I was traveling home at the weekend and there is a very narrow road, where only one car can fit at a time. Thankfully you have clear view of the road and as I was heading down the road this car was in the middle, being the good driver I am I waited for them to pass.
I noticed the driver had stopped and there was a white dog running around barking, I wasnt quite sure what was happening, but I wasnt in a hurry to go anywhere so I left the driver to it.
After a few minutes the car drove off leaving the dog on its own, I though this was slightly weird so I slowly drove up to the dog who was running around in the middle of the road, It was now clear that the dog had ran away from its owners or house.
I quickly popped home and grabbed some dog treats before setting back to where I saw the dog. I managed to get the dog to come over to me and sit while I gave it a treat and looked at its collar.
To my amazement the dog did not have any contact details on, instead had two tags, one saying I have given blood and another I have been tagged, please scan me.
This tag was done by a company which only they have access to the technology to scan the dog and find the owners. The nearest place that scanned this type of tag was 2 miles away from me, which would mean that I would have to drive the dog to this location and tag the dog, and then possibly contact the owner and get the dog back to the owner.
Cue, Action, Reward
Teaching a trick comprises three parts, the first being a verbal or physical cue to your dog, signaling the desired behavior. The second part is the action performed by your dog, and the third is the reward. Do not attempt to bribe your dog by offering the reward before he has done the action, and do not expect your dog to perform an action before you have given the cue.
YOUR JOB AS A TRAINER
Your job as a trainer is to guide your dog in a consistent and motivating environment.
Guide your dog through the process of executing a new behavior, rewarding baby steps along the way. The goal of each training session is to get better results than the last time.
Know the behavior you are looking for, and don’t be wishy-washy. Use the same voice and intonation each time you give a verbal cue and enunciate clearly.
Think about an athletic coach. Is his job merely to plan the training schedule and tape it to the locker room door? No! He inspires, motivates, and encourages! He s upbeat when you are discouraged and slaps your shoulder with a “good job!” when you need it. You serve the same purpose for your dog. Every bit of enthusiasm you inject into your dog training will speed up his learning. And when your dog does something right use your high-pitched “happy voice” (yes, men, you have one too) to exude your delight!
Imagine you are searching for something and are being guided by feedback of “hot” or “cold.” But now imagine this feedback is being delayed before you hear it. You may actually be receiving “cold” feedback as you approach the object or vise versa. Not only is the object not being found, but you are getting frustrated at the inconsistency of the feedback. Imagine how much easier this task would be if the feedback were given with correct timing.
In trick training. it is imperative that you mark (with a word, treat, or clicker) the exact moment that your dog performed correctly. Don’t reward 10 seconds later, as you may be rewarding a completely different behavior.