A Commercial Clicker Board

Looks like someone is manufacturing electronic clicker boards in Japan.  I personally prefer my homemade, low-tech clicker boards that use ordinary clickers but this new electronic version has a very low profile and it shows up on your doorstep ready to go.. no assembly required.   Those are both very enticing features!

In the video above, you can see that a stride regulator was added for the smaller terrier at 2:43 minutes.  I think its important to note that regardless of the props used, this small dog did not hit very deep in the contact zone.  I personally would not have added that stride regulator  because it forced unnatural extension and looked uncomfortable for him to do.  Also based on this particular dog’s style of running, I would not have begun practicing full-out running on a dog walk until he understood the end behavior I was looking for… intentional targeting near the end of the contact zone.   The end result of back-chaining like this would likely be a bit slower due to more strides on the dog walk but I think that would be more than balanced out by safety, reliability, and independence.

You can also see some leaping (rear feet together) vs. running (rear feet separation) by other dogs in the video above.  Clicker boards are great for communicating to dogs WHERE their feet are supposed to hit, but not HOW their feet are supposed to hit.  So using a clicker board (electronic or low-tech)  can produce different styles of foot targeting than  Silvia Trkman’s method, which focuses on CAPTURING running/ rear feet separation first and SHAPING lower hits over time.

Like my low-tech Clicker Board, this new electronic version will not train Running Contacts.  It will however mark the moment a dog’s feet hit inside the contact zone, which releases the handler from the responsibility of having to see and then mark that behavior in a timely fashion.

Below are links to earlier posts on my low-tech clicker boards if you want to build one vs. buy one.



3 thoughts on “A Commercial Clicker Board

  1. Soon it won’t matter if the judge is in position to see the contact because it will be noted by the light from the clicker/touch boards! And, in some venues it will eliminate the need for judges to run from one end of the dog walk to the other to see both contacts.

  2. Love it!!! I agree that it likely isn’t very useful in the training stage, but I am hoping this becomes the future for trialing!

    For that little terrier I know with some dogs it might be easier to teach full extension versus trying to get them to add an extra stride in with the adrenaline of a trial. I would think it would hold up better and he would hit even lower in a trial. It can be so hard for some dog’s natural stride patterns and having to weigh the pros and cons of compressing for another stride or extending further.

    • I think the underlying issue with many small fast dogs who naturally want to leap off contacts (that small terrier perhaps) is its not mentally comfortable to run lower than a certain height which is sometimes above the contact zone. My observation has been the more extension a small dog has when running down a DW, the more she will feel gravity and momentum pushing her towards the ground so she will feel the need to leap from higher up so she can stay in extension and jump longer/ flatter to avoid face planting vs. need to collect (which is hard to do when gravity and momentum are pulling so hard) in order to get her rear legs deep enough under her body weight to be able to push UP as well as forward, which is the only way to avoid a face plant if running super fast in full extension.

      In terms of extension/ collection, that small terrier is being asked to extend like crazy in order for the next stride to hit (by default) inside the contact zone. I have friends who have tried to train their small fast dogs to extend well beyond their natural stride lengths with SRs (like the small dog was being “asked” to do on the video) and it appears not to work any better in a trial setting than “asking” dogs to collect and add a stride, especially if the elongated stride is dependent on the handler racing the dog, or being ahead, or perhaps most importantly if the dog lacks confidence sometimes. The elongated stride shortens..and the dog misses the zone because the next stride is not “trained” or deliberate but rather just a result of the stride before having been trained with a SR.

      My point of view is that running contacts are not possible for every dog if the handler wants a consistent performance, meaning very very few NQs due to missed contacts. RCs are fun to train though.

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