In the last blog we went over some of our favorite behaviors to include as foundations for obedience and how to ask for them once your dog already knows them.
Today we are going to go over the first step in how to teach any new behavior.
To begin teaching a new behavior, it’s a good idea to have a couple of words that your dog understands that mean they did something right (aka marker words).
At Cadence K9 we use 3 marker words in our programs, to see them in action, check out this video:
We will go over how to introduce these later in the blog.
Teaching a New Behavior Step 1:
Set you and your dog up for success
For most people, food will be what is used for training, so we will focus on this method here. If you want more info on training with toys please leave a comment and if there is interest we can create an entire blog about just that:-) Assuming we will use food:
Step 2: Teach Marker Words
For the purposes of this blog, we will use just two of them, Good and Yes.
Good=great job, stay where you are, food will be delivered to your mouth
Yes=great job, stop what you are doing and come take food from my hand
Teaching the dogs these words is simple and a lot of fun. Here is how it’s done:
Say the word without moving (no grabbing food from your pouch while you speak, no hand gestures or body movement)
Right after speaking the word, grab a piece of food and deliver it
For good, bring the food to your dogs mouth wherever they are at
For yes, make sure your dog is aware of the food in your hand and move it away from them so they need to physically come get it from you. If you are struggling with this leave us a comment and I can provide more detail.
The reason you don’t want to speak and feed at the same time is because it makes it harder for your dog to separate that when they hear the word, food is on the way. Do this over and over until when you say the word, you see your dog look to your hand or treat pouch expecting the food. Once they have connected that the word means food is on the way, you can use it to help teach new behaviors.
In our next blog and video we will show you how to use these markers to teach behavior. Stay tuned and see you soon!