondering if the click isn't working as well on him as praise. He faithfully sits, down, stays; pretty good recall and "leave-it", off is a challenge but getting better. I have been working on a couple of simple tricks.
Today I was teaching him to "spin" to his left. I worked for about 5 minutes, capturing/shaping each movement; click, treat. He was "sort of" getting it after 5 minutes - he learns quickly! Then, I ran out of treats, went to get more, got distracted... etc etc. We went to another room and I decided to see if he'd spin, for the heck of it. Well, after a couple of tries he sort of did a spin, and I went nuts with praise, let him jump up on me and cuddled him. Then I said "spin" and did my hand motion; he did the spin right away! I praised him, and he did it again! He responded and learned much more rapidly with praise than he did with treat alone, or with click-and-treat.
So should I just start praising him? He sucks it up! The trainers we have been planning on working with are certified Karen Pryor clickertrainers - I'm worried if I go off course with clicker training that I'll ruin him. I want to take him to group obedience to deal with his socialization issues and I am really impressed with these trainers... so should I be consistent and keep up the clicker, or do praise only (it is so much more convenient, and boy am I lazy!)...
Sorry to be so long about it - honestly things are just "clicking" today for T and myself (no pun intended) and I'm so happy! He's such an amazing pup!
Oh - here is a picture of my baby!Hiredhand Thorn Tree