I taught Chrome to give me kisses!! In one session!
I haven't done any clicker training in a couple of years with Chrome, but I've been wanting to get back into it because we both miss it. Since his ear is healed enough to put a halter on him I decided to work on kisses today (I have to take him out of the pasture for training because of Rocky). Since I haven't used the clicker with him in so long I asked him to do a couple of old tricks and clicked him for them. He got so excited he started offering all of his tricks. I finally had to click him for doing nothing just to get him calmed down enough to learn something new. I love clicker training!! Being able to click a dog or horse for doing nothing is so awesome!
I started out having him target my hand and then tried moving my hand closer to my face, but he was confusing it with his cue to smile, so it wasn't working. After about five or ten minutes I got frustrated and walked away. After thinking for a few minutes I went back to him, bowed toward him with my hands behind my back and waited. He tried turning his head away, lowering his head, smiling, etc. When he finally held his nose still near my face I blew into his nostrils. His ears popped forward and he reached out to touch my face. I clicked him for that a couple of times and then started making kissing noises as the cue. That's where the video starts.
Sorry I didn't get the earlier stuff on video. I honestly never expected to get such great results in our first session!! Isn't he so cute?? He was making such great progress with it I was able to increase the criteria in the first session. By the end he was standing still (except the one time where I accidentally clicked him for moving), with his neck stretched out and his ears forward! With clicker training you have to be careful with what you're rewarding. You can be so focused on one thing that you don't notice other things. So if he'd offered him nose, but had been pawing or had his ears pinned and I clicked then he would learn that I wanted him to do all of those things, not just stick his nose out. So I have to be careful to only click when he offers his nose while standing still with his ears forward. :)
That's also how a lot of people end up with geldings that are always dropped (or even have erections, which give us clicker trainers a bad image in my opinion) while clicker training. They are so focused on the trick they don't notice he's dropped. When I first started clicker training Chrome if he dropped I would ask him to back up and would only resume training when it was up. I know being dropped is a sign of relaxation, but I don't want him doing that every time we're training or showing off tricks, so I specifically made it one of my criteria. Anyway sorry for going off on a tangent!
For those of you who can't watch videos, here are a few more screenshots.
I love my boy!! I'm going to teach him to give hugs next, then try again to teach him to nod his head yes. I had trouble with that one years ago, but I'll try again. Eventually I would love to teach him to bow, but that's going to be hard. I tried it today just to see what he would do and he's so flexible he can get his head between his legs without leaning back so luring isn't going to work. I'll probably just have to break it down and shape it with the clicker. I hope I can find the patience for that haha!!
So what do you think of his new trick??