|Canine Good Citizen|
stimuli can become part of a command or cue in the eyes of a dog. If
you consistently do something with any part of your body-hands, legs, eyes-
when you give a dog a verbal command the dog will probably pick up on it and
consider it as a part of your command. Dogs are very visual
animals and key in on body language. Body language/signals are how
dogs communicate. They are also very cognizant of their environment
and can pick up cues from their surroundings. Some examples:
It is important to work with your dog in a variety of places and under a variety of conditions. That way the dog learns that the constant is your verbal/signal command. You command, and your command alone signals that there will be a reward available when the dog performs the behavior. It doesn't matter whether there are ring gates surrounding him or a sofa behind him. When the handler says "sit" and the dog sits, good things happen.
the above issues before assuming the dog is making a choice not to respond.
It could be that the dog doesn't understand the command when given in an
unfamiliar way or unfamiliar place. If the dog does not understand and
receives a correction or punishment for failure to perform, the dog
might become anxious or confused.
something irrelevant has been attached to the command the handler can fade
it out once it has been identified. For example, if the dog only
comes when the handler leans forward or when shaking a cookie box, over time
lean a little less, shake the box a little less, until the handler is
standing straight or the box is present but not shaken. If the dog
only performs at class or in the living room by giving the dog an
opportunity to practice at a park or during a walk will help the dog to
generalize the behavior.
the dog has learned a certain command for a behavior and your want to
replace it with another command, you can do so by pairing the new with the
old. This is especially helpful when dogs have learned the down
command to the "lay" cue and now you wish to change the command to
"down." ( Lay is easily confused with STAY.) You can lure for the
position and command "Down,Lay." After several repetitions
fade the old cue, (say it softer) until it is gone. The dog will then
respond to the new cue. This is also helpful when dogs do not have a
response to the "come" command. You can rename the command
to "here" as in Fido "Here, Come" retrain to the
new command and eventually fade the Here and get back to reliable recalls to
the COME command.
the dog to follow food is a good way to teach behaviors that require the dog
to move. We use food tracking to teach the dog position exercises.
Other behaviors can be taught by the same procedures. We can use food
tracking to teach tricks like "spin" or for an obedience
with the food at nose level and close to the dog. Cue the dog to
"get it!" and move the food. Usually you will have to move
the food slowly at first, until the dog understands he is supposed to
follow. Don't expect the dog to follow too far before he gets
the food when you first teach the behavior. Try and release and
reward while the dog is moving.
teaching the dog to track food, remember: