Last week we discussed raising our criteria to include some commitment before presenting the reward. For our purposes, commitment means any forward momentum. Especially early on, we really want to make sure we are reinforcing the choice (or the initiative) to move towards us on the first cue! Realize, however, that even though I am giving these steps in a sequential order, one week apart, MOST dogs will need extra time on one or more of these steps! Creating the association a
Last week we were looking for some recognition of the cue, "Come!" Now that we are seeing that recognition, we can begin to ask for some commitment from our pup before getting their reward. So, just as we did last week, we want the food dish to be hidden - or at least not obvious - when we come outside with our pup. Once again, we need to be cautious about when we choose to issue the cue. As your pup is barking and fence-running with the neighbor dog probably isn't the best t
Last week, we talked about an easy way to begin making a BIG impact in your dog’s perception of recalls – using his food dish! If you have been doing this for the past week, you are likely noticing that your dog is looking for the dish before deciding to come. Alternatively, you may find that your dog is hovering near you instead of wandering off to play. Either way is fine, at this point, because NOW we are going to add in some variability to help associate the reward with t
Making memories – POSITIVE memories – takes time and repetition. If your pup has a history of tuning you out, or worse yet, perceives recalls as a NEGATIVE thing, it will take some time to begin to “overwrite” that history. One easy way to approach this is to use your dog’s dinner as his reward – bowl and all! When it’s dinner time, and your dog is at his hungriest, let him outside (or take him out on a long line). After he has had a few minutes to explore, bring his dinner o
The recall. Otherwise known as "come", or "here", or one of many other variations of the cue. Here's the typical scenario: It's a sunny spring day, and Fido has just been let out to play after being cooped up in the house all day while Mom and Dad were at work. Fido is having a great time burning off some pent-up energy, chasing squirrels, sniffing around, and catching up on the Daily Doggy News. Just then, the neighbors let their pup out, who runs to the fence to greet Fido.