Do NOT repeat cues. Hear that? Do NOT repeat cues.
It is a bit ironic that this is the recommendation that I repeat most to my clients. But, this makes a HUGE difference in training. Any animal learns faster if there are clear instructions. If you ask your dog to do something and they donâ€™t do it, there are a few reasons that they did not perform:
- They did not hear you
- They donâ€™t know the cue
- They donâ€™t want to do the cue
- They are distracted and lost focus on what is expected of them
It doesnâ€™t matter which of the above reasons a dog doesnâ€™t perform. You should pay attention to being a good teacher and achieving a reflex response by asking your dog to do something, wait for a moment, help gently â€“ if needed, and then reward after he performs the behavior.
Donâ€™t worry about your dog getting something for â€œnothingâ€ by rewarding even if he doesn't do it on his own. The key is to get repetitive actions that eventually turn into a reflex response. An example of a helper is gently pulling the leash after saying, â€œComeâ€. Eventually your dog will do the behavior on his own.