In April of this year there was a discussion on the ClickerExpo Yahoo Group e-mail list about squirrel chasing. It became a hot topic, generating many opinions and replies. I responded to the ruckus with this post.
Cues and Cueing
Have you ever felt that you really have no leadership role in your relationship with your dog because your dog is just performing for food? You are not alone.
Having a solid, reliable 2 on / 2 off contact behavior on the dogwalk is a great advantage in agility. The 2 on / 2 off is a clear, specific position that most dogs find easy to learn and perform. It also requires the dog to wait until you catch up and release him, which allows for better handling of subsequent sequences. My method for training this behavior involves early foundation skills, clicking for correct position, feeding in position, and back-chaining.
We think of cues as something you must deliberately attach to a behavior, with a reinforcer to follow. But you can also give cues that are purely information, not deliberately trained as antecedents to a particular response.
Q: I have been reading through all the articles on your website. I found one area of interest that is a little confusing for me. I have trained my dog using the clicker and she will do every trick on cue (with a word). When I bring my clicker out to try to teach a new behavior, my dog goes crazy and starts offering many behaviors. You state in the articles that a dog who does this doesn't know the behaviors on cue. But my girl will do all of them on cue. I am finding it hard to get her focused. Why is she going so crazy? Also, why do owners say their dog will only listen when clicker is present?