Ken’s dog, Mr. Miyagi, uses his paw for everything. He paws at his bed, he paws at the door to be let in, and he paws at Ken if he wants something that Ken has. Ken decided it should be easy for him to learn to paw at a toy. Ken’s original goal was to capture Mr. Miyagi pawing at a Kong. Ken notes, “When I tried capturing this behavior, I realized that my biggest obstacle is that Mr. Miyagi is used to being a directed learner. He looks to me for guidance, which for me is a good thing. But as you can see in the first session, it does not promote exploration. So, I changed the set-up, started pointing at the Kong, got down on my knees, and even rolled it around on the ground. This changed Mr. Miyagi’s behavior and got him to pay attention to the Kong.”
Once Mr. Miyagi realized that the Kong was the goal, he understood more clearly and started offering the pawing behavior. He got so into the fun of the game that he did not notice a few of the clicks!
What behaviors can you and your dog capture? For more training tips and ideas, check out our blogs and our Dog Trainer Foundations course!