Words of Woofdom – Capture The Behavior You Want
Training is not just about creating behaviors in a structured manner. Training can be about capturing the perfect moment. For example, in a class, we will teach a dog to lay down then label and reward that behavior. Once in a while, a dog does not wish to lay down with prompts or lures in class, but all dogs must lay down at some point. For the dog that does not want to lay down when you try to make it happen, you can label the behavior when your dog does it on her own. When your dog lays down on her own, label the behavior “down” then praise and reward her.
Another example of capturing a behavior has to do with chasing rabbits. You can’t teach your dog not to chase a rabbit when there are no rabbits present. However, you can work on this when you happen upon one when you are walking. Alternatively you can work on impulse control with a flirt pole. Sometimes training is about setting up the situation so you can create a behavior and sometimes, it is about capturing the behavior by being in the moment to reward the behaviors you want.