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Cues & Behaviors
Transcript of Cues & Behaviors
: following their nose or eyes (on your hand) into a position. Must be faded, as quickly as possible.
Your puppy gives and maintains eye contact with you.
These behaviors are also easily captured.
Image by Tom Mooring
Sit, Down, & Stand
Cues & Behaviors
Watch Me in Heel
You have to teach your puppy how to look up and walk forward at the same time. It takes practice and trust to build eye contact in heel & side while moving.
Watch Me past Distractions
Instead of using cues like "leave it" to get your dog's attention back, teach them to maintain eye contact past a distraction or use their attention noise to refocus. You can use the same steps in teaching your dog to watch me in heel, to practice maintaining it past a distraction.
If you are not having the exact level of success you're looking for try these five ways to lower criteria.
: marking & rewarding in approximations (baby steps) towards a goal. Can be used as free shaping or with a lure.
: marking & rewarding spontaneous behavior. The behavior must be frequent & visible.
: using noise or movement to attract the dog to interact with an object or perform a behavior.
1. Increase the rate of reinforcement
2. Increase the value of the reinforcement
3. Go back & re-shape
4. Mark (click) smaller steps
5. Lower the level of distraction
still not working? contact us!
Capture this behavior as much as possible.
Click the instant your puppy makes eye contact, initially. Once your puppy is offering eye contact, begin building duration (clicking after he's held eye contact for one second, and so on.)
rate of reinforcement
: how often you click and treat your puppy. When using "rapid fire" make sure your puppy still eats a treat before you click again.
: clicking and treating approximations towards a goal behavior without using any kind of luring or targeting.
level of reinforcement
: different treats have different levels of excitement/reinforcement for each dog. Figure out what rewards are high, medium, and low value for your puppy.
Get a Behavior on Cue
In a training session, focus on one behavior at a time. Only click for the behavior or movements that will build towards the behavior. Ignore any other offered behaviors (even if they're "good" behaviors you like).
Get the behavior (lure, shape, or capture)
Mark (click) & reinforce the behavior - continue until the behavior is being
Add the cue right before the behavior is offered.
Begin by backing away from your puppy. Click for them making eye contact and taking a single step. (or even just leaning forward)
Begin walking sideways with your puppy, so your body is turned towards them, but you're no longer directly in front of them.
Finally transition to walking normally. Look down consistently, and then begin looking away from your puppy, reinforcing when they maintain attention up on you.
Don't move on to the next step until you're getting 100% focus!
Be careful not to chain these behaviors together.
: when behaviors are repeated in the same order, dogs will "chain" them together, resulting in one long behavior sequence. This is helpful for cues like "get the juice" - a behavior sequence.
Attention Noise / Positive Interrupter
We want to positively redirect our puppies away from distractions or interactions we don't like (chewing a shoe, etc.)
Try to raise criteria as quickly as possible!
When starting a new behavior have a plan for how you will raise criteria. If the behavior will eventually require repetitions or distance, have a clear plan to raise criteria as fast as possible. Dogs often get stuck at one level of a behavior, because they think they're done.
Your puppy presses their nose against the object being pointed at.
Begin using your hand or fingers. Click for any nose interaction initially.
To get a strong "push" with their nose you can try putting a treat between your fingers or behind your hand, and click when they push & move your hand.
Transfer the behavior to tons of other locations!
Try using a sticky note or other item to transfer touch to other locations. Begin with the sticky note on your hand again.
Your puppy should put their front feet on the locations being pointed at.
Ideally we want to build stamina for this behavior, so that eventually our puppy will stay in a "paws" until cued to "off".
You will most likely need to use targeting or luring (with shaping) to get your puppy onto most items.
Your puppy should take their feet off of whatever item their on. This is for two and/or four feet on an item.
Lure or encourage your puppy off towards you, click when their feet hit the floor.
Click as soon as their rear-end hits the ground in the sit. (you can even click when the rear muscles contract for the sit).
If luring (and shaping), its usually easiest to begin with the puppy sitting. Lure from the nose, straight down, and then slowly forward or backward (into the puppy).
