Teaching Verbal Cue Discrimination

Julie Gordon All, Homepage blog, News & Events Leave a Comment

As trainers, we need to be able to depend on our dogs’ ability to respond to the correct verbal cue and not to other stimuli. Verbal cue discrimination training is an important skill; it ensures that your dog responds only to the correct verbal cue and not to other words. It is particularly useful in dog sports, such as canine freestyle, where many verbal cues are given and the dog must differentiate between them.

Shaping a Head Dip

Julie Gordon All, Homepage blog, News & Events Leave a Comment

Shaping, the process of teaching a new behavior by breaking it down in small increments, is a great way to encourage creativity and focus in animals as well as an essential tool for teaching complex behaviors. In this video, Karen Pryor Academy (KPA) Dog Trainer Professional (DTP) student Shelby Mildenberger uses shaping to teach her dog Eddy a head dip, one of the first behaviors in the DTP and Dog Trainer Comprehensive courses. Shelby clicks and reinforces Eddy for any downward head movement. At first, she reinforces for small movements, but once Eddy is reliably moving his head she rewards greater movements. In no time, Eddy is fully (and enthusiastically!) dipping his head!