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Discussion Starter #1
Normie has selective deafness. "Go to your bed" can be heard when I'm holding a clicker and treat.
But he's deaf when I'm empty-handed.

He's 11+ months and full of himself at times, but is this going to get better with time?

We just had a minor emergency when I needed to leash Norm, and he refused to sit or go to his bed until I picked up the clicker. This 'dance away let's party' thing is not popular.
 

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Start by leaving the treats someplace else in the room so you don't have them in your hand when you click, and you have to go over there to get them after the click. The click is a bridge between his behavior and the reward, so keep up a "good boy" happy dance while you are going over to the treats. Keep the clicker in your pocket so he can't see it in your hand until you pull it out and click. If he won't do anything unless he sees the clicker in your hand, ask him to do something and then when he doesn't do it, pull the clicker out, look at it and say, "too bad, you missed out on a wonderful treat." Go over to the treats and take one out and let him see it (don't tease him with it, just let him see that it was there) and put it back. Put the clicker back in your pocket and tell him again to do whatever it was. Try to start keeping the clicker where he can't see it.
 

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Ah adolescence, so much fun. Lots of dogs have training regression when they hit the teenage weeks. You just have to be patient and do some extra reinforcement of the basic behaviors you know the dog understands while also working at getting from a constant reinforcement (CR) schedule to a variable rate reinforcement (VR) schedule. As an outline for this a CR is sit treat sit treat sit treat sit treat.... The important part of VR is that the dog is always hoping for the treat so you can't just go sit sit treat sit sit treat... Instead it needs to be sit 2x treat sit 5x treat sit treat sit treat sit 8x treat. Anticipation of the treat will convince the dog that sitting is worth doing in the hopes of an immediate treat.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I like the devious way you both think. I have pockets and high places for treats, so we'll focus on that. And CR/VR.

I'll even break out the high value treats to show him what he missed.
 

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Most people stay on CR longer than is needed and then it can be a bit harder to get understanding of VR but it will come. Another variation of reinforcement schedules to keep in mind also is variable interval (VI) where you randomly wait different amounts of time before giving the treat. Another pitfall we get caught out by is that we are not great at randomizing.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Normie and I are both impatient. I wonder if that means that somewhere there's a lucky patient human with a patient poodle? nah...

This whole dealing-with-an-adolescent thing reminds me of what the parents of teens have been through during COVID.
 

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Relatable!!

I use the clicker for a specific training session each day (when I like to introduce new things) but otherwise go without it, because I, too, don't want Peggy only turning "on" when I've got it in my hand.

I also keep treats hidden away in my pocket, and occasionally reward with other things like throwing her ball. Or I'll do that excited hustle over to the cookie jar, praising the whole way: "Yay Peggy! You did it! Let's go get a great!" That excitement is part of her reward.

While I will sometimes lure with a treat when I'm teaching something brand new, beyond that, if your dog sees the treat while you're asking for a specific behaviour, I think you've entered into bribe territory. You definitely want to get back to a reward dynamic.

And if you lure too long, it can become very tricky to break. Peggy, for example, is still sometimes reluctant to lie down, but will drop fast if she knows there's a treat. That's my fault.
 

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Relatable!!

I use the clicker for a specific training session each day (when I like to introduce new things) but otherwise go without it, because I, too, don't want Peggy only turning "on" when I've got it in my hand.

I also keep treats hidden away in my pocket, and occasionally reward with other things like throwing her ball. Or I'll do that excited hustle over to the cookie jar, praising the whole way: "Yay Peggy! You did it! Let's go get a great!" That excitement is part of her reward.

While I will sometimes lure with a treat when I'm teaching something brand new, beyond that, if your dog sees the treat while you're asking for a specific behaviour, I think you've entered into bribe territory. You definitely want to get back to a reward dynamic.

And if you lure too long, it can become very tricky to break. Peggy, for example, is still sometimes reluctant to lie down, but will drop fast if she knows there's a treat. That's my fault.
Olive also is reluctant to sit without a treat but is so good with a treat, also my fault.
 

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Not sure which method I use as I tend to try new things all the time but we don't always reward with a treat some times its just praises/pets. During training sessions she usually gets something like beef jerky that she can nibble on instead of getting a ton of treats at a time. I usually start off going over her simple mastered commands like sit, lay down, shake with praise and use treats on more difficult commands like wait or our new one roll over! Maybe you could try training in a different environment to break up what he is used to as well?
 
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