Testing your cues

Last week we added a cue to a behavior. This week let’s give a cue test. Take out your list of cues that your dog “knows” (or make one now). Is the meaning of the cue the same for you and your dog?

Consider a simple verbal cue such as “sit” (no hand signals involved). You are going to say the cue in your normal tone of voice but with a few variations. For each variation, give your dog three tries, and score the responses. Verbal cue only, no body movements during the cue. You can click/treat the correct responses. (Thank you to Sarah Owings KPA CTP ClickerExpo Faculty ClickerExpo 2021 for this test)

With you sitting at a desk or table.

With you standing, facing dog with hands over your face.

With you standing, facing dog but saying different words than the actual cue.

With dog in front of you less than 3 feet away.

How did your dog do? Did it surprise you? Verbal cues are not just verbal, are they?

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