What Are You Saying?!
Ever had someone rattle off a slew of sciencey things or acronyms? Yeah. We've all been in those moments where it should be English, yet sounds entirely foreign. Below are some commonly used terms, what they mean, and how they are frequently used.
(List will be updated on an ongoing basis.)
Charging the Clicker: how we give value to the noise of the clicker. We begin with a click/treat sequence (read a how-to here). The 'contract' you sign is that every click = a treat, even if the human misfires. It's ok, we all misfire!
Drive: 'focused motivation'...what we label a dog's desire to perform a particular function.
Loose Leash Walking: a thing of beauty that many people who live with dogs aspire to. Looks like a human and dog gliding on air with no struggle or reaction to surrounding noises, critters, or other common triggers. Truthfully, polite leash walking is a lifelong skill to build, takes constant practice and reward, and humans need to a thing of value to the dog (engagement!) or it is a c-h-a-l-l-e-n-g-e. Longsnouts teaches proximity is valuable! Yep, it's another skill that Hannah loves to teach.
Marker: something to mark the behavior we like, either verbally (with a YESSSS or 'Good boy') or with a marking instrument like a box clicker. [If you're interested in a clicker, let us know! We'll give you a Longsnouts one.] At Hannah's house, YESSSSSS is aREALLY valuable word!
Reactivity vs. Aggression:
Recall: the art of having your dog return to you...reliably. Often, folks use the word 'come' and practice only when they NEED it (as in, "CRAP, my dog's about to roll in raccoon poop!). It's one of Hannah's favorite skills to teach...just ask about Livvie's ear-flapping recall, because FOOD!!
Stimuli: a thing that rouses activity or energy in someone or something; a spur or incentive. In dog training, particularly with reactive dogs, we often use the more casual term "trigger."
Threshold: the point where a stimulus is at a strong enough intensity to cause a reaction.
We - humans and canines alike - are often described as "under" or "over" threshold, with the "over" part where we all have a tendency to react. A great blog post about it is here.