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Problem Behaviors

Problem Behaviors

Clicker training can also be used effectively to either prevent or correct problem behaviors. If you want to correct jumping for example, you can do it fairly quickly. The key is to think about what you want your dog to do, instead of focusing on the behavior you don’t want. In this case, you want all four feet on the floor. So start by removing any reinforcement of the jumping behavior, and that includes attention. When your dog jumps, turn your back and stay absolutely still. Don’t move, don’t talk, don’t holler, don’t slap him, don’t push him down, and don’t make eye contact. But do watch from your peripheral vision, and the instant your dog puts all four paws on the floor, click and treat and give petting and attention if you like. If he jumps again, totally ignore him until he puts all four paws back on the floor, then again click and treat.

Next, go out of the door taking the clicker and treats with you. Come back a few minutes later, and when you walk in the door and your dog jumps on you, repeat the
ignore, watch for four feet hitting the floor, click and treat procedure. Do this consistently. Enlist friends to help you with the door scenario and your dog jumping on people coming in. Just repeat the above steps, and never, never reward the dog by any attention whatsoever, even a look, unless he has all four paws on the ground. Eventually, stretch out the time for clicking and treating, and be sure to use variable reinforcement to strengthen the new behavior. Add "down" as a verbal cue if you like.

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