Step 1 Handler with a Ball
Step 1 – Handler with a Ball
It is easier to start this exercise without a Helper. A handler and a ball are all that is needed to keep the drive level low until the exercise is clear. We prefer to start with a ball, so we do not have to worry about the quality of the bites.
There are two pre-requisites to this exercise:
- A passive “out.”
- Bark on command.
We are creating a basic behavior chain:
- The dog plays tug.
- The Handler give “out”command.
- The dog “outs.” The Handler can help with the leash as a Negative Reinforcement described before (pressure on the leash until the dog “outs.”)
- The Handler gives “bark” command.
- Dog barks and the Handler reinforces.
Eventually, the dog will begin to anticipate bark command after an “out” due to the Laws of Classical Conditioning.
In the beginning, you would reinforce one or two barks but very soon you must vary the number of barks otherwise the dog will create an expectation.
Be very careful and mix and match how long you tug before an “out.”
If the dog goes after the ball without permission, use your Negative Marker followed by a leash correction.
If your dog gets “stuck” and does not respond by barking within 2 seconds, go ahead and give him a command to “bark.”