Tough Boy Trick- Capture your Dog’s Cute Behaviors – Place on Cue

21dogandImagine a photographer with a camera focused on a bird’s nest – just waiting for the baby birds to pop their heads up. The instant the birds show their heads, the photographer captures the image by releasing the shutter.

Imagine a dog owner (me) walking his turbo Australian terrier (Bentley).

Imagine Bentley scratching the ground with his feet (like a bull), immediately after he urinates.

Imagine me marking that behavior and then giving Bentley some version of  F.A.T. (Marking is when you click a clicker, say a crisp X, or use whatever signal you use as a marker. F.A.T. is a reward system, consisting of food, attention, and touch.)

I thought Bentley’s natural behavior of  “scratching out” was cute, so I decided to teach him to do it on command. All I did was mark the instant he did it and then give him a reward. At this point I am not saying anything to Bentley. I am patiently waiting, then marking.

I am like the photographer in that I patiently wait for something in particular to occur, then I act.

During one walk with 3 or 4 instances of Bentley scratching out and me marking the behavior, Bentley caught on. To test his understanding, I waited for him to scratch out, and I did NOT mark the behavior. He looked up at me as if to say, “hey stoooopid, I  scratched out – where’s the mark?”  Now I was ready to add the command or cue. On our next pee stop I slipped the words. “Tough boy” immediately before he scratched out. I marked the behavior and a new trick was born.

Now I can ask Bentley, Are you a tough boy?” and he will scratch out like a bull!

You can capture any behavior your dog naturally performs. This means you can teach sit and down via the capture method. It’s too easy but it works very well!!

Happy Training!

Alan J Turner – Canine Relationship Solutions – Memphis – Collierville – Germantown – Dog Training – Cat Training – Bird Training – Horse Training

21Dog

How’s Bentley – Dog and Puppy Shake – Fun Facts and Trainer Truths – iPhone, iPad, iTouch app.

New Year Resolution for Your Dog

HNewYearTake 2, 20 Minute Walks each day.

In addition to the obvious exercise benefits for you and your dog, walks build relationships.

Many people avoid walks because their dogs pull. Teaching a dog to walk nicely is easy – if you have the right tools!

Alan J Turner – Private Dog Trainer – Memphis – Collierville-Germantown, Bartlett, Tn,  Olive Branch MS
Group Dog Obedience Mini Courses – Memphis – Collierville

How’s Bentley Group Dog Obedience: Mini Course Syllabus – Beginner Course

Groupcartoon

How’s Bentley Mini Course Syllabus – Beginner Course

For all friendly, vaccinated, puppies and dogs 16 weeks or older

COURSE FEE & LENGTH – $85,  3 weekly sessions, 55 minutes each

By Reservation only:– Please review this checklist to see if group courses are best for your dog

 

DOGS – 3-10  dogs per class – all friendly, vaccinated puppies and dogs over 16 weeks may attend.

PEOPLE – Adults 18 and over may register and one adult will handle the dog.  All family members are encouraged to attend. Teens and children can assist the adult handler.

METHODS – Dog friendly, rewards based teaching methods, no leash jerks

INSTRUCTOR –  Alan J Turner, owner of How’s Bentley,  is the instructor. Alan is a companion animal behavior counselor and trainer with a specialization in canine behavior. Alan is a certified Syn Alia Training Systems Trainer, Lay Level 1. Alan is a member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers. Please Visit these links to learn more about Alan.

How’s Bentley

Syn Alia Training Systems

Association of Pet Dog Trainers

COMMANDS – look, come, sit, down, stay, go-to-place

REACTIVE  DOGS – Group Course setting is not suitable for aggressive, reactive, or fearful dogs. Please contact Alan about private sessions.

BRING TO CLASS – copies of current vaccination records, signed Group Mini Course Enrollment Form, small food treats, chew toy, water bowl, hungry, exercised dog; Sessions 2-3 dog bed, high value long lasting chew treat

EQUIPMENT – Leash: 4 to 6 foot nylon, leather, poly, or cotton lead – Collar: any neck collar, head collar, or harness is acceptable as long as the dog is not choking and the dog cannot escape from the equipment. Weeks 2-3, bring a dog bed, rug, kennel pad, something to use as the “Place” for Go-To-Place

REGISTER– Contact Brown Dog Lodge to reserve your spot. 