With the puppy sitting or lying down, lure from the nose straight forward (on the puppy's level). Click & stop your lure hand as soon as the puppy stands.
A great way to raise criteria is to get the treats out of your hand. It's also very helpful to teach luring with an empty hand as a behavior. It makes repositioning a dog very simple.
Begin with lower level distractions (even something as simple as walking next to grass). Click and treat often, and then begin building duration between clicks until your puppy can walk past that distraction without breaking eye contact.
You may need to go back to a high rate of reinforcement with new distractions.
Eventually we will want our puppies to do behaviors like fetch our shoes, so we don't want them to be afraid of interacting with those items.
Go Check it Out
Managing Dog to Dog Play
The chin rest behavior can have multiple benefits, but our focus is on utilizing it as a husbandry behavior, to help make vet visits & other care a happy and offered behavior.
Once your puppy will rest their head in your hand with duration, begin moving your hand towards their head. Reinforce for your puppy keeping their head in your hand. Continue raising criteria until you can pet and handle them while they maintain a chin rest.
As with other husbandry behaviors, we want our puppies to happily offer behaviors like having their teeth brushed. The goal of this behavior is for your puppy to press the top of their nose, into your hand while you lift the lips to brush the teeth.
We want our puppies to be confident when facing new objects or environments that we will expect them to interact with. This game encourages the puppy to approach an object & check it out, put their feet on it. We want to play this game with tons of non-scary objects first, so your puppy learns that they can trust you when you say an object is safe by cue-ing them to "go check it out". The goal is to cue your puppy before they become afraid or hesistant.
How to prevent rough-play and dog-based fixation
The first step is to condition a positive interrupter or attention noise. Practice this with both dogs in the space before the dogs have started playing with each other.
When the puppies begin to play too rough, use the attention noise. If they do not react to your attention noise, try different sounds and add movement (move your body, jump or clap if they really aren't getting it) to attract their attention.
Click as soon as one of the puppies pauses or looks in your direction. High value treats are most effective the first few times you practice this. The puppies should come to you, receive reward, and then go back to playing. If they remain focused on you, just ignore them.
Soon the puppies will learn that they are interrupted when they begin playing too rough (as long as you're consistent). If one of the puppies pauses or looks toward you when rough play begins, click and reinforce that decision to self-interrupt.
If it's very difficult to interrupt the play, try interrupting earlier in the play session. You may also need high value rewards, like real meat.
Dog to Dog Play Continued
The ultimate goal is to teach your puppy to self-regulate dog to dog play, and increase their ability to turn away from something as exciting as playing with a friend, and refocus on you.
In a second training session, go back to an easier level and rebuild the criteria.
Your puppy should grasp the tug, and fully open the door.
This is a shaping behavior. You can begin teaching the behavior with you holding a tug item that is attached to a door, or by free-shaping their interaction on a door or cabinet.
Begin with the door almost completely open, so they don't have to work hard to pull it to its full extension.
As they have success, begin closing the door more. Still have the puppy pull the door to full extension to complete the behavior.
Diabetic Alert Training
Roll asks our puppy to roll to their back, exposing their stomach. Roll should eventually become a behavior that is maintained until you release your puppy.
Begin with your puppy in a down. We will shape as we lure, so begin with a small handful of treats.
Lure back towards your puppy's hip, begin to lure over the hip, click & treat when your puppy relaxes the hip to the side.
From the hip, lure up over the shoulder. Click & treat any attempt to relax the shoulder or roll to their back.
Once your puppy rolls to their back, release them! By giving a release cue you will build habit that they should wait to be released before ending the behavior. Then begin fading clicks, the lure, and build duration.
This cue asks our puppy to retrieve an item for us. This behavior requires lots of practice & expansion (to different items, locations, & positions).
Ideally, begin with something your puppy will mouth. Click & toss a treat for mouthing the item when you hold it out. Immediately begin lowering the item to the floor. As you lower the item, start clicking for your puppy raising their head with the item or lifting the item out of your hand.
