Trick training is a fantastic way to clear communications with your best friend.  Remember their native tongue is body language not words like we humans. Being clear and precise with your body language cues is imperative for your best friend in picking up what you are saying to them.

We have to pair each human word to mean a behaviour to a dog, singing our human song then doing the doggy dance is the way we teach  and train a dog human words.  These human words mean nothing to our besties unless we do this, and its not a once off thing to teach!  Dogs are contextual, meaning everything is taken on in the environment it is taught in.  If for example we only taught Wally in the video above to do this trick in one part of the warehouse, when we took him into other parts of the warehouse or even took him home he would be like ‘What? I don’t understand what you are asking of me.’

To a dog it can be as simple as the wind changing direction for them to not understand a cue word you have been using regularly and they have complied to many times.  They are not being stubborn as some may say, it is simply the way their dog brain is programed.  This is why you are required to teach a dog a behaivour in many different locations, starting with low to no distractions and building up to more and more distractions.  From here you then start again in as many different environments as possible. It may be like starting from scratch especially when there are more distractions but you have created the groove in your best friends brain of what is being asked so becoming easier and easier for you both to preform.   Training is then the on going of the trick or behaviour, keep in mind you might need to go back to using more treats when starting again or if you have not done the trick for a while, but the groove is there.

The type of rewards used are a part of training but not the only reason a dog will preform, the main part of the reward is the timing you give the marker cue word (or clicker) to your dog so they understand when they have preformed the exact behaviour you are asking from them.  Releasing the reward is second to the timing of the marker word.    You must pair a marker word (or clicker) to a reward before you even start.

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Happy communications with your best friend 😉