Friday, March 5, 2010


This week has been an interesting cue week.

We have lots of behaviors that aren't really on cue, some that are not on the cue they should be, and some that aren't ready to be on cue yet. This is not the exciting part of training for me, I like shaping the behaviors and working on fluency. Putting behaviors on cue tends to be an afterthought and that's a problem for our competition behaviors!

Some upcoming cue-related goals:

-Agility behaviors on verbal cue, with motion. The verbal cues alone are usually enough to prompt a response. Griff may respond to any verbals I give...but I'm not too worried on that. He does however, have a harder time finding obstacles when I am also moving.

-Crawl: Our Go Click Challenge of the week is crawling. This behavior is nowhere near fluent enough to be ready for a cue. That fluency is a key piece.

Last week I talked a lot with various people about cues. Some common themes:
-Keep cues clear. Avoid having verbal or visual cues that are similar. With verbal cues, consider the tone used and how the words come out when you are frantically running.
-Cues provide information. Where you feed the treat provides information. I always feed under the chin when I'm working on a stay behavior. This gives my dog more information and less guessing is necessary.
-Errors in discrimination is often related to cues. Be aware of your cues and how your dog perceives them.

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