Category Archives: Cues

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 hints, 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, Reinforcing in Position | 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 analysis, 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 analysis, 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 … Continue reading

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Posted in Cues, Dog training hints | Tagged , , | 11 Comments

“Good Sit!”

Here is a quiz. Let’s say someone says, “Sit,” to a dog, intending the word as a cue. What part of speech is the word, “Sit”? Then, what part of speech is the same word if we say, “Good sit!” afterwards? That was … Continue reading

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Posted in Behavior analysis, Cues, Dog training hints | Tagged , | 27 Comments

The Girl with the Paper Hat (Part 1 of 2)

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 hints, Operant conditioning, Positive Reinforcement | Tagged , , | 6 Comments

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

An updated version of this post. Some dog trainers who use tools such as shock, prong, or slip collars, or startle the dog with thrown objects or loud noises, claim that these things are done only to “get the dog’s attention.” … Continue reading

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Posted in Cues, Human and dog misunderstandings, Operant conditioning, Punishment culture, Reinforcement, Terminology | Tagged , , , , | 40 Comments

16 Behavioral Cues that I Didn’t Train (But are Still For Real)

When most of us think of cues, we think of the verbal ones we teach our dogs. “Sit,” “Down,” “Here!” Perhaps we have taught them some hand signals as well. To teach a cue we go through a set process … Continue reading

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Posted in Behavior analysis, Cues, Discrimination, Operant conditioning | Tagged , , | 45 Comments