June 2009

Training tip #1 – Adding a New Cue

In my swedish blog, I have decided to post a training tip each day for a couple of weeks. This time of year is really hectic for me and it’s hard to find time and inspiration for blogging unless you have some kind of structure. I have planned for about fifteen tips and I will try to translate most of them into English and post them here.

My first tip is about adding cues. There are many different opinions on how and when to add a cue to a shaped behavior. This is my opinion. I think it is important that the cue is presented before the dog offers the behavior, not at the same time. Therefore, I find that a good goal is to try to make your first session when adding a cue look like your dog already knows the cue. Your timing is important here, try to add the cue just before the dog offers the behavior you want to name. This is of course dependent on that your dog will offer the behavior in a predictable manner. Here is a video from this morning, it’s the first session with Squid (now 9 months) where I name the shaped behavior of grabbing the tail: