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Wednesday, October 1, 2008

A Clicker Challenge

Written May 2, 2008

Ok, want a good clicker challenge? I've got it!
I decided that I'd like my dog to lick their lips on cue.
How does one accomplish this you ask? Well, it's not like I can pull their tongue out of their mouth to get the trick and lord forbid I try to lure the behavior because then I'll have a dog who thinks licking at my hand is what I want, so shaping/clicker training is going to be my means of eliciting the lip licking behavior (say that fast 3 times!).
Sounds easy enough, but holy cow that tongue is FAST! I had more missed opportunities before I finally got a few clicks in. I can also say with authority that licking my lips didn't elicit the wanted behavior either . Any way, once I got the timing down, it went quick after that, but timing was a challenge!
I encourage you guys to give this a try, it's fun! It does require a lot of waiting while the dog goes through it's toolbox of behaviors, but at some point they ARE going to lick their lips and you've got to be ready. Also another hint I wish I would have known inadvance - when you feed the their treat, be ready to click as they're swallowing. I noticed at least 1-2 licks would happen millimoments after the dog received the treat. This is another opportunity to click & treat to mark and reward the new wanted behavior.
Report back to the list and let me know how it went.
Next I may try blinking...

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