In this video, KPA CTP Andrea Viveiros and her dog client’s dog, Chablis, demonstrate how to introduce a new cue to an existing behavior using a cue-transfer process. Andrea’s goal is to integrate a fresh visual cue into Chablis' well-established Down behavior seamlessly. Here's how she does it:
- Andrea initiates a training session by prompting Chablis with the familiar verbal cue "down." As Chablis lies down, Andrea promptly clicks and tosses a treat, creating a smooth training loop that readies Chablis for the next repetition.
- After several successful repetitions employing the original cue, Andrea introduces a novel visual cue just prior to the verbal cue. With a click and treat toss, Chablis begins to associate the new visual cue with the Down behavior.
- Once Chablis exhibits the desired behavior in response to the combined cues consistently, Andrea phases out the original verbal cue gradually, relying solely on the newly introduced visual cue. If Chablis responds promptly, Andrea reinforces the behavior with a click and a treat. When Chablis doesn't respond, Andrea reverts to using both cues for a few additional repetitions before attempting the transition again.
Changing cues can take time, especially if your dog has already established strong associations with the old cues. Consistent repetition, practice, and patience are key to reinforcing new cues. Once your dog is responding to the new cues, regular training sessions in different environments will help solidify your dog's understanding.
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