HEY ERIN!

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Postby airwalk » April 16th, 2009, 11:11 am

I just wanted to take this opportunity to say


........................................ THANK YOU

Last evening we had our first clicker training class with our existing volunteers - and OMG I actually stood in the main room of our shelter, with about 20 dogs and 20 people after hours and held a conversion in a normal tone. No screaming, no yelling at the dogs.

All the dogs were at the front of their runs, sitting, quiet, relaxed.

It was positively AMAZING!!!!
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Postby amazincc » April 16th, 2009, 11:21 am

How awesome. :clap: :)
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Postby Hundilein » April 16th, 2009, 1:03 pm

Way to go!!!! I can't wait to get to Alabama to start doing some of this with the shelter there. I love stories like this!
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Postby airwalk » April 16th, 2009, 1:08 pm

Sarah, I was going to tell you....we have tried numerous things to deal with barking in the shelter and Erin convinced me to give clicker training a try. If it had solved nothing more than the barking I would have been thrilled - but it is having an impact on sooooo much more that we are getting excited about the possibilities.

I told our volunteers last night, wouldn't it be a wonderful thing if every shelter dog understood to stand on the ground and not jump up, sit as a defaul when you don't know what else to do, could be put on a leash without mauling someone, not to bark, come forward and walk on a leash. I don't care if they ever learn anything else with us - our adoption rates should climb.
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Postby Hundilein » April 16th, 2009, 1:17 pm

airwalk wrote:Sarah, I was going to tell you....we have tried numerous things to deal with barking in the shelter and Erin convinced me to give clicker training a try. If it had solved nothing more than the barking I would have been thrilled - but it is having an impact on sooooo much more that we are getting excited about the possibilities.

I told our volunteers last night, wouldn't it be a wonderful thing if every shelter dog understood to stand on the ground and not jump up, sit as a defaul when you don't know what else to do, could be put on a leash without mauling someone, not to bark, come forward and walk on a leash. I don't care if they ever learn anything else with us - our adoption rates should climb.


That is really encouraging to hear. One of the things I've been thinking about is whether to go with clickers or just lure-reward or verbal markers. I LOVE clickers, but I've read thoughts from both sides on whether to use them or not.

I've been trying for years to get all of our foster homes on board with basic training like don't jump, sit, and walk nicely on leash. I have to laugh when they ask why my fosters get adopted so quickly. I told one foster mom point blank that it was because I train them. You can also get much better pictures of a dog who knows how to sit. It took me a while to figure that out :doh: Now if I have a jumpy dog, I take 5 minutes and just work with them on sit before trying for pictures. It usually works much better.
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Postby airwalk » April 16th, 2009, 1:54 pm

Erin convinced me to begin with the clickers because we were (like every other shelter in the world) trying to find a way to work on barking without rewarding it. The dogs woudl bark and if you turn towards them or vocalize a correction - you end up acknowledging it and they bark more.

The clickers have given all of our volunteers a tool to help us. Even the volunteers and frankly our support staff that don't particularly want to handle the dogs and those that are a bit afraid of the big dogs, aren't afraid to stand in front of the run and click and treat.
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Postby maberi » April 16th, 2009, 1:56 pm

Wow this is really interesting

I've read articles on shelters using clickers but was always a little bit skeptical of it working

I'll have to mention this to some of the shelter staff
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Postby airwalk » April 16th, 2009, 2:10 pm

I too was very skeptical that it would work...not no more
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Postby maberi » April 16th, 2009, 2:13 pm

Did you guys do a training seminar or anything prior to this for the workers?
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Postby Marinepits » April 16th, 2009, 2:14 pm

I think we need some video of this. :wink:
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Postby airwalk » April 16th, 2009, 2:15 pm

No, but I wish I had. Staff are learning like everyone else (and that includes me). We are lucky to have a couple of volunteers that are trainers so they are helping us learn quickly - but if I had it to do again, I would have a two or three short training classes for staff and then for volunteers.
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Postby airwalk » April 16th, 2009, 2:15 pm

Marinepits wrote:I think we need some video of this. :wink:


I agree, I'm going to try to get some next week - you guys really won't believe it - cause I'm not sure I still do
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Postby madremissy » April 16th, 2009, 7:38 pm

Diana, I am going to put Sammy on a plane tomorrow so you can work you new founded "stop barking magic" on him to. K Thanks :wave2:
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Postby airwalk » April 16th, 2009, 7:54 pm

madremissy wrote:Diana, I am going to put Sammy on a plane tomorrow so you can work you new founded "stop barking magic" on him to. K Thanks :wave2:


Oh baby, if I had magic I'd work it on MAGIC!!! but of course you can send me Sammy - he's a cutie pie
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Postby madremissy » April 16th, 2009, 8:29 pm

You wouldn't think he was such a cutie pie when he starts playing with Scooter and barks every second. Or when you come home and he is barking constantly, like he hasn't seen you in a week. :crazy2: I really need a quick course of that clicker training. :oops:
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Postby TheRedQueen » April 17th, 2009, 2:18 pm

I'm so happy to hear this! I actually have tears of joy in my eyes reading through this entire post! :D :D :D :D :D
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Postby airwalk » April 17th, 2009, 4:52 pm

I just wanted to very pubicly thank you for not giving up on my stubborn self!
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