Continuing our training sessions at the park.
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Update Sept. 29, 2013: Over the past few months, I've learned a great deal more about dog training and want to point out that while this series does contain one possible method of teaching a trick or command, it's not necessarily the best. The reasoning behind this is when you lure your dog into position, you're essentially bribing them into position. While this does work with lots of repetition, you can often teach the behavior much more quickly using a technique known as shaping. When shaping a dog, you modify the dog's environment so that the dog is most likely to perform the action, but you let the dog CHOOSE to do the action instead of being bribed. While this is a more advanced technique and is more difficult for the trainer, it does produce a cue that is more reliable and yields a more enthusiastic response. Some tricks such as those where the dog is asked to go into an unnatural position may be easier taught with luring and so I'm leaving this series up.
Last Wednesday was Nova’s last session of her puppy obedience class. All of the students got to show off a trick that they had mastered (Nova showed off her roll over) and the instructors had set up a basic rally course that would test all of the puppies on the skills they had learned in the class, including sit, stand, down, stay, and walking and turning on lead. Each student got to go through the course twice. I took some video of Nova’s first time through the course with Jeff. Check it out after the break.
We’re planning on beginning to teach Nova to bark on command tonight. Let’s hope this doesn’t backfire.