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I adopted my greyhound about 8 weeks ago. I started obedience training with him this past weekend. The trainer I'm using was recommended by the greyhound agency we adopted him from. She uses positive motivational/clicker training. Since his first class I've noticed some changes in his behavior. He won't take a treat from me especially if I have the clicker he will run. He ran from me this morning when I tried to put his Martingale collar on him. He also hasn't played with his toys or chewed a bone since-the weekend. Nothing negative happened during the training he was very good there. I wanted him to go to classes for socialization mostly but I would like for him to know a few basic commands. Has anyone experienced a change in behavior when starting obedience classes? I'm new to the breed and not sure what to do?

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I know more people will chime in with good advice, but I always have to remind myself when I get a new dog how much I don't know about him/her. I had a grey once that did NOT like the clicker and it made her very anxious. Maybe just go to to the class and let your pup hang out, watch how the other dogs interact and make some friends. Really, 8 weeks is a VERY short time when you think about how different their lives are before being adopted.

Patience, patience and patience are your three best friends. Oh yeah, and lots of love :))

Edited by june
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Sounds like the clicker scares him. Frankly the noise of it hurts MY ears, so, I can understand.

 

If you need him to get used to the clicker, pair the noise from it with some AMAZING treats (hot dogs or something VERY special that he REALLY REALLY REALLY likes).

 

Maybe find a way to muffle the noise of the clicker at first so it's not quite as disturbing?

Kristin in Moline, IL USA with Ozzie (MRL Crusin Clem), Clarice (Clarice McBones), Latte and Sage the IGs, and the kitties: Violet and Rose
Lovingly Remembered: Sutra (Fliowa Sutra) 12/02/97-10/12/10, Pinky (Pick Me) 04/20/03-11/19/12, Fritz (Fritz Fire) 02/05/01 - 05/20/13, Ace (Fantastic Ace) 02/05/01 - 07/05/13, and Carrie (Takin the Crumbs) 05/08/99 - 09/04/13.

A cure for cancer can't come soon enough.--

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Don't use the clicker. When I go to classes with my dogs (clicker training), I don't use the clicker, instead I use my voice and I praise - drives the class trainers crazy. I also don't do the treats as much as I prefer my dogs to start to understand the tones in my voice and respond to that.

 

The clicker is only a tool, don't be deceived into thinking that you have to use it - your voice can work just as well ... just be consistent into praising and if you do it right, your dog can do just as well without the clicker.

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Don't use the clicker. When I go to classes with my dogs (clicker training), I don't use the clicker, instead I use my voice and I praise - drives the class trainers crazy. I also don't do the treats as much as I prefer my dogs to start to understand the tones in my voice and respond to that.

 

The clicker is only a tool, don't be deceived into thinking that you have to use it - your voice can work just as well ... just be consistent into praising and if you do it right, your dog can do just as well without the clicker.

:nod

 

Nancy...Mom to Sid (Peteles Tiger), Kibo (112 Carlota Galgos) and Mario (2nd Chance Rescue).   Missing Casey, Gomer, Mona, Penelope, BillieJean, Bandit, Nixon (Starz Sammie),  Ruby (Watch Me Dash) and especially  Nigel (Nigel), waiting at the Bridge

 

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The clicker isn't really for the dog, it's mostly for the human in the equation - easier to mark a behavior with click than a sound, but a vocalization will work just as well. A trainer I worked with used the word "YES!" as her marker.

 

Your dog is not finding the clicker helpful right now, so I would drop it. You can try desensitizing him (to the clicker) with super yummy treats, but it may be more trouble than it's worth at this point. But you need to turn around his attitude for his collar. He's associating it now with somethinghe doesn't like, and you really need to be able to collar him.

 

Some greyhounds are ready for training at 8 weeks post adoption, some aren't. If you take him to class, just stay off to the side and monitor how he's reacting. It may just all be too much for him at this point.

Chris - Mom to: Lilly, Felicity (DeLand), and Andi (Braska Pandora)

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Angels: Libby (Everlast), Dorie (Dog Gone Holly), Dude (TNJ VooDoo), Copper (Kid's Copper), Cash (GSI Payncash), Toni (LPH Cry Baby), Whiskey (KT's Phys Ed), Atom

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We use "YES!" as well in our training.

