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Back Chained Release Cue

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The following are my notes from a ClickerExpo 2016 session by Sarah Owings

Back-chained release cue:

  • All stationary behaviors need SOME release cue (either trained release or cue next behavior)
  • Trained release cue tells dog to move
  • Teach one cue for explosive release (start line, dock diving, retrieve, etc.)
  • Teach another cue for calm release (go say hi, out of crate, through a door, etc.)
  • RELEASE CUES ARE “CLICKS” Only cue release when dog is doing something you like!
  • Zen Bowl Steps (calm release)
    • Put food in bowl, say release cue, THEN move bowl down to make food available in a way that the pup has to move to get the food. Repeat till pup anticipates moving when cue is heard. *** Cue THEN move, not simultaneous***
    • Get a brief stationary behavior, then mark that with the release cue then present the bowl.
    • Get some duration, mark with release cue then offer bowl
    • Add bowl/handler movement as a distraction
    • Have dog wait while bowl is placed on the floor
    • Ask dog to work nearby, then release to the bowl.
  • Explosive release:
    • Use a high value moving reward (water from hose, tossed toy, dragged tug, flirt pole, etc.)
    • Restrain pup, say cue, release pup just before you move the reward
    • If possible, have reward farther from pup so he is running before the reward moves
    • Build in stationary behavior/wait so restraint is not needed
  • Go Sniff!
    • Stand with dog on short leash next to mat (scrunched up towel) with good smells on it (odors of food, other dogs, other people, critters, etc.)
    • After eye contact, release to “go sniff” (the mat)
    • Click/reward dog for eye contact with you and use reward to pull dog away from the mat
    • After eye contact, repeat till dog is bored with the mat
    • Ask for a few behaviors before giving “go sniff” cue and toss reward into the towel
    • Repeat in real life environments where dog wants to sniff
  • Uses for go sniff:
    • Teaches on-duty/ off-duty cue
    • Reinforces check ins without nagging
    • Gives dog opportunity to “ask to work” when ready/able
    • Stronger recalls (environment isn’t the forbidden fruit)
    • Allows dog to get info about the environment, dogs, people, critters
    • Can reinforce behavior (premack)
    • Relieves pressure/stress

About dazzlesmom

Dog Mom, Reward-based Dog Trainer, Former Police Officer, Author, Speaker, Martial Artist, Traveler, Instructor.

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