June 04, 2005

Click to Calm

In Click to Calm, Emma Parsons gives a number of 'training recipes'. One, for changing stress cues to calm cues, is chin targetting where you get your dog to walk with your hand loosely around his muzzle. This technique is useful where you come face to face with another dog in confined space under stressful conditions, such as the start gate, or the vet's waiting room.

How to make it happen:
  1. Touch the top of your dog's nose.
  2. Click and feed your dog.
  3. Repeat several times.
  4. Cup your hand under your dog's chin.
  5. Click and feed your dog.
  6. Repeat several times.
  7. Now alternate between the two behaviors (Steps 1 & 4)
  8. Now cup your dog's chin in your hand with your fingers alongside his mouth and your thumb lightly on his muzzle.
  9. Click and feed for compliance.
  10. Change the direction of your hand so that your fingers are on the other side of his mouth.
  11. Click and feed.
  12. Alternate steps 8 & 10.
  13. Continue working until your dog is comfortable with your hand encircling his muzzle from either side of his face.
  14. The recipe continues with instructions for starting to walk with your hand in position, for increasing duration and introducing distractions. The key is to build up slowly and to click and reward at every step.
Click to Calm is available from Karen Pryor's site and in Australia from Natures Creatures Down Under

1 comment:

Tommy Lee said...

Training your dog is the best you can do for your pet as a way of showing love and care. Dog clicker training is especially effective as a means of behavior modification in dogs.