Kristin in Moline, IL USA with Ozzie (MRL Crusin Clem), Clarice (Clarice McBones), Latte and Sage the IGs, and the kitties: Violet and Rose
Lovingly Remembered: Sutra (Fliowa Sutra) 12/02/97-10/12/10, Pinky (Pick Me) 04/20/03-11/19/12, Fritz (Fritz Fire) 02/05/01 - 05/20/13, Ace (Fantastic Ace) 02/05/01 - 07/05/13, and Carrie (Takin the Crumbs) 05/08/99 - 09/04/13.

A cure for cancer can't come soon enough.--

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Did you take the opportunity to "load the clicker" before even starting to use it (in a calm, familiar environment)? I cannot imagine either of my dogs learning that a click means treat when in a stressful environment with other dogs and people and where there are different smells and people talking and everything is new and strange - and one of my dogs is exceptionally smart, not a greyhound, and is about as food centered as you can get. I would hope you would have been instructed how to do this and told to do this at home before ever attempting it in a more chaotic class environment.

 

("Loading the clicker" means associating the click noise to immediately afterward getting a treat. It's the first step and most important foundation you can lay for clicker training. If they don't already strongly associate that noise with immediately getting a treat, and you make a random loud sharp noise when training, he may be viewing it instead as a punishment! - I just wanted to make sure this was clear, not that I thought you didn't know it. I don't know what the non-dog behavior/training populace knows about clicker training, or how it is being taught in class.)

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Guest normaandburrell

I had my grey for 5 months before I started obedience classes and he still was very stressed by the classes at first. The trainers were very understanding and let me take it slow. He actually had to repeat the basic obedience class, but right now he loves it and is so anxious to get in the building. Your dog may need more time to adjust.

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I did one 8-week class of clicker training with Annie about a year after I adopted her. I was curious as well as wanting to give her socialization with other dogs. Honestly, I never got what's so great about a clicker. Using a word, as mentioned above, in a certain tone and emphasis would work just as well, IMO, and might be easier for the handler. I always had difficulty clicking and giving Annie the treat immediately but I'm probably in the minority.

 

Annie did pretty well in the class. She responded to the clicker and learned a few things but we didn't return for the second session because I got out of the first session what I wanted.

 

If you think that the class and/or the clicker frightened him, I'd not return for a long time.

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Feisty49,

I have spoken with the trainer and we are going to try one more class with no clicker just using a word. I also will keep his training time short and give him frequent breaks. My main goal was socialization with people and other dogs. Hopefully with these changes maybe he will be less stressed and like being with the other dogs.Thanks for all your suggestions.

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Feisty49,

I have spoken with the trainer and we are going to try one more class with no clicker just using a word. I also will keep his training time short and give him frequent breaks. My main goal was socialization with people and other dogs. Hopefully with these changes maybe he will be less stressed and like being with the other dogs.Thanks for all your suggestions.

Won't the other students still be using clickers with their dogs? If he's *that* disturbed by the noise, I would be very aware of his body language and watching for signs of stress in class. You may need to find a group class that doesn't use clickers instead if it ends up being too much for him. I teach at a force free training place and we use a marker, but in our case we use the word "Yes!" instead of a clicker. I really like clicker training, but it's not always necessary and often becomes too much for people to juggle along with treats, the leash, etc. Yes can be just as effective and is often easier. Just use a ton of voice/inflection that makes it stand out. The big benefits to the clicker are the uniqueness (it's not a sound you here otherwise) and the fact that it's salient (it's a sound that stands out easily). So try to make your marker word have those qualities and you'll be just as effective.

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Jen, CPDT-KA with Zuri, lab in a greyhound suit, Violet, formerly known as Faith, Skye, the permanent puppy, Cisco, resident cat, and my baby girl Neyla, forever in my heart

"The great thing about science is that you're free to disagree with it, but you'll be wrong."

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Feisty49,

I have spoken with the trainer and we are going to try one more class with no clicker just using a word. I also will keep his training time short and give him frequent breaks. My main goal was socialization with people and other dogs. Hopefully with these changes maybe he will be less stressed and like being with the other dogs.Thanks for all your suggestions.

I think that's very wise of you.

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