The goal is to have your puppy begin picking the item up, once they are picking the item up completely, try taking a few steps backwards. If your puppy takes steps while holding the item, click & treat.
The video below describes a similar process for having your puppy pick up and carry lots of different items.
Tip: if your puppy cares more about the item than your treats, use more exciting treats, or vice versa if they like the food more than the item. (lower value treats, higher value item).
The video below describes steps you can take if your puppy isn't interested in mouthing any items. Often times using an extremely exciting reward, and carefully shaping the behavior is enough to make "get it" lots of fun for them.
Clicker timing is extremely important if your puppy is failing to understand or enjoy the concept of "get it". You want to click while the object is in their mouth, preferably being gripped by teeth in the middle of the mouth.
All of our puppies should be exposed to diabetic alert training, and should practice the behaviors while working in public.
Diabetic alert training is a multi-step process.
Step 1-A : Imprinting the scents
Step 1-B :Training the Alert behaviors
Step 2 : Practicing Alerts & Generalization
Step 1. A:
Imprinting the Scents
We imprint the scents by using a thawed diabetic alert sample, and clicking & treating any interest or smelling of the scent.
You can begin holding the scent, click & toss a reward. If they return and smell the scent again, click & treat.
Next try hiding the sample on a low surface (like a chair, with a towel over it). Walk past the scent sample (with your puppy between you & the scent), click & treat any smelling or interest in the scent.
Initially you may be looking for very small actions by your puppy, even a nose flare is something worth clicking.
Continue until your puppy reliably shows interest, and has completed Step 1. B.
Step 1. B.
Training Alert Behaviors
The alert behavior consists of 2 actions by your puppy. The first step is an alert by the dog, followed by a question from the handler, to which the dog indicates a high/low or rise/drop.
Bow (usually low)
Sit Pretty (usually high)
Wave/Air Five (usually high)
Before we chain or associate the behaviors with the scents, we want the behaviors to be fully on a verbal cue and well generalized in public.
We want to essentially back-chain the diabetic alert behavior. Our puppy should first learn to associate the high/low scent with the correct indication. Then add the alert behavior once indications are reliable.
First you will bring out a scent (ideally the puppy should not see you with it), when your puppy shows interest cue them to give the correct indication. Repeat several times, then wait and see if your puppy will think to offer the indication.
The second or third time you practice this, wait to see if your puppy will offer the indication without you cue-ing the behavior at all.
- initially we will encourage the puppy to tug a fleece or rope toy hanging from the handlers waist. This is a good option for dogs that nudge naturally to seek attention. Its a very clear alert, but should be transferred to tugging clothes items as well.
- this is pressing firmly with the puppy's nose against your body. Ideally the puppy should nudge repetitively This behavior requires a lot of generalization (different body positions - seated, laying down, back turned, etc).
: your puppy lowers their front end to the ground (elbows down), while keeping their hips raised.
: from a sit, your puppy raises their chest & front feet off the ground. Make sure your puppy sits squarely when performing this behavior.
Indication Behaviors Cont.
Wave: your puppy should lift a front paw and wave it in the air.
Turn asks your puppy to make 180 degree turn. Ideally turn is combined with stand stays, so your puppy should remain standing once they turn.
Begin with your puppy standing next to a wall or other surface, so you and your puppy can easily see the full 180 degree turn.
Lure your puppy to turn completely, click and set the treats down in front of your puppy. Setting the treats where you want their head to end up and remain will help when you begin fading the lure.
Once your puppy understands the concept, begin building duration in stand stays between turns. Quickly incorporate brushing & handling.
Stay & Release
Stay asks your puppy to remain in the place and position (sit/down/stand) that you asked for until you return to them.
Stay requires your puppy to exert self-control. We use the 3 D's of self-control to help make this concept clear to your puppy.
Release means that our puppy may stop the last behavior that we asked for.
We will use release with stays, waits, and various other behaviors that require duration. We will never release a leave it.
