Five Steps to Train a Behavior
you in this process??
Here are general
guidelines on how to create a behavior and gain control over the behavior.
Dani Weinberg, firstname.lastname@example.org, created these five guidelines. I
have added a little to her five principles, but she gets full credit
DOG decides if you've moved too fast, by its behavior!!
get the behavior you want.
You can do
this through luring, waiting for it naturally, or shaping it from
small pieces. I recommend shaping naturally if possible. If you can't
get the entire behavior, get a small part of it and work forward from
there. If you are going to do this (shaping through successive approximations)
remember to have a mental picture of exactly what you want in the
2. Then change
the picture. (Generalize it.)
if you have been C/T'ing your dog for sitting right in front of you
every time, start having him sit in different directions, with you
facing different ways etc. Start with this step early on, after two
or three C/Ts.
class mantra: DOGS DON'T GENERALIZE. This is a step that you should
be doing from the beginning through the end of getting a behavior
to fluency. You won't necessarily completely generalize before going
to number 3.
3. Then add
a cue. (Name the behavior.)
the cue to the behavior unless you are willing to bet $50 the dog
will perform the behavior with no input from you. This is where the
command/cue is added. Start saying the cue/command right before you
think the dog is going to give you the behavior. Don't forget once
you add this step, you only C/T when the animal does the behavior
as a result of the cue/command.
4. Then make
the behavior harder.
Here is where
we start to require more reps for one treat, only C/T for faster responses,
or start extending to greater distances, etc. This is where you go
from getting generally what you wanted to specifically what your picture
of perfect is.
5. Take it
on the road and practice in different locations and with various distractions.
step in the learning process is the most important because it is the
distractions that normally cause the dog not to respond to the cues.
It is also the hardest step because there are so many different distractions.
People correct their dog for not listening, but in reality most of
the time it's a failure to follow through with this step!! For
example, asking your dog to heel or walk on a loose leash in your
back yard is not the same as asking your dog to heel in a horse pasture
with horses running all around.
YOU WANT THE BEHAVIOR IN, TRAIN THE BEHAVIOR IN THAT ENVIRONMENT.
don't, you're not being fair to the dog.
class mantra with me…..DOGS DON'T GENERALIZE!!
using praise as a reward. The reward is still VERY important, but
the clicker is a communication device to teach the dog what we want.
Now that they know, we don't need the clicker, just the reward for
a good job.
don't like rewarding their dog with food. If that is the case, by
now you can gradually change over to praise. If you don't have a problem
with it, continue using it variably. Give your dog food for a reward
every once in a while and praise, tug, chase, loving etc. all the
nobody and nothing works for free!!! Dogs are no different, give them
something for a job well done and give them nothing for not doing
Good Luck with
Good Dog Behavioral Training L.L.C.
1999 Doug Johnson
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