Beware the Poisoned Mat – Whole Dog Journal

In canine coaching, we most often hear the time period “poisoned” connected to the phrase “cue,” which means a cue for a selected habits has taken a detrimental affiliation, both as a result of the cue has grow to be related to deliberate punishment or as a result of the cue was given similtaneously some unlucky sudden aversive occasion.

The cue for “come when called” often turns into poisoned when somebody is silly sufficient to punish their canine (for working away, as the commonest instance)  after the canine lastly comes again, or calling him after which doing one thing he doesn’t like, like giving him treatment or crating him. The canine thinks dangerous issues occur when he responds to the “Come” cue and is much less prone to come the following time he’s referred to as. 

A canine’s title will also be poisoned if his human makes the error of claiming, “No, no, Rocky!! Bad dog, Rocky!” 

An instance of an “unfortunate aversive event” is likely to be that your canine simply occurs to the touch his nostril to your horse’s pasture electrical fence on the identical time you give the “sit” cue, so your “sit” cue turns into poisoned. Your canine now thinks “Sit!” means he’s about to get shocked.

Objects can also grow to be poisoned when they’re related to an aversive occasion. Something your canine beforehand cherished, resembling his mat, can grow to be aversive whether it is repeatedly related to one thing that he finds mildly to reasonably irritating, resembling frequent journeys to the veterinary clinic, and even nail clipping or medical remedy procedures at residence. 

Once you’ve mat-trained your canine, acknowledge and defend the worth of his optimistic affiliation together with his mat. Make certain that for each time you employ it to assist him with a mildly to reasonably irritating scenario that you simply observe it with many completely happy and enjoyable “Place” repetitions. And don’t even attempt to use it for issues which are extraordinarily irritating for him – it received’t assist, and you’ll seemingly poison the mat and lose your very precious coaching and administration device. 

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