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Behaviors for Beginner Mini Course (click words below for detailed instructions):

Look (Attention on cue / while standing), Capture Sit, Target Here (optional Whistle Come), Lure Down (or Capture Down), Stay, Go-to-Place



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Preparation for First Class – Lecture Notes

Please select the link below to view helpful articles in preparation for the course. AA3 and AA4 are the most important!

http://dogand.com/category/dog-training-obedience/start-here/

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Here are the steps for teaching a dog anything you want.

  1. Condition a reward marker, a signal you will use during training to tell your dog the instant he or she has succeeded.
  2. Establish a Rewards System, so your dog will be motivated to cooperate.
  1. Get the dog to perform the behavior (or some portion of the behavior) during very short, practice sessions.
  1. Mark the instant your dog succeeds.
  2. Reward your dog to reinforce the behavior. (Deliver some “version” of F.A.T.)
  3. Refine the behavior through repeated, very short, practice sessions in many different areas.
  4. Add distractions so your dog will always perform the behavior.
  5. Practice the behavior in real life.

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SYLLABUS ***************************

1st Class Session- Exercises

Condition an instant reward marker.

Capture sit for folded arms.

Teach attention on cue – while standing.

Teach your dog to come bump your target (Here).

Teach additional commands for the same behavior (teach the word sit).

Video Demo

http://dogand.com/category/dog-training-obedience/training-video-demonstrations/

Obedience Training –> Video Demo

Here’s a video demo of a puppy doing “look”, “here”, “sit” and “down”. My client is using a clicker as the conditioned reward marker.  When you string several commands, you mark each “success”, but don’t deliver food treat after every mark. In this video, my client is using a clicker for the reward marker.

HOMEWORK WEEK ONE

Here’s a goal for this week.  Hold at least 5, 60 second, practice sessions every day. 10 would be better! 🙂 Practice Look, Here, Sit

Wait 10 minutes minimum between these short sessions. You could do all 5 within one hour, but it’s better to sprinkle the sessions throughout the day- or split between AM and PM.

During these short (1 minute) sessions, practice “sit for folded arms” and “attention on cue”.

Problems with “Sit for Folded Arms”? CLICK HERE for TROUBLESHOOTING TIPS.

CLICK HERE for a Training Log. Print the log so you can keep a record of your practice sessions.

You will mark each “look” or “sit” with your reward marker (X is one of my favorite reward markers). And you follow the X with some version of FAT.

The first couple of days, give your dog a small food reward (after you mark the instant of success) 3 out of every 5 times you mark. As your dog learns the commands, you can discontinue the use of the marker.

After 2 days, experiment with the reinforcement schedule.  Use a variable intermittent schedule of reinforcement; give a food reward sometimes, and give attention (praise, yee haaas, fun noises) or touch without the food treat, other times. Mix it up!

Practice in 4 different locations inside your home. Practice in 2 different locations outside.

2nd Class Session- Exercises

Practice: Look, Here, Sit

Lure Down or Capture Down

Introduce Stay, Go-to-Place

Discussion – Making Behaviors Reliable

Schedules of Reinforcement

HOMEWORK WEEK TWO

Practice: Look, Here, Sit, Down, Stay

Hold 5 daily, 2-3 minute practice sessions. Practice in 4 different locations inside your home. Practice in 2 different locations outside.

Optional – Teach: Whistle Come

Optional – Teach and practice: Inside / Outside

3rd Class Session- Exercises

Practice: Look, Here, Sit, Down,Stay, Go-to-Place

Practice: Attention while standing – without cue

Discussion: Real Life Applications

Instructor, Alan J Turner, SATS LL1

How’s Bentley – Memphis, Germantown, Collierville TN

Group Dog Obedience Courses

iPhone 3Gs Video ** Ace Doberman Shadow Dance

Doberman AceI visited Ace the AKC registered, Doberman puppy today in Collierville TN.  Ace already knows: “Look”, “Two Finger Target Here”, and “Sit for Folded Arms”. Today we practiced “Leave-It (it’s impossible), and “Stay”. This young rascal is quite the turbo!

Click the  link below to see Ace the AKC registered Doberman puppy doing his shadow dance.

Doberman puppy 2

Doberman pupy 3

Doberman 1

Happy Training!

