Category Archives: Cues

Oops! I Trained the Better Than Perfect Recall!

What if your dog’s recall is so good that she comes before you call her? The little movie featured in this post shows the myriad ways a smart dog can mess up your plans. The Original Goal: Film That Recall! … Continue reading

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Posted in Cues, Humor, Reinforcement | Tagged , | 26 Comments

Stimulus Control, Or Why Are There Seven Shoes on the Table?

This is an update of a post published on December 16, 2013. I’ve mentioned before that I’m not very good at stimulus control. I’ve included in this post a great video from when Clara was younger that demonstrates that embarrassingly … Continue reading

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Posted in Cues, Dog Training, Terminology | Tagged , , | 8 Comments

Resistance to Extinction Can Be Incredibly Annoying

I’ve written before about the concept of “resistance to extinction” and how it’s not all that it’s cracked up to be when we want strong, fluent behaviors from our dogs. Unfortunately, the situation where we are likely to notice resistance … Continue reading

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Posted in Cues, Extinction | 20 Comments

The “Invention” of Cues in Training

Once upon a time, there was a girl who decided to teach her dog some tricks. She figured out that if she gave her dog something he liked after he did something she liked, he was liable to do the … Continue reading

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Posted in Cues, Dog Training, Operant conditioning, Positive Reinforcement | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

My Dogs Do Know Sit! A Hint for Training the Sit Stay

Turns out my dogs do know sit. About two years ago, I wrote a post called, “My Dogs Don’t Know Sit!”. I described how my dogs couldn’t hold a sit stay when I stood still right in front of them. … Continue reading

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Posted in Cues, Dog Training, Making mistakes in dog training | Tagged , , | 5 Comments

It’s Not Painful. It’s Not Scary. It Just Gets the Dog’s Attention!

This is the short version of this post. Here is the longer version. Some dog trainers who use tools such as shock, prong, or choke collars, or startle the dog with thrown objects or loud noises, claim that these things are … Continue reading

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Posted in Cues, Human and dog misunderstandings, Operant conditioning, Punishment culture, Reinforcement, Terminology | Tagged , , , , | 8 Comments

How Long Does It Take To Change a Habit?

Changing a habit often takes longer than we think. Habits, AKA reinforced behaviors, die hard. Here’s what happened when I changed the location of my dogs’ eating areas for the first time in about five years.

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Posted in Cues, Matching law | Tagged , , | 8 Comments

Do You Dogs REALLY Want To Come In?

(In answer to a couple of comments: The title of the post is correct. I am addressing my dogs and asking if they want to come in. Sorry if it comes off as clunky,) What do my dogs understand when … Continue reading

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Posted in Behavior Science, Cues | Tagged , | 21 Comments

Will the Mystery Antecedent Please Stand Up?

Thank you to Randi Rossman for discussing the scholarly work about antecedents with me. All mistakes are my own.  I recently found myself in a situation that dogs are in a lot of the time, and it was a revelation. … Continue reading

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Posted in Behavior Science, Cues, Human and dog misunderstandings | Tagged , , , , , | 23 Comments

My Dogs Don’t Know Sit!

What if your dog’s cue for a behavior is not what you think it is? Can you be sure—absolutely sure—that the dog really understands what you want? That’s another place where punishment-based training can really go awry. How often are … Continue reading

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Posted in Cues, Dog Training | Tagged , , | 11 Comments