18 June 2008

Clicking with a Toe

I've mentioned a few times in earlier posts that I work my clicker with my toe so I have free hands when training Molly. Someone on one of the mailing lists I frequent asked how I manage this, so that's the purpose of this entry.

I have two clickers. I can't use the type of clicker where you have to push on a metal plate even when I click with my thumb. My thumb is too weak in the joints for that. The clicker on the right I bought here in DK. The one on the left I ordered online from the US. It's a i-Click and is very easy to click with finger or toe. Both work for me for toe clicking, but the shape of the i-Click makes it a more comfortable choice.

I don't know if my toes are weird and that is why it works so easily for me. My guess is that most people could click with their foot with a button clicker. It probably even works with shoes on. I am a bare foot person.

I find toe clicking to be especially helpful when I want both hands free for something. I use it a lot when an item is involved. For example, when working on teaching Molly to target a stick, I can put the clicker under my toe and have the stick in one hand and treats in another. I don't have to try to juggle things and I can keep clicking precisely on time and deliver treats promptly as well.

I wish I'd figured this out when I was working on her early retrieve training, because I had a horrible time working on hold when trying to hold objects, the clicker, and treats. The only way I got it to work then was by training hold on a metal pipe that I could hold between my knees.

When I set up to take these pictures, I got an extra bonus from Molly. I used her mat under the clickers for that picture. As soon as I put down the folded mat, she showed perfect mat behavior, even though it was too small for her to fit on. So a shot of that is the extra bonus at the bottom. Of course she got praise and treats.

1 comment:

Eve said...

Hmmmm still looks complicated to me...I'm a barefoot person too,,,tried it this morning..will take more practice! Thanks for sharing this!

Eve & Dillon