How’s Bentley

21st Century Canine Relationship Solutions

Memphis TN

New iPhone app -Dog and Puppy Shake – Fun Facts and Trainer Truths
21st Century Dogs – Dog and Puppy Club

Fire Hose Game: Simple Solution for Excited Dogs Jumping Up on Visitors


Weim FIre HoseSometimes we get so engrossed in stopping our dogs’ behaviors, we overlook the simple solutions. Friendly, jumping up on guests is the most common problem reported by my clients.

Many dogs calm down after a few minutes, so this solution is for those guys, the dogs that are too excited to obey during the first few minutes, but do relax after their initial exuberance has passed!

We’ve all read the same books and advice. Attach a leash, prevent the dog from mugging your guests. Teach the dog to sit politely for greetings. Yuk! How boring!

In theory that sounds like great advice. But in reality, many people do not have the skills, the time, or regular guests to use for practice. And some dogs are too darned excited to sit! I prefer to give these turbo dogs another active and exciting task (besides jumping up on guests).

Here’s my easy solution that will cost you under $15 and about 10 minutes to put into place. This works especially well for labrador and golden retrievers!

Try this jumping up solution with dogs that like toys, and are proud to prance with toys in their mouths.

Purchase a new toy. Dogs seem to really like fire hose material. The texture is a bit different and the fire hose is very durable. Amazon has a great selection. Here’s the best one I’ve found at the best price.

You’ll need to build a history of excitement and glee, and associate the toy with proud prancing, before you can use it in real life. You’ll do this when no visitors are nearby.
Give your dog the new toy. Chase, praise, cheer, clap your hands, make high pitched repetitive noises. Do whatever it takes to get your dog prancing or racing around the house with the new toy!

After 3 minutes of excitement, ask your dog to drop the toy and place the toy near your door. Wait an hour and then repeat the fire hose toy playtime. This time, you’ll label the game. Say something like, “Fire Hose” and then race to get the toy near the door. Give your dog the toy and cheer him on!

From now on, your dog only gets that particular toy when people visit your house. Say, “Fire Hose” and give your dog the toy the instant you open the door and invite the visitors inside your home. It’s very likely that your problem of “excited dog jumping on visitors” will be replaced with a display of prancing and running with the fire hose toy.

Happy Training!

Alan J Turner – How’s Bentley – Memphis TN
21st Century Canine Relationship Specialist
New iPhone app -Dog and Puppy Shake – Fun Facts and Trainer Truths
21st Century Dogs – Dog and Puppy Club

iPhone 3Gs Video ** Submissive Dog Behaviors are Not an Indication of Guilt

WilliamWallaceWinkieCommon submissive dog behaviors include lowering of head, tail, body, or rolling over and exposing the underside.

Many people believe they are teaching their dogs by scolding. They place items the dog destroyed into their outstretched hands, fuss at the dogs, and the dogs cower away.

The people support their misbeliefs by the phrase, “She knows what she did because she looked guilty when I held up the item.”

Say, I don’t know what your dog is thinking, nor do you. But I do know this.

Submissive behaviors are not an admission of guilt.  These behaviors are your dog’s way of saying, “Please discontinue your attack, I mean you no harm”.

If you do not believe me, try this. Show your dog an item, any item with no previous relevance to the dog, push it towards your dog and fuss. He or she will react with the same submissive behaviors you see when you are fussing about a naughty event. If the dog knows right and wrong, why did he or she exhibit submissive behaviors when you held an unfamiliar item and fussed?

Teaching by scolding is not very efficient.

It’s like allowing your 3 year old child to run into the street so you can spank him or her. Everyone can agree. That would be ridiculous. Parents of a 3 year old child focus on preventing their 3 year old child from running into the street. They know that one day, the child will be old enough to cross the street without an adult. But now, the kid is too young and “untrained” to be near the street unattended. One day, the parents will teach the child the skills needed to cross the busy street. Until then, the child is closely supervised.

Happy Training!

The dog in the picture is William Wallace Winkie. CLICK HERE to watch a video of Winkie playing outside!

You can adopt this guy from Collierville Animal Services in Collierville TN.