This can be accomplished by luring your puppy up (like a sit pretty) and marking when one paw comes up, or by walking your puppy up to a step & clicking when they lift a paw to step up.
Spin: your puppy walks in a circle.
With your puppy standing, lure them forward (so that they take steps) and then lure them around in a circle. Getting them moving forward will help keep them from sitting to try & follow the treat. This behavior may need to be shaped with the lure.
3 D's of Self-Control
How long are you asking your puppy to exert self-control?
Raise duration by a few seconds at a time.
How far away are you from your puppy?
3 Types of Distance:
straight line away
out of sight
What distractions is your puppy dealing with?
2 Types of Distraction:
Only raise criteria on ONE 'd' at a time.
Stay & Release
Raise criteria on one "d" at a time, then lower criteria to begin adding "d's" together. You can practice all 3 D's in a training session, but being aware of how much self-control you're asking for can help set your puppy up for success.
Always try to release your puppy before their self-control breaks.
(not per training session)
Loose Leash Walking
We teach our puppies to walk on a loose leash by teaching them to maintain a heel position at our side, and to step off of pressure should they leave that position or pull. Especially in public, your puppy should walk close to you without sniffing people or products.
Consistency and practice are key to success with loose leash walking.
We teach our puppies to be responsible for 2 things
Maintaining the correct position at my side
Stepping off of pressure
How do we teach our puppies to be responsible for maintaining position at our side, and no-pressure on the leash?
First begin training in a low distraction environment.
Utilize barriers in the environment to make habits.
- how close your puppy should be, which side of an object should they walk on, etc.
-fade & change the size and location of barriers are your puppy progresses.
-By turning often, and adjusting your speed.
When your puppy is giving you 100% attention, raise criteria by working near an open door. Then begin approaching and going in & out the door. If your puppy struggles, go back to lower distraction or increase the value/rate of reinforcement.
Heel & Side
Heel means your puppy gets into position on your left, and works to maintain that position. Side means the same, but on your right.
Begin near a barrier, standing close enough that your puppy can move past and turn, but ends up as close as you want them to be.
Lure your puppy between you & the barrier (initially you may step back in a re-set).
Immediately begin fading the lure, until your puppy is moving to get into position on their own.
What do you do when your puppy leaves correct position and/or pulls on the leash?
#1 Stop. Make like a Tree
- trees don't move or adjust the pressure of the leash. Wait for your puppy to step off of pressure. (don't cue your puppy, wait silently).
#2 Re-set their position at your side
Step back & lure your puppy back into the correct position. Get eye contact before moving on. Once your puppy re-sets automatically, stop reinforcing the re-set.
#3 Change direction
- if your puppy is too excited/aroused to be lured, holding pressure will only result in a tantrum, so instead use your positive interrupter & try to create distance between your puppy & the trigger. Back away at an angle, and click for your puppy turning & moving with you.
Tap asks your puppy to stand on your foot/feet with their front paws.
Set one foot farther forward, and lure your puppy up and towards you, marking any contact of their paw with your foot. Build towards them standing with weight on your foot. I like to begin cueing my puppy to "off" to help with building duration.
This behavior can be taught with luring, but sometimes the dog fails to notice that it's about where their paw(s) are, and not just following the lure in your hand.
Visit asks our dogs to place their head in our lap, and allow us to handle and pet them until released.
You can usually begin this behavior by luring. I like to start with my knees together, and held slightly taller than my puppy. Pull the lure into your lap (keeping your hand in your lap). Click and treat for your puppy putting their head on with pressure.
To raise criteria, lower your knees (feet flat on the floor), and begin practicing new angles. Once the puppy is placing their head on your lap, work on duration & begin shaping handling.
Go In asks our puppies to go underneath the object we're pointing at, and curl up into a down. They should remain in position until released from the "go in".
This behavior is easily taught with luring, but be careful you aren't using your body to block your dog from leaving the position. Initially lure to the back corner of the space (shape - marking & rewarding as you go), then to the next back corner, and finally towards the front and into the down. Be prepared to fade the lure as quickly as possible, with the goal of free-shaping once your puppy understands the concept.
