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  • April Schrader, CPDT-KA

Repeating Your Dogs Cues Will Ruin Their Training!

Dogs are typically quick learners, but they are not perfect and don't always respond to our cues promptly. It can be beyond annoying when your pup doesn't respond to their cues, which in turn causes us as pet owners to fall into the habit of repeating cues endlessly. But I can tell you nagging your dog with repeated cues is not a good approach for effective training. In this blog, we'll explore why you shouldn't overdo it when giving commands to your canine companion.

The Pitfalls of Over-Cueing:

  1. Confusion: Repeating a cue several times in rapid succession will confuse your dog. Chances are they are unsure about which specific cue they should respond to, resulting in inconsistent behavior.

  2. Undermined Cues: Consistency is crucial when training your dog. When you nag your dog, you risk undermining the value of cues and making your dog less responsive in the long run. They may learn that they don't need to respond until the cue is repeated several times.

  3. Selective Hearing: Dogs are adept at understanding the context in which cues are given. Over time your dog will require you to say the cue mutiple times before they respond. So instead of saying sit once you will have to say it three times, therefore sit, sit, sit becomes the cue not just sit!

Strategies for More Effective Training:

  1. Be Patient: Each individual dog learns at their own pace. Give your dog time to process your cues and respond. Impatience can lead to unnecessary repetition. You ideally should give your dog at least 5 seconds in between cueing the behavior again. A good rule of thumb is to only repeat the cue twice.

  2. Use Positive Reinforcement: Always reward your dog for good behavior with high value treats. This provides a clear signal to your dog that they've done something you like and reinforces the connection between the cue and the desired behavior. Without reinforcement your dog WILL NOT know what you want them to do.

  3. Keep Cues Clear and Consistent: Use short, clear cues for your dog. Make sure everyone in your household uses the same cues to avoid any confusion.

  4. Practice Regularly: Daily training sessions can help your dog understand and respond to your cues quicker. Consistent practice builds a stronger connection between cues and the desired actions.

  5. Correct Timing: Reward your dog's behavior at the exact moment they response to a cue. Rewarding your dog at the wrong time can reinforce an undesirable behavior and confuse them.

  6. Seek Professional Help: If you're encountering difficulties with your dog's training, don't hesitate to seek assistance from a professional dog trainer. They can offer expert guidance and personalized training plans. You can contact us at jeff@bestbuddydogtrainer.com or reach us at 301-231-1907 for more information.

By repeating your dogs cues repetitive can lead to confusion and inconsistency in their training. It's important to be patient, use positive reinforcement, and practice regularly. Remember, your dog wants to please you, but they need clear, consistent communication to do so effectively. So, take a deep breath, be patient, and enjoy the journey of training your dog effectively.

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