Reactive Dog Seminars

How’s Bentley Memphis TN

Puppy or Dog Obedience Training First Steps – Condition a Marker, Capture Sit, Teach “Look”

EllieBWBall

Want to start an obedience program for your puppy or dog? You can start as soon as you bring your dog into your family. The first two commands all dogs should learn are “Look”, and “Sit”. Before you begin teaching, it’s helpful to learn a bit about rewards and reward systems. Please visit the START HERE category of posts before you begin.

Conditioning a Reward Marker

The method to establish a conditioned reward marker is to use classical or pavlovian conditioning to pair (or associate) a marker with the primary reinforcer of food.

Regardless of the marker you choose, the steps for conditioning the marker are identical. You only need to condition the marker this one time. Your animal is not asked to perform a behavior during the conditioning process.

Do this when the animal is attending to you and not distracted. Do not speak or touch the animal before, or after, you deliver the marker and the treat.

Remember, a marker can be any signal the animal can perceive. My favorite audible, conditioned reward markers are: the sound of a clicker; the word “good”, and  the letter “X”.

Here’s how to condition a reward marker.

You are not asking the animal to perform any behavior during this process.

In this example, I’ll use an audible marker, the letter X, spoken abruptly, like a sound.

Speak a crisp “X”; give a food treat. Wait until the animal has finished eating the treat. Say “X”; give the animal a food treat. Repeat 3-5 times. Next, capture sit for folded arms by following the instructions below this sentence.

Capture Sit

The first signal (cue for sit) you teach will be visual. The act of folding your arms across your chest will become your first cue for “sit”.  You can teach your puppy the word “sit” after he learns the folded arms cue.

I prefer starting with this visual signal for several reasons. The primary reason is because folded arms and hidden hands discourage jumping.

Dogs jump up because we touch them with our hands. Dangling and moving hands entice dogs to jump.

Folding your hands out of sight sends a signal to your puppy that you are not likely to touch.

In addition it makes it very difficult for clients to repeat the signal over and over, as they do when using a verbal command.

Another reason I use the “folded arms” visual command is because it helps clients control their behaviors. Most people automatically reach and touch a cute, jumping puppy, without thinking.

It seems we humans have an automatic urge to pet or touch puppies that jump up to greet us. This teaches puppies to jump up for greetings.

The folded arms cue is easy for anyone to perform and appears relatively the same to the dog, no matter who is giving the command. This is helpful when you start asking friends and neighbors to ask your dog to sit.

Ask 3 people to say “sit” to your dog. You will witness 3 very different techniques. Some will bark the command as if this will make it happen quicker; others will add meaningless words to the command, and some may tilt their heads forward or swing their arms.

All these additional actions may confuse the dog, because the dog is very likely to process voice tone, motions and body language as the cue.

The delivery of a visual, folded-arms cue is less likely to be clouded by voice tones and body language, since the voice is absent and the body language is the cue!

Here’s how I usually teach a dog to sit on cue via the capture method.

Do not say “sit” or speak any other words during this teaching session. The only sound you will make is the sound of your conditioned marker, the instant your dog’s bottom touches the floor.

Go to a quiet location where your dog will not be distracted.

Attach a leash and instead of holding the end, just drop it on the floor.

If the dog jumps or decides to walk away, you can step on the leash to prevent either of these behaviors.

Stand a couple of feet away from your dog.

Do not speak to your dog, just give your dog a small food treat. Do this three times. Now you have your dog’s attention!

Fold your arms across your chest and tuck your hands underneath your armpits.

Do not speak, just smile at your dog and wait until he sits.

Mark the instant his rump hits the floor by delivering your reward marker. Give him a treat by tossing in on the floor so that he must get out of the sit position to get the treat. Do not praise or talk to your dog.

As soon as your dog finishes the treat and looks at you, fold your arms across your chest, remain silent and wait. He will sit. Mark the instant his rump hits the floor. Give him a treat.

Repeat 3-5 times.

At the end of this quick session, you can talk and play with your dog. Now you can use the act of folding your arms across your chest as a silent signal for Sit!

To teach your dog the word “sit” means the same as the folded arms, visit this page.

Troubleshooting Sit for Folded Arms

Attention-on-Cue, While Standing

The goal is teach the dog to look towards you on command. Attention on Cue is helpful when you are not interacting with the dog but do wish to start interacting. It is helpful if the dog gets distracted and you want his attention.

Teach your dog to attend to you when you say “now”, “chickie”, “hey”, “look”, “hup”, “turn”, or whatever short word you choose.