Counter-Conditioning & Behavioral Modification
We use counter-conditioning to modify reactivity - but our methodology will vary depending on what emotional response we are trying to change. Counter-conditioning is a form of classical conditioning in which we change the underlying emotions a dog has about an external stimulus or trigger. This means we want the "trigger" to be the signal to our dog to expect a response or perform a behavior.
Operant Conditioning & Positive Reinforcement
Operant Conditioning is a method of learning that occurs through rewards and punishments for behavior. Through operant conditioning, an association is made between a behavior and a consequence for that behavior. Operant Conditioning consists of four major components, as positive reinforcement trainers, we utilize two.
Counter-Conditioning Fear or Negative Emotional Responses
When changing a negative emotional response, we want our dog to anticipate seeing the "trigger", and build an expectation of really good things happening. Our dog will go from a response of fear or aggression, to neutral or happy in expectation of a yummy reward when the trigger is presented.
Dr. Sophia Yin demo's free shaping
You will want to have lots of different treat options to best utilize variable reinforcement. Use your puppy's dog food for as long as they will reliably work for it.
It can be helpful to change every treat in your pouch occasionally. Keeping treats of different levels separated in bags will preserve the value of the treat in it's taste and smell.
I look for products that are made in America, and I always read my ingredient list. You can also try natural treats like carrots. For particularly challenging situations or behaviors you may want to try real meat.
Proofing is introducing distractions on purpose, to systematically increase your dog's ability to perform the behavior around distractions. Once we get a behavior reliable and on cue you can begin proofing the behavior.
This means teaching your dog to perform the behavior in the presence of
distractions. You can try practicing the behavior in new situations, from different positions (your position & your dog's), and by introducing other types of distractions. Always keep in mind that you want your dog to succeed way more often than they fail.
: a great way to proof "watch me" is to hold a treat away from your face in one hand, and cue or wait for the dog to look back at you. You can begin moving the hand with the treat to raise criteria.
You can also try asking for a "bow" from a sit or down instead of a stand.
Wait asks our dogs to remain within a specified space, and to not cross over an established boundary line.
To teach this behavior, I begin with a clear line on the ground. A change in surface or a threshold is easy line, but you can also use tape temporarily to teach your dog inside.
You will click & toss a treat into the space you want your dog to stay in. Click & toss a treat well before your puppy gets to the line, initially clicking & treating for moving in your direction. To raise criteria try to wait to click until your puppy slows down or actually pauses.
I like to think of "wait" in three levels of difficulty.
: You are between your puppy & the line. This sets your puppy up to 100% right because you can get their attention back to prevent them from crossing the line accidentally. You will quickly progress to level 2.
: You are over/outside of the line. This is the level that you will use most often in daily life. For example, asking your puppy to wait outside of the kitchen while you are cooking, or going out the front door to grab the paper.
: You are within the line, meaning your puppy may be between you & the line. This is the most difficult level because the only thing preventing your puppy from crossing the line is their own self-control or a verbal cue from you. EX: Bringing in groceries with the door open, when you walk into the house to put down the groceries you puppy is between you and the open front door.
Use the 3 D's of self-control to raise criteria & proof the behavior.
Inside the line
Outside the line
You can build an automatic wait by always releasing your dog across the line. If they cross the line without being released, have them go back and do it again.
Examples of where to use wait:
your front door, an entry-way line, the kennel, your car, the kitchen, and curbs in front of your house.
Counter-Conditioning Excitement & Over-Arousal Responses
We can think of fear and excitment as being on the same continuum. When we have a dog that is already over-aroused and reactive to a stimulus, pairing the presence of the stimulus with an exciting reinforcement may not result in the change of behavior that we are seeking. For example, a dog with excitment-based dog-reactivity is already happy to see another dog. We need to teach them to see another dog and remain calm.
I utilize movement to release the excited energy in a more desirable way. This is ultimately a form of systematic desensitization, in which we allow the dog to release the excited energy through walking, while desentizing them to the presence of the stimulus.
