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So I've been working with Darby doing some basic stuff and he is just not getting it! I know I could be doing better but I'm unsure of exactly what I could improve on. Any advice, constructive criticism, suggestions, etc would be greatly appreciated!
 

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Was this Darby's first time working with the clicker?

If so, while I'm not at all experienced, I think he might need a lot more time getting the clicker "primed" before moving on to learning anything other than click=treat. From the research I've done, you need to keep working on priming it until they reliably expect a treat from the click. It doesn't look like Darby knows the click means treat yet.

And again, I have NO experience whatsoever, so please take my advice with a grain of salt.

Also, from watching this quick section of video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_wv1uvvqaSw&feature=youtu.be&t=1m13s it sounds like you might need more of a pause between the click and the treat? Because right now I think he just knows your hand means treat, not that the click does.

Good luck! He looks like such a sweetie!
 
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I'm far from being an expert on clicker training, but I might suggest that you focus on teaching Darby just one desired response in each training session. It seemed to be that you were perhaps transitioning too quickly. Maybe you could start by clicking when she hears her name and makes eye contact with you. The "sit" command could come later in a separate training session.
 

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@Sha- I actually think it's the perfect amount of time between a click and a treat. I've read (either in "Don't Shoot the Dog" by Karen Pyror or "When Pigs Fly: Training the Impossible Dog" by Jane Killion, I can't remember) you want to deliver the treat VERY quickly (I think its either within 15 or 30 seconds) because a dog will quickly forget about the sound of the clicker, especially if it hasn't been primed. I think in Kikopup's video (forget her actual name) she's more saying that the click and treat shouldn't be timed exactly, there needs to be a few seconds for the dog to process or else the noise is just background noise and means nothing because their full attention is on your hand moving towards them with a treat.

I do agree that if this is his first time with the clicker it should be primed far more before attempting to actually use it in training, although my guess is it isn't because he does appear to be looking at and responding to the clicking noise as if he recognizes it.
@sullyrules-
I'll try to make this somewhat structured (and apologize for the length and hope this will be helpful):

1) My first instinct would be to take a step way back in training and instead of focusing on commands start trying to teach this dog how to learn first.

Especially with older dogs who haven't had a lot of training or haven't were trained in basic obedience so they were controllable but not fostered intellectually as they kept growing, I think that they can really struggle with learning, and specifically getting into the right mindset to learn. I definitely see this in my parent's Lab/BC/Mutt- I trained her in basic obedience when we first got her but then got busy with highschool and social life and then went away to college and my parents did 0 training; she's a different dog to train now than she was as an adolescent. I see it sort of like they've not had much of a chance to put those 'muscles' to use, and so they need practice first before you ask too much of them. I'd start playing some shaping games instead of more structured training/obedience training. The Box Game is a good one. Give him a box and see what he does. Start enforcing ANY interaction with the box. If he won't go up to it, just click for looking at it. If he goes up and sniffs it- click and treat. Same for if he puts his front feet in, just one foot, etc. Enforce him for touching the box in any way. If he wants to pick it up and carry it around, then enforce that.

2) On the Luring/Positioning and the phasing it out:
I would say he doesn't seem like a dog that is going to do very well with luring or physical manipulation- it just doesn't seem to help it click for him. This can work with some dogs, but I've found it to frustrate others; his half sit/crouch and jumping at the lure says frustration to me and by the end of the training session he seems to have lost a lot of his interest in the activity itself, although he does still want that treat. My Boston is like this, she gets so excited to see the treat that trying to lure her into any position builds excitement and she is not in a learning state of mind. When I do lure, I only do it a few times (less than 10) before I give the dog a chance to do it on itself own, and while I wait I wait in silence, just looking at the dog and waiting. I've found talking while you wait for them to offer a behavior tends to distract them and make them less likely to offer/repeat the position you want. Silence tends to be the signal for 'do something'- if I look at one of my dogs that way, they usually know I want something from them- my Boston has done enough shaping she will start going through the list of things she knows hoping for a treat (usually it goes sit, down, crawling a step, sit, and then paw/high five), my parent's lab/BC/Mutt has a great default sit and that's mostly what she offers (unfortunately after teaching her 'speak' when she was a year old that's the other default behavior she started offering and she found barking so rewarding she never stopped).

3) Another idea would be to work on commands only on his terms- that is to set out one or two things you want him to learn right away (for example 'sit').

Carry a clicker and treats whenever you're with him and every time he sits around you, click and reward (treat, toy, whatever). The goal would just be for him to realize sitting around people = a reward. Eventually, when you are in a 'real' training session he will start offering a sit just because he knows he's gotten treats in the past. Then you can start working towards putting it on command. This is nice in that it teaches him that sitting it good as a default behavior if there's something he wants (to go out, for you to throw a ball, food, etc) and it also goes towards teaching him that he can offer behaviors and get rewarded for them. Eventually you can get him to a point where he's offering novel behaviors for you.

4) On drilling:
It's possible he's not going to be a dog that can learn by drilling- meaning training sessions have to be kept very short and varied. Because he pretty much knows nothing right now, they really just need to be kept short. Eventually you can intersperse new things with old behaviors so he doesn't get frustrated. By short I mean a couple of minutes at most. You want to end it while he still thinks it's a super fun game the two of you are playing (because ultimately, that is how I want my dogs to view training with me- as a super fun game the two of us are playing).

5)
One last note- in the beginning, when you're priming the clicker, I don't know that I would agree that's what you're doing 100%. To me it seems more like you're teaching him his name. This is also important, but it is its own thing.

To prime a clicker, I'm not rewarding for anything specific. It's just a very quick succession of click-treat, click-treat, click-treat. I usually do it ten times before I start a session, and if I'm priming it for the first time will do it like 5 or so times multiple times a day. As soon as she's done with the last treat, there's another click and another treat.

I think some people will wait for eye contact before they click (because otherwise the dog will be staring at your treat hand or clicker hand instead of face), but I prefer to do this separately because I tend to use hand signals more than voice commands anyways in my training so I don't mind if my dog is looking at my hands a lot. I put eye contact on command instead ("Look At Me"), and then condition that separately as a default behavior when they're presented with novel stimuli or other dogs.
 

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You need to up the reinforcement. He doesn't seem like he's super interested or motivated, and you're asking him to work only for a treat that he could probably take or leave either way.

He also keeps getting distracted by whatever is going on outside the window, so idk if it's possible to close the blinds. A higher value treat would probably help quite a bit. Not sure what you're using, but maybe some baked chicken would work better? Or cheese? Stinky fish treats?

Also, be less boring. He seems like a very nice, loving dog that's pretty mellow in temperament. And you are being pretty chill yourself. Try getting more into it. Throw a party when he gets it right and touch him, pet him, make your voice higher pitch. He seems like he thrives off contact judging by the way he postures around you.
 
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