I’m going to steal the term “COLLAR GIVES” from my colleague Sarah Stremming because I think it better describes the skill of teaching the dog to push their neck into your hand on cue. That’s what I’m searching for as the end result, a dog that flies into my outstretched hand, with speed and confidence.
Ready to work?
I like to ask these questions of my dog:
Will you eat food?
Can you hear your food reinforcement marker cues?
Can you execute simple behavior skills?
Can you do simple sequencing?
The very first thing I teach is focus on me (eye contact) AWAY from something the dog wants. That “want” can be a treat, to greet another person or dog, a toy, access to outside, etc… I teach this the first or second day I get a pup home before I even teach the dog his name, recall, or anything else. In future blog topics, I’ll be talking more about how behaviors, reinforcement and what I’ve termed a “reset” fit together, but for now let’s concentrate on teaching the dog that focus on you is the gateway to getting what he wants.