Defining Good Behavior
Lets talk about helping you define “good behaviors” so your dog will know specifically how meet the standards for providing you the behaviors that lead to being a “good dog”.
Here is the scenario: You tell your dog “sit”and “stay”. As you walk away your dog stands up, but does not move from the location from which he was told to stay. Was he still being a good dog? Since he didn’t move from the location, he did “stay” which was the last “cue” you had given him, but because he stood up he did not maintain the “sit” position which had also been given as a cue
Did he meet the standards for good behavior? Please chime in and give us your input before we log our next post to give you our answer…
What is an “incompatible behavior?”
What is an “Incompatible Behavior?”
Simply put, we mean train your dog to give you a behavior you do want or a “good behavior”, and replace that behavior for the undesired or “bad behavior”. Your dog can’t give you the good behavior and the bad behavior at the same time, therefore the good behavior is incompatible with the bad behavior.
Here is an example of what many of you would probably agree is a bad behavior:
Charging the door and/or jumping on guests when they come to the door. If you agree that this is a bad behavior, my question for you would be: What do you want your dog to do instead? Since we truly can teach you to train your dog to give you just about any behavior(s) you would like, which good behavior(s) would you like to replace charging the door or jumping on guests.
Here is an example of an Incompatible Behavior:
We could easily train your dog to go to a mat and then “sit” and “stay” whenever a guest knocks on the door or rings the door bell. Sitting and staying on a mat is incompatible with charging the door and jumping on guests, therefore we have just trained your dog to have a good behavior when presented with the stimulus of hearing a door bell ring or a knock on the door.
I think most of you will agree that yelling “no” at your dog when he charged the door and then yelling “no” again while your dog jumps all over your guest generally isn’t very effective. Saying “no” gives your dog a good indication you don’t like their current behavior, but if you haven’t defined a good (incompatible) behavior to replace their current behavior, you are usually only setting you and your dog up for frustration.
I hope we have given you a new perspective for dealing with undesired (bad) behaviors and maybe even planted the seed for some ideas of your own to manage a problem behavior your dog may have…
Define A “Good Dog”
If you want to be truly successful when it comes to training your dog, the first thing you should do before you begin training is define a “good dog”.
The Canine Guys don’t believe in defining a good dog for you because it has been our experience that what makes a good dog varies from person to person. In fact it often varies from person to person in the same home.
Here’s an example from my own home. My wife enjoys having the dogs on the bed so for her a good dog enjoys cuddling up with her while she watches television in bed, but for me a good dog doesn’t “hog up” the bed.
Who is right? There is no universally right answer, it is up to each of us individually to define what behaviors makes them good dogs. So what do we do to ensure the dogs are able to meet both our standards for what makes a good dog? Well in our home, the dogs know that if my wife is on the bed they are welcome on the bed too, but as soon as I come in they need to jump off the bed. They do get a nice “scratch behind the ears” for warming up my spot though…
Why is it important to define “A Good Dog?”
- If you have never determined your definition of a good dog, your poor dog sure isn’t going to know what to do to be a good dog.
- I could train your dog to be the perfect dog for me, but that doesn’t mean the dog will be the perfect dog for you. Maybe you like your dog to cuddle on the bed…
- If you can’t tell us what behaviors you want from your dog, we won’t know whether we succeeded in training your dog to be a good dog.
- Last, but certainly not least, The Canine Guys believe in teaching your dog incompatible behaviors.
Now, you probably have another question… What do you mean by “incompatible behaviors”?
Come back and visit us again to learn more about incompatible behaviors…
Clicker Training Methodology
The first step in clicker training is to teach the animal that the clicker sound means that they will get a primary reinforcer, usually food. To do this, some trainers “charge” or “load” the clicker. To do this the trainer clicks the clicker and immediately thereafter gives the animal a reward, usually a tasty treat, one small enough to be consumed almost instantly. Some animals tend to learn the association much more quickly than others. Progress may be tested by waiting until the dog’s attention is elsewhere and then clicking. If the dog immediately looks toward the trainer as though expecting a reward, it is likely that the dog has made the association.