This is a short clip of a Zauberberg German Shepherd puppy training with his owner. The puppy shows a very good understanding of the clicker marking the behavior that the trainer intends to reward! Read description below the video.
Yet the sequence of events seems too much of a “drill” The puppy is rushed from one behavior into the other, which could lead to him understanding the sequence as a chain of behaviors that he could at the end perform as ONE. The cues seem not to be attached very solidly to specific behaviors. I suggest the cues being given once a behavior will happen. The cues in this session are given preceding the behavior. On verbal signal the puppy enthusiastically displays a behavior- most of the time, a behavior that he knows well- yet it is very often one that is NOT what the cue required. In addition, the cues are NOT consistent. A cue has to be a very clear and defined stimulus. Only then it will gain specific meaning. Watching closely, the behaviors are more performed “listening” to the body language of the trainer than the verbal signal.
Cues are learned when given either before a behavior predictably happens, or during the behavior itself. Once a training stage is established in which the trainer can very early predict which behavior will happen, he should be giving the cue very early. It will look like the dog is doing it because the cue was given – but it it is not. The cue then might be given BEFORE the behavior is predictable.
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The most confusing event happens at the end of the recording. The cue “down ” is given repeatedly while the dog is not taking the position. The cue will be attached to the wrong behavior. Create the behavior first, before you give it a name. The puppy then is successfully lured into the down position and is seeking reward, by reaching for the treat. Telling the puppy “NO” will definitely have depressing effect. Signal control learn here