Learn the Food Lure Exercise.
A food lure exercise teaches a dog several things at once:
• It teaches the dog to follow a lure, which allows you to guide the dog into almost any behavior without force.
• It teaches and/or reinforces the meaning of a conditioned reinforcer (“Good” or a click), which communicates to the dog when she/he is doing the correct thing.
• It teaches the meaning of the No Reward Marker, which indicates the dog’s mistakes and does so in a way that motivates the dog to perform the correct behavior, not to become stressed.
Learn the Release Cue. The Release cue is very important in training as it marks the end of a behavior for both dog and owner. By marking the end of a behavior with a Release word (i.e., “O.K.”), the dog will have a clear understanding of the exact cue he/she is waiting to hear before breaking position. This will eliminate the possibility of confusion on the dog’s part and will prevent unnecessary mistakes due to poor communication between dogs and owners.
Learn the Focus Cue. The Focus cue is used to get the dog’s attention. By getting his/her attention first, she will know you are speaking to her and will be more inclined to respond. She will also be more aware of you at all times making her easier to manage outside of specific training sessions. Gaining this awareness is essential to achieving the goal of a well-mannered and well-behaved dog. The goal of the Focus cue is for the dog to learn that she is rewarded for looking at and paying attention to you. Once the dog realizes this, she will gladly give you her attention. Achieving a strong Focus cue with a dog will allow you to work through distractions much easier, making training more positive and effective.
Learn the Sit Cue. Sit is a natural position that dogs assume many times per day. Because most dogs do this naturally, it is a cue that can be learned quickly. Since sit is usually easy to learn, it allows early success in training. This early success in training is essential for the owner and the dog, as it motivates both to continue training while maintaining a positive attitude. Some owners may get frustrated or quit if they do not see success in the first couple of days of training. The goal of the Sit cue is for the dog to learn to put her rear end on the floor and make eye contact (i.e., Focus) whenever the cue is given and then hold that position until released. The Sit cue is a prerequisite for many other cues and an excellent training tool for treating common behavior problems like jumping.
Learn the Sit-Stay Cue. Developing a reliable Stay cue will give you hands-free control of the dog. This allows you to open the door for guests, put a leash on the dog for walks or walk up the stairs in your home without being pushed around by the dog. The Sit-Stay cue instructs the dog to move into the sit position and remain there until the Release cue is given.
Learn the Down & Down Stay Cue. The Down & Down-Stay cue instructs the dog to move into the down position and remain there until the Release cue is given. The Down cue is used to instruct the dog to lie down in a spot chosen by the owner or the trainer. The goal of the Down cue is for the dog to lie down on verbal cue only. Some dogs may be reluctant to assume the down position due to the circumstances of the initial introduction of the cue, lack of motivation or lack of owner compliance to your instructions. Never force a dog into position; always treat the underlying condition..
Learn the Come Cue. Developing a reliable recall or Come cue is extremely important. It will allow you to prevent injury to your dog and will let you give your dog more freedom in his/her life. The goal of the recall is to have the dog come to you and present the sit and focus behavior directly in front of you each time the Come cue is given, no matter what. Learn to use a Clicker to Teach the Come.
Learn Loose-Leash Walking. The goal of loose-leash walking is to be able to comfortably and easily walk the dog without being pulled. Being able to walk the dog without injury to yourself, your dog, or property is extremely important for obvious reasons.
Learn the Heel Cue. A proper “heel” is a difficult exercise for many dogs. It is like a dance step and requires a great deal of focus, concentration and coordination in both dog and handler.The goal of the Heel cue is for the dog to immediately assume a focused position at the owner’s left side and remain there whether the owner is walking, standing still or running.
Learn the Leave-It Cue. Teaching the Leave-It cue is an effective exercise in helping develop a dog’s self-control. The Leave-It cue can be used to tell a dog to back away from things you don’t want him/her to touch such as children’s toys, socks, or to stop sniffing or pawing at people. The goal of the Leave-It cue is for the dog to leave something alone when instructed to.
Learn the Fetch Cue. Fetch is an excellent way to exercise a dog and helps to develop a proper relationship between the dog and owner. Many dog owners fail to give their dogs enough exercise and stimulation because most dog owners underestimate the amount of exercise their dog actually needs. This lack of exercise and stimulation is the root cause of many common behavior problems like jumping, chewing, and digging. “A tired pup is a good pup.” By teaching a dog to play fetch, you are allowing her to expend energy in a controlled manner without the necessity of the dogs owner expending much energy. A common challenge that you will hear from dog owners is that they are “too tired” when they get home from work to take their dog out for a brisk 30-minute walk. Tired dog owners are more likely to play fetch from their sofa than they are to take their dog for a 30-minute walk. Playing fetch for 30 minutes is an excellent alternative exercise program for dogs with tired owners. The goal of the Fetch cue is to have the dog retrieve an object, bring it to you, sit in front of you and release the object on cue.