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Behaviour Labelling

Behaviour Labelling

This is a system I have developed to avoid creating problems with the cues and commands we will use in later life.

In many training clubs and groups, people wil commonly lure the dog into position whilst repeating the cue or command over and over again. Some think they are smarter by saying the cue or command only once, but neither are without issue.

It looks like this from a pups point of view.

  • Owner pulls out some food
  • Pup tries to get food
  • Owner says no.
  • Owner lifts food above pups head and says sit sit sit as they push down on the dogs back.
  • When but hits floor food is given.

This without question does work, but there are a few things in my training that I think are a lot better.

First is that I want the pup to want to do the exercise, by that I mean I will use advanced luring to shape the dog into a sit. The second is that I will not say anything but yes when the but hits the ground.

The third is I will create a session so that the pup thinks that he or she came up with the idea to sit.

Later when my pup is throwing sits at me, I will LABEL the behaviour and cal it SIT. This way by the time I start saying thye sit cue, the pup already: –

  • Knows the position
  • Likes the position
  • Thinks he or she came up with the position
  • Finds the exercise rewarding
  • Is offering the behaviour

Its then and then only do I Label the behaviour.


Later, perhapos a week or so I know the pup knows the label, I can alter the timing to switch the label into a cue, as below.