I like to have the stimulus move around me, or nearby. I set out several objects/barriers that you can use as guides for remaining in a fairly small area while unpredictably walking around them. The faster you move, the easier it is for the dog to focus on moving with you instead of lunging or barking. Treat anytime the dog is focusing on you. (you do not need a clicker). To raise criteria, begin slowing down and eventually ask for known behaviors while the stimulus moves around you.
Stop lure & cue or wait for a down
You can also try free-shaping the behavior. Set a shoe on the ground, and mark any foot interaction your puppy has with the shoe, until they are stepping/standing on the shoe. Then try standing near the shoe, and then putting the shoe on. To speed this process try putting a treat under the shoe, it will encourage your puppy to paw at the shoe. The video below shows this method of getting a paw target.
Continue to build the behavior from there. Change up the items you ask your puppy to get, ask for longer distances of carrying the item, or change how they give the item to you (your hand, your lap, etc.)
An alert behavior is the behavior a dog uses to get our attention to then indicate a low or high blood glucose level.
Teaching your puppy that they aren't done tugging until the door is fully open will be helfpul when you begin having them retrieve items from inside a location, especially refrigerators.
To utilize variable reinforcement we want to vary how often we reinforce our dogs, and vary the kinds of reinforcements we utilize.
Initially you want to reward your puppy for a correct response every time, but once a behavior becomes reliable you can begin using a different reinforcement or rewarding less often. To help you visualize this concept, think of gambling. Gamblers become addicted to playing the game not because they are guaranteed to win, but because of the possiblity of winning. Our dogs can become addicted to training and working for us, so much so that eventually they are working because working for us is reinforcing to them.
Types of Reinforcement
Praise - verbal & physical (petting)
Play - with you or a toy
Access - to a place or item they want.
Level of Difficulty
Level of Reward
The level of reward needs to be greater than the level of difficulty of a behavior or situation. Keep in mind that once your puppy is successful the level of difficulty goes down, which means you should lower your level of reward as well.
If your puppy is offering a problem behavior, there are several things you need to do to extinguish the behavior.
- try to eliminate what is reinforcing to your puppy about the behavior.
- Teach a solution behavior, or a behavior your puppy should perform instead of the problem behavior. Its extra effective if the solution behavior makes it so that your puppy cannot offer the problem behavior.
The ultimate way to guarantee that a behavior will become extinguished is to not let your puppy have the opportunity to offer the problem behavior. It's up to us to control environments and set our puppies up for success.
Fixing a Problem Behavior
Jumping up is common problem behavior most puppies face.
- Stop reinforcing the puppy when they make the mistake of jumping. This can include stepping back or giving up space when the puppy jumps, reacting or talking to them when they jump, and putting your hands on the puppy to push them off.
- Train the solution behavior of keeping four on the floor. Begin by marking and reinforcing your puppy when they move towards without jumping. Then lightly entice them to jump by moving around or acting excitedly, but be quick to mark and reward them before they make the mistake of jumping. Continue to raise criteria by becoming more & more exciting, and generalizing this response to other people in your household.
Most puppies get very good at not jumping when you're actively practicing the response, but look for other places to eliminate the behavior, such as when you walk through a door or when greeting a new person in public. Set up scenarios to work on these responses as well.
Greet can been used to make a habit about how your puppy meets & is petted by new people. Your puppy should only move forward for attention when you cue them to do so, and ideally remain focused on you while being petted.
You will lure your puppy from their position at your side, to stand in front of the petter. Mark & reinforce your puppy often for standing calmly, focusing on you, while being petted. Then invite your puppy back to heel/side when you're done having them petted.
Having your puppy stand horizontal to the petter helps prevent jumping, and makes it easy to redirect your puppy away if they do make the mistake of trying to jump.
Greet asks your puppy to walk forward & stand sideways in front of a person to receive petting.
Come asks our dog to hurry directly to you and sit in front of you.
To begin teaching a recall, I set a few distraction treats on the ground and then move a few feet away. When my puppy finishes the treats, I make a fun sound and then click when my puppy takes steps in my direction.