I do not use the dog’s name for the attention-on-cue signal.

The signal (command or cue) for attention should be unique! The dog hears his or her name countless times and it doesn’t necessarily mean “Look towards me, I will pay you”.

In order to increase behaviors using rewards, first you must get the behavior.

The recipe is for teaching is:

  • set up the environment to get the behavior
  • mark and reinforce the behavior
  • practice in many areas while adding distractions

For this exercise, we’ll use nothing but the signal and food to initially get the behavior to occur.

Then we’ll use the marker to bring attention to (and reinforce) the behavior of looking towards us when we give the cue.

We’ll follow the marker with food treats the first few trials.

Once the dog learns what is expected of him or her, we’ll mark the instant of success and deliver FAT as a reward for looking when we give the signal.

Get the Behavior

Your dog can be on a leash or not. I like to do it off lead in a secure, small area, but if that’s not available to you, attach a 6 foot leash.

It’s okay if other people are nearby, but you don’t need distractions for this step.  If other people are present, just ask them to stand quietly.

With your dog nearby, speak your “attention signal” and immediately toss or hand your dog a treat (unless he or she is jumping up on you or performing some other rude or obnoxious behaviors). Say the signal, deliver a treat. No markers are used in this step. Repeat 2 times for a total of 3 trials. By now your dog should be focused on you. If not, discontinue the session and move to a quieter area, or choose a higher value food treat and try again.

Mark and Reinforce the Behavior

You might need a very small distraction for this step. Ask a family member to stand nearby, within sight of your dog. Instruct them to tap with their shoe, make a small noise, or whatever it takes, to momentarily attract the dog’s attention towards them.

Wait until your dog is close by, but not looking directly at you. Speak the cue and watch closely. Mark the instant he or she begins to turn his or her head towards you. Toss your dog a treat. Do this 2 more times for a total of 3 trials.

Behavior will be Repeated

Practice “attention-on-cue” at odd times throughout the day, inside the house, in any room that is relatively quiet.

Ask for the behavior 3-5 times during short time periods at different times of day, in different rooms.

Once your dog is obeying this command in rooms without distractions, add distractions by asking a family member to make some sort of noise or slight motion.

Once your dog is obeying, while inside the house with distractions, it’s time to practice outside. Choose quieter areas at first. Attach a leash and go to your patio, yard or any other familiar area.  After you can succeed in these areas, go to other places with more distractions.

Randomly ask for the behavior at odd times when you are not conducting a “training session”. Your goal is to practice this behavior in so many different areas, with so many different creative distractions, that your dog will always look when you give the command!

Happy Training!
Alan J Turner – Companion Animal Behavior Counselor and Trainer
Memphis, Collierville, Germantown Private and Group Dog Training
Fear, Aggression,Anxiety, et cetera

Forget About Stopping Your Dog’s Naughty Jumping Behaviors with a Knee in the Chest

Yorkshire Terrier, Cody
Yorkshire Terrier, Cody

Many of my clients become engrossed, almost obsessed, with the notion of stopping their puppies or dogs from performing some obnoxious or naughty behaviors. They believe that teaching a dog what “NO” means, is the method to train.

That, my friend, is a long and rocky path, which can spiral into trouble and frustration.

You will succeed much quicker if you focus on:

  1. preventing the rude behaviors (be proactive)
  2. increasing the good behaviors (teach your dog what he or she should do in a particular situation)

For instance, suppose the puppy is jumping up on guests. Some of my clients address this common problem by grabbing their dogs’ collars and pulling them off the guests, while saying “NO”.  Other clients instruct their guests to knee the dogs in the chest. How primitive! 🙂

I’m not saying you shouldn’t interrupt jumping behaviors, you should. But every time you grab your dog’s collar, she just scored a goal, and you are not even aware that the game has begun!

Using your knee to punish jumping is equally inefficient, and not a good choice for many situations. How does that work with a 5 pound Yorkshire terrier? a 85 year old client? Even if you have the motor skills to pull it off, and your dog is the perfect size, it will only teach your dog that jumping on you is a bad idea. It will not necessarily stop your dog from jumping on every one else. And it gives your dog no useful information about what he or she should be doing at that exact moment.

