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Clicker noises and startle response

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by O2.0, Dec 2, 2020.


  1. O2.0

    O2.0 PetForums VIP

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    Really interesting read on clickers and why some dogs don't like them.
    Penny wanted nothing to do with the clicker, and still doesn't. She's doing just fine with a marker word.
    It's going to be interesting in a few weeks, we're starting a group class that will have owners using clickers. My hope was that it would help her desensitize as she has done to so many household sounds that she was spooking at initially. But I'm going to have to keep a close eye out to make sure she doesn't start sensitizing instead.

    https://eileenanddogs.com/blog/2020...le-response-why-some-dogs-fear-clicker-sound/
     
  2. LittleMow

    LittleMow PetForums Senior

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    That was interesting, I wonder if certain breeds have a propensity for this audio startle response and if the same dogs are more likely to startle in general? I guess like most areas of behaviour a combination of genes and early experiences would likely play a role? Interesting.

    Bodmin seems to have a high threshold for audio startle and other forms of startle (i.e. he's not a jumpy dog in general), though in most other areas of his life, his threshold for tolerance is fairly low :(:D
     
  3. O2.0

    O2.0 PetForums VIP

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    Oh for sure breed and genetics plays a part. I have no scientific or even non scientific evidence, but in my head I think of collies as being more prone to being sound sensitive, and labs and gundogs in general being less so (for obvious reasons).

    Penny is very sound sensitive. We're nearly 4 months in with her and it has taken forever for her to not startle at things like cooking noises (getting pots and pans out, clanging on plates and dishes). Having Bates makes a massive difference as she takes her cues off him and if anything he responds with happy interest to that kind of noise - if at all.
    Yet interestingly she doesn't mind her rabies tag clanging on the stainless steel water bowl, I've noticed that. Or her food dish.
    So I'm hopeful that she'll do well with clicks in class given enough other dogs not freaking out.

    Initially I thought I would desensitize her to a clicker and then try using one, but the more I think about it, the more I think I'll probably never use a clicker with her. (Dogs love to make liars out of you so don't hold me to that one :D )
     
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  4. LittleMow

    LittleMow PetForums Senior

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    Be interesting to see how she does with the other clickers in class, got a feeling she'll learn to ignore them soon enough :). Out of interest, how does it work with dogs in class, working with clickers, do they just get the hang of knowing which click is for them?

    Assuming Penny was an outdoor dog previously, the kitchen noises were possibly new to her, whereas she had the chain on which maybe jangled?

    Bodmin doesn't really like the kitchen noises, but no startle, just a grumpy dog who feels left out and wishes we'd be quiet :D

    IMG_20201102_162551.jpg
     
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  5. LinznMilly

    LinznMilly Moderator
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    Really interesting blog. I don't really use my clicker much, usually because I find that by the time I've clicked it, I've already said "good girl" or "yes!" So it spends most of its time hidden under envelopes on the kitchen bench. :Bag :D

    I also found the sound of the collar clasp interesting, as I find myself cringing even I put Honeys on her - for exactly the same!e reason as Eileen points out - that click, so close to your ear, mustn't be comfortable.

    It will be interesting to see how Penny responds to group class and all those clickers.
     
  6. O2.0

    O2.0 PetForums VIP

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    Oh yeah, I meant to add her collar click doesn't bother her at all strangely. But I've always been paranoid about pinching skin and I always wrap a couple fingers around the buckle before clipping it to make sure there's no skin there (I used to do the same thing when my kids were little putting on their bike helmets). I wonder if that affects the sound?

    Nevermind, I just took her collar off, clicked it closed in front of her face and she just kept staring at me wanting to play. Completely unfazed by that click. I did it twice and now she thinks it's a new game :Hilarious
    So maybe there's hope for the clicker yet?
     
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  7. Burrowzig

    Burrowzig PetForums VIP

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    If there are going to be loads of clickers in the class, I would go for desensitising her first. Using the clicker in a pocket, or wrapped in cloth initially to muffle the sound, or using the click of a retractable ballpoint pen are good starting methods.
    I had to do it with Ziggy and it only took a few days for her to come round.
     
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  8. Torin.

    Torin. PetForums VIP

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    I used to use the click of a pen for training cats and rats. You need to pick your pen carefully as some have a very drawn out double-click, but they're really good for sensitive friends.
     
    Jason25 likes this.
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