Friday, August 12, 2011

The Magic of Cues

Cues mean more than a history of reinforcement if a specific behavior occurs.  Cues can give so much information to the animal!

Griffin and I have been working on and off on his "Drop on Recall" obedience exercise.   We do a session. It goes poorly. I come back to it a few months later.  But something has happened and now he -gets- it.

And not only does he understand, but the behavior is NOT contaminating our regular recall in any way.

If Griffin is on a SitStay and I cue Front....he runs up and sits in front of me.   If he's in a SitStay and I cue either Dog or Here, he will trot forward and drop when asked.  Sometimes on the Here/Dog he will anticipate and drop on his own (I walk to reset).

The really cool part though.... no matter how many drops we do in a row, if I cue Front, he NEVER slows, he NEVER makes an error, he NEVER thinks about dropping.  We've kept that cue clean and the criteria is so clear to him that the similar drop behavior is not impacting the straight recall.

It's amazing!

(A video from last year when I was using a slow motion feature to look at how dogs lie down:)

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