Features September 2012 Issue

Beware of the Poisoned Dog Cue

A cue becomes “poisoned” when the dog’s association with the cue is ambiguous – it’s sometimes associated with positive reinforcement, and sometimes associated with punishment. When the association is ambiguous, the dog becomes confused and doesn’t know what to expect. Poisoning your “Come!” cue is the best way to ensure that she’ll stop and weigh her choices, then take off after the bounding deer, rather than come galloping to you when you call.

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