If your puppy doesn't immediately come running, continue to seek their attention by using different sounds and movement way from your puppy. Be ready to click as soon as your puppy starts moving towards you.
Continue to praise your puppy, and have the treat ready holding it close your legs to encourage your puppy to come all the way up to you. Lure a sit then give your puppy the treat while you praise and gently handle the collar.
This is especially useful for stair cases, grates, or other objects they will need to walk on. We only use this game with objects or locations that we want our puppies to touch.
You can use luring to let your dog know what behavior you're interested in, then lower criteria and shape the behavior.
Tips for Loose Leash Success
Practice each piece by itself. You can practice giving to pressure without going for a walk. You can focus on stopping when you stop, and only click that behavior.
Once your puppy learns to get back into heel/side position automatically when you stop because they forged ahead, do not reward them for returning to position. Only reward them for maintaining correct position while walking.
Pay close attention to your puppy's pace. Are they walking (four beat gait) or trotting (two beat gait). Be sure to practice
while your puppy is little. You can make a habit of trotting & build stamina that will make loose leash challenging when your puppy grows. Tell your pup "quick" when you want them to trot or run.
Be sure to reward your puppy for good loose leash position when they are
looking up at you. They need to be able to maintain position in heel/side even if they aren't looking directly at you, and that takes practice.
Dress asks your puppy to present their head for you to slide a collar or jacket over.
To train this behavior, simply hold your puppy's training cape out then lure your puppy's head through the cape.
Back asks your puppy to walk backwards away from you. We want to accomplish this behavior without having to move towards our puppy to encourage them to move backwards.
The video by Eileen&Dogs shows the channel method of teaching the behavior. The video by Pam shows another method that can be used as well.
"Leave it" asks your dog to look away from a distraction and focus on you instead. This is usually taught from food initially.
You can begin with food in your hand or on the floor, and prevent your puppy from getting the food by covering it. Click the moment your puppy looks away from the food. I like to lure eye contact with the treat and then give the treat to the puppy. Raise criteria to your puppy looking away from the food to give you eye contact instead. Try to mark and reinforce your puppy for continuing to look at you, without making the mistake of looking back at the food.
Problems with Punishment
Damage to the Animal/Trainer Relationship
Punishment Timing & Incorrect Associations
Suppression of Behaviors
Think of the click like a camera, you want to click at just the right moment to capture the right picture. We want our dogs to pay close attention to what they did when they hear the click.
The clicker is a device that makes a sound. We use the clicker as a moment marker, a conditioned stimulus that allows our dog to predict that they will receive a reinforcement. The clicker is a useful tool, because it allows us to be very precise and very consistent. We can also condition verbal markers.
You can clicker train people too, it's called TAG Teaching. Teaching with Acoustical Guidance.
How do I give my dog cues?
1. Do I have my dog's attention?
- yes, they're making eye contact.
- no, I need to get my dog's attention first. I can use their name or attention sound. I can also try taking a few steps away.
2. Give the Cue & Wait
-say the cue only ONE time. Wait at least 5 seconds.
3. Look at the "behavior"
Look where you want your dog to be, or at the item you want your dog to interact with while you wait.
4. Keep Waiting!
-wait silently, keep your body still. Don't reach for a treat until AFTER your dog completes the behavior.
- reward your dog for finishing the behavior. Only give the reward if they remain in the position.
Keys to Success with a Clicker
If you click the clicker you MUST give your dog a treat.
Timing is very important. The click must happen WHILE the dog is performing the behavior you want.
Focus on one behavior at a time. This means only click behaviors that build towards the behavior you are teaching, putting on cue, or sharpening.
The clicker is the first thing that is faded. Once your dog is performing the behavior on cue, that behavior does not need to be clicked. (unless you raise criteria or need to practice the behavior).
Have a training plan, know how you want to introduce the behavior to your dog, and what steps of criteria you will be looking for.
When your dog understands the concept of "touch" means use my nose to move something you can easily transfer the behavior to new locations, like helping to close the dishwasher.