You know that your dog will jump and nip. Instead of waiting for your dog to misbehave and then reacting, be proactive.

Attach a leash or tether and prevent your puppy from practicing rude behaviors. You are not going to yell and jerk the leash, just calmly hold the leash and prevent the behavior. Teach your dog Basic Obedience Commands, so she will know exactly what to do when people approach.

Happy Training!

Alan J Turner – How’s Bentley – Memphis TN

Companion Animal Behavior Counselor & Trainer

Private and Group Dog Obedience Training in Memphis, Collierville, Germantown TN

How to Teach Teach your Collierville TN Golden Retriever Dog or Puppy to Stay

JackGRStay

I use stay as a temporary command whenever I want Bentley to remain in one spot for a brief period.

This is useful if I drop or spill something and want to pick it up without being “mugged” or bothered by a curious dog.

When I ask Bentley to stay, I am saying, “Please remain in this location. I am going to leave or perform some task. I will come back to you and give you a reward for staying.”

When teaching stay, I never walk away and then call the dog to me. I always return to the dog and release him from the stay.

I teach stay in cycles. Each cycle I add a bit more movement or action. Once the dog learns the concept of stay, I add distractions. I might practice the same cycles with items in my hand, while waving my arms, clapping, dancing, etc.

Once the dog will stay for my distractions, I work with the dog and invite other people to play the role of distractions.

Before you begin training your dog, you’ll need to learn a bit about communication and motivation. Please visit the Dog Training Start Here Category. There you will learn about markers and rewards, two excellent topics for communicating and motivating! A prerequisite for “stay” is “Attention on Cue”. It doesn’t hurt if your dog already knows “Sit” too!


Cycle 1:

With the dog on a lead, I say “stay”, wait 1 second, and then push my open hand towards him – like a stop signal. Then I withdraw my hand.

I wait 2 seconds and then deliver the reward marker to release the dog, followed by  a food treat.

Cycle 2:

With the dog on a lead, I say “stay”, wait 1 second, and then push my open hand towards him – like a stop signal. Then I withdraw my hand.

I take a couple of steps with each foot, but do not move forward or backward. I march in place. I stop moving my feet.

I wait 2 seconds and then deliver the reward marker to release the dog, followed by  a food treat.

Cycle 3:

Same as cycle 2 except I might take a backward step and then return, or twist my upper body or shoulders just a bit.

I stop all body motions.

I wait 2 seconds and then deliver the reward marker to release the dog, followed by  a food treat.

Following Cycles:

Each cycle I get a bit more creative with my actions or movements. I always return to the dog, pause 2 seconds and then release him by delivering the marker.

Troubleshooting Stay

Many people tell their dogs to stay and immediately turn and walk away.  Naturally the dog follows. He has no clue what stay means. When this happens, people just repeat the sequence but say “Stay” a bit harsher, as if now the dog will understand.

The key to success is teaching in cycles. Add one small bit of motion during each cycle. If your dog does not stay, reduce the motion and try again.

It helps to have a particular goal in mind. For instance, teach your dog to stay when you drop a pencil and then pick it up. Each cycle will add a bit more of the motion involved in bending over and picking up an item.

Be patient, add small “pieces” of distractions and you will succeed!

If your dog follows you, herd him back to the beginning location, repeat the command and try again. This time use less motion. If your dog fails 2x in a row, make sure you succeed on the 3rd cycle. Perform an easy cycle with no distractions.

I never let my dog fail 3x in a row. THree failures in a row tell me that I am adding distractions above his current skill level.


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Happy Training!
Alan J Turner – How’s Bentley – Memphis TN
Private and Group Dog Obedience Training – Collierville TN

Teach Your Memphis Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Puppy Additional Commands (cue, signal) for the Same Behavior

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

I always suggest that my clients teach their dogs and puppies two commands for each behavior. Sit is a god example. One command should be audible (word “sit”) and the other can be visual (folding of arms across chest).

Once you’ve taught your dog to obey one cue or command for a particular behavior, you can teach another cue for the same behavior in 6 trials – or less than 2 minutes!

Cavalier King Charles spaniels are great family pets!

Before you begin training your dog, you’ll need to learn a bit about communication and motivation. Please visit the Dog Training Start Here Category. There you will learn about markers and rewards, two excellent topics for communicating and motivating! A prerequisite for “stay” is “Attention on Cue”. It doesn’t hurt if your dog already knows “Sit” too!

