Really Easy Dog Training Technique

By Michele L. MeyerDog sits by door - Easy Dog Training Technique

Would you like a really easy way to train your dog?  This easy dog training technique will have you quickly on your way to having a better behaved dog.

This really easy dog training technique is called capturing.  Simply reward good behavior your dog offers on his own, and you will begin to see more of that good behavior from your dog as he eagerly awaits his earned reward.  Some examples of behaviors you could train through capturing are sit, lie down, go to bed, walk with a loose leash, and many more including lots of fun dog tricks. 

An important key to this easy dog training technique is to ensure the reward is motivating enough for your dog to want to figure out how he can earn more of that reward.  For most dogs, a food reward is going to be a good motivator as long as it is high enough in value to compete with any distractions.  For example, you will most likely need a higher value treat to teach loose leash walking than you will to teach your dog to sit or lie down inside your home. 

It’s important to reward within two seconds of the behavior, so you will need to keep treats on you throughout the day or in treat stations around the house that you can access quickly.  To capture behaviors within two seconds, it is helpful to be able to mark the behavior before treating such as by clicker training or using a marker word like “yes” to let your dog know he earned a treat for the behavior.  You would simply tell your dog “yes” within two seconds of him doing the desired behavior and then quickly follow it by a food reward.  With some repetition, your dog will know that he is getting a treat when he hears the “yes” word…therefore giving you a little time to get the treat to your dog after marking the behavior.  However, try not to take too long though because once your dog gets distracted by something else, you will have lost the opportunity to reward the behavior. 

Another important element to capturing is to watch your dog closely throughout the day to ensure you are catching and rewarding all the moments he does the desired behavior.  When training your dog with this technique, it’s best to choose behaviors that he will likely do multiple times a day so that you have enough opportunities to reward and therefore condition the behavior.

When training your dog by capturing, wait to attach a cue to the behavior until your dog is clearly performing the behavior frequently throughout the day to earn his reward.  At that point, you can attach the cue while he is doing the behavior such as “sit” or “down”, etc. and then still follow by marking (click or “yes”) and the food reward. 

If you would like your dog to remain in a position such as lying on his bed…then continue to reward him for doing so after his initial treat.  How quickly you dispense the treats (rate of reinforcement) may need to be very quick at first and then with repetition, you should be able to gradually build the time in between the treats.

This easy dog training technique is just one of many options.  For more help with training your dog, just get in touch and tell us about your dog.  We will choose the best training techniques for you and your dog.  We look forward to hearing from you soon.