Stop & Go 

click to enlarge art15556widea.jpg

This article not prepared by City Weekly Staff

As positive trainers, we use “shaping” to train our dogs to do many things. From basic behavior, to tricks, sports, and even desensitization. When we shape, we reward the dog for close approximations of the final behavior we are teaching. Taking baby-steps and reinforcing the dog along the way to the end goal can build confidence and keep the dog interested in working.

For instance, trying to lure a puppy to lie down on command could take a while for the puppy to understand. When shaping, you might reward the pup for just bending his head down, and then reward the play bow, then an extended foot, etc. until the pup is down. Shaping can help keep the exercise fun instead of frustrating.

A client recently asked me how we could use shaping to teach loose leash walking. I hadn’t actually thought about it before. But although shaping can be used for some of the finer points of leash walking and heeling, when teaching your dog not to pull on the leash, the instruction must be very clear and consistent. Any tension on the leash will stop all forward motion, period! Allowing the dog pull just a little but not too much, is not really clear to the dog what you are asking. Keep it simple. Any tension on the leash means “stop,” slack leash means “go.” And be sure to enjoy walks with your dog every day.

Pin It
Favorite

Latest in Pet Page Articles

  • A Day in the Life

    She licks herself all over, then coughs up fur balls and they think that's ok.
    • Feb 22, 2012
  • A Penny Saved...

    One penny closer to a dog who responds no matter where you are!
    • Feb 15, 2012
  • Can You See Me Now?

    We know dogs have great hearing. And we know about their keen sense of smell...
    • Feb 9, 2012
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

© 2014 Salt Lake City Weekly

Website powered by Foundation