Trial 1: give the new cue, wait one second, give the old cue. Mark the instant she performs the behavior and deliver a food treat.

Trials 2 and 3:  same as Trial 1. Add one second per trial to the elapsed time between delivering the new cue and delivering the old cue. So the 2nd and 3rd trial will have a 2 and 3 second delay between the new cue and old cue.

Trial 4: give new cue only and wait for her to perform the behavior (several seconds if necessary). Mark the instant she performs the behavior and deliver a food treat.

Trial 5: give old cue and wait for her to perform the behavior. Mark the instant she performs the behavior and deliver a food treat.

Trial 6: give new cue only and wait for her to perform the behavior. Mark the instant she performs the behavior and deliver food treat.

Now you can use either cue. In areas with high distractions, you can use both cues. If you do use both cues, pause a second or two between the cues.  In other words, do not use both cues at the same time.

Happy Training!

Alan J Turner – Companion Animal Behavior Counselor & Trainer, Canine Specialization

How’s Bentley – Private and Group Dog Behavior and Obedience Training

Memphis, Collierville, Bartlett, Cordova, Germantown, Arlington, Jackson, Olive Branch,Oxford, MS, TN

Teach Your Memphis Labrador Retriever to Respond to Your First Command

HersheyLabSome of my clients repeat a cue or command to their Memphis labrador retriever puppy or dog many times, either in efforts to get the behaviors, or to keep the behaviors. For example, many people repeat the word sit when their dogs don’t sit on the first command.

Saying stay…stay…stay… while walking away and extending your hand out like a stop signal is another common example.

I have a set of “loose” rules for repeating commands. Generally speaking, I use one technique with dogs that are learning or practicing. Another is for dogs that have learned and practiced a command (in a similar environment) and are not cooperating.

Sometimes it’s difficult to know if the dog is not cooperating or genuinely confused.

Unless I am certain that the dog can perform under the current circumstances, I always address the situation as if the dog is learning. I try to help the dog perform the behavior.

In other instances, I might treat the dog as if he is both learning and not cooperating.

Dogs Who are Learning, Practicing and Cooperating

Before I repeat the command, first I change something about my body language, the dog’s position, or both. Then I ask again. These position changes are quick, fluid and sometimes unnoticed by an observer. I may change position several times as I try to get a particular behavior.

Some of the adjustments involve only my positioning and body language. Others prompt the dog to change position.

For instance, suppose I ask for sit. If the dog doesn’t sit, I might lean towards the dog with my upper body or lead the dog a step or two to the left or right and try again.

If I am seated (when I ask the first time), I stand up. I might move a step closer to the dog, or take a step farther away, or bend forward, or tilt back, or square my shoulders, or kneel down, or whatever I feel might be helpful. After one or many of these small adjustments, I’ll repeat the command.

Some dogs need more help to get started.

With these guys, I’ll ask for “shake” or “touch” or whatever tricks or behaviors the dogs will perform. After the dogs perform, I ask for the initial behavior again.

When I do anything that causes a dog to move, I’m prompting cooperation.

The act of encouraging the dog to move creates a tension break, a sort of casual conversation.  It gives the dog a chance to warm up to the whole cooperation idea!

Eliciting muscle movements primes the dog to perform other motion behaviors. It’s like pushing a car. Once you get the car rolling, it’s easier to keep it rolling and to steer it!

Dogs Who are not Cooperating

If I am working with a dog with all of these attributes, A) knows the behavior, B) can do the behavior in the current environment, C) has done the behavior in the current environment, I rarely repeat commands with only a position change.

Instead, I tell the dog that he or she has failed to cooperate and I am disappointed.

Here’s how I do it.

Suppose I ask for sit and the dog just looks at me. Instead of repeating the command, I turn and walk away. For the next 5-10 seconds, I ignore any attempts by the dog to get my attention. After this brief time out, I turn and face the dog and ask again. The dog quickly learns that I only ask one time!

Happy Training!

Alan J Turner – Companion Animal Behavior Counselor & Trainer, Canine Specialization

How’s Bentley – Private and Group Dog Obedience

Memphis, Collierville, Bartlett, Cordova, Germantown, Arlington, Jackson, Olive Branch,Oxford, MS, TN