Michele’s Tuesday Training Tip – It’s a No No to say it Twice Twice
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There’s a dog trainer out there by the name of Gary Wilkes and he writes interesting to read articles about training. One of them in particular has left me with a phrase that I will never forget. This article titled, “What you teach is what you get”, is about over cueing and what happens over time; it concludes by stating, “It’s a no-no to say it twice twice”. If you’re a training nut like me, you probably laughed out loud just like I did!
Once a dog knows a verbal cue for a behavior such as sit, we should only have to say it once in order for the dog to perform that behavior. If we say “sit sit” or “sit sit sit (take a breath) sit sit” because the dog hasn’t performed after the first time you said it, overtime that conditions the dog to ignore you and respond to your cue on the second, third or fourth time. Obviously we want our dog to respond to the cue the first time we say it.
The best thing to do if your dog doesn’t respond to the cue right away is to pause and wait a couple seconds before asking again. Just remember, “It’s a no no to say it twice twice!” Can you imagine how I’d be able to run agility with my dogs if they didn’t listen the first time I said something? It wouldn’t work out very well! Check out this video of Gino from our most recent agility trial and check out how in tune he is with what I’m saying.