Its The Dog

Learning through dogs

What is training

As I said yesterday, training is behavior modification. That means any behavior that isn’t wanted want can be trained against. There are behaviors that can be modified to occur on cue, and/or behaviors that  can be modified to become habitual. There’s no rule anywhere that one behavior has to be put on cue, and the other habituated. Many people train a habitual sit when working on heel or when training in general. These are behaviors that aren’t cued directly but rather by the circumstance or environment.


Behaviors modified to occur on cue are typically seen in sporting rings, shows and events. These can be anything from basic obedience to schutzhund to tricks performed at school events. Most often these are behaviors performed at home for friends and family.


Habitual modifications are on another level; these take time to grasp and modify to work with and for the dog. These are modifications usually used in reactivity training, where the trigger becomes the cue and the response becomes habituated to the trigger.

Liquid training

I like to think of training as liquid. Technique or method can be modified or adapted. The only rules are with the tools themselves not in the details of the technique. For example a clicker sequence is click then treat, that is a rule because that’s how it makes sense. But lure, partial lure and shape, full shape, or capture  can all be employed to help the training process along.


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