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Step 1 – Shape Interest
Mark and reinforce (rewarding for position) interest or approach to the spot
Step 2 – Add Value
Shovel food on the spot – standing, sitting, and/or down
Step 3 – Release
Give your release cue and toss cookie to help dog off.
When teaching any behavior the first step is getting it to happen. The second step is to add as much value as possible to the behavior to ensure that it happens again. For learning and adding value we should aim for 15-30+ rewards per minute. That’s a cookie every 2-4 seconds, kind of nuts right? You want to keep it there for a while too. Make sure the dog has a lot of desire to do that behavior.
That way when you stop working behavior and wait a few moments, you provide contrast between how awesome it is when they are doing Spot and how lame it is when they are not doing Spot. The Spot, or any other behavior, can become an opportunity here as well because the Spot behavior leads to a boatload of cookies.