Looking for cues

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    no, not the old Robert palmer song  ::)

    So, when you’re out walking (off-lead) and your dog is running around like a chicken with its head on fire, but is also checking in regularly to look for and at you…y’know, waiting for direction or to simply carry on doing what it was doing…do you always give direction or a cue in these moments?

    I’m probably about 50/50 with the Sadie monster but it struck me today that I should be using these moments to cue her instead of just giving her an ‘offyago’    The only thing that concerns me is Sadie is a freethinker (which I like) and I wouldn’t want her to stop ‘checking-in’ thinking the old man will tell me what to do everytime

    follow me?


    She just checking its ok to go on doing her thing or whether you want her to do something else

    If it is reinforced she will constantly look for cues

    Jess is just starting to look for cues now – and am always (not perfectly mind :)) giving them everytime she looks at me, whether its a recall, a sit, down, wait, go play, go on, etc.


    thanks Izzie, so in your experience it is a positive to always cue at these times?


    yep, having watched Bev do it also, esp with Ami – who always looks for cues and reinforcement from Bev. 

    I noticed since doing with Jess she is more responsive to me and is more aware of me- Trixie is becoming more aware of me rather than the pair of them bugger off on a hunt with each other.


    Ok, I’m going to give it a go.  Started with a couple of ‘waits’ at 30 yards today which went ok, will try some casting on thursday.


    this is dog’s way of communicating with you Nick so why would you ignore it ?

    Unless I am out in full training mode I usually just use – on you go, or “this Way” if I am changing direction.  I always get some recalls in – just to keep it strong.  I would love to time Nacho on a recall from a distance – he almost gallops at times.  :yes:

    It is good to be talking to them when you are out.  My pooch enjoys it so much more when we have “chat”. 


    ok, whoa up there…I never said i ignored it, and I know why she’s checking in, and like I said I cue her 50% of the time already.  I just wanted to know if cueing 100% of the time was a productive thing

    and don’t worry i talk to her constantly, enough that most people think I’m nuts  :canadian:


    Nick – Not sure if useful but Loki looks to cue quite often – I’d say every fifteen seconds or so –  am always saying ‘onyougo’ or doing a visual cue for that – I try to always respond because I look at it like he’s communicating with me – so I should respond – either verbally or non verbally – I want him to get a response.  Then every once in a while I change the cue and make is a recall or a wait or a sit – just to check he is listening to me.

    I’ve noticed that when I walk the puppy (a 7 month old) she copies Loki and she looks to cue even more often than he does (she’s a bit worried about being left alone I think) – so I respond to her too. The 8 yr old girlie that also comes with us doesn’t look to cue so often – but her recall is 100% – I guess her owner doesn’t often respond when she looks at him  ??? :-\  – I walk the three of them together most weekends – so is interesting to watch the differnces. I always go alone with them too – so I don’t see how their owners usually interact with them tho…


    I taught my dogs to informally check in with me whilst out walking, as often I do a great deal of training during the walk and they will keep an eye on me to see if I am about to “let the games commence”.

    Also they have learned that seeing another dog is a cue to check in for permission to visit or a wait or a recall.

    Keeping walks unpredictable (as far as possible) has heightened this.  I like a nice balance between being comfortable at quite a way from me (could be 500m for the Wei) but ready to hit base if needed.


    honey looks to cue – i normally do as mudgie does on you go go play this way kind of thing – sometimes we do recall but will do sits and downs too. keeps her focus.

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