Cues vs. Commands


Cues vs. Commands 

Cue = A request from the handler for the dog to do a particular behavior.

Command = An ultimatum for the dog to do the behavior or else there will be a consequence. In my training philosophy this is not even an option.

I personally use cues and allow the dog the choice to do the behavior or not.  If I have done proper training, built value in working with me, built value for doing a particular trick/behavior, and my dog does in fact know the behavior, therefore chances are he’ll do the behavior.  This is because the dog has had a strong reinforcement history for doing the requested behavior.

4 reasons WHY a dog might not do a cued behavior:

1.  He does not really know the behavior or has not generalized that behavior in other environments.

2.  It hurts him to do the behavior…

3.  He did not hear you cue him to do the behavior…

4.  Maybe the reward or what he is getting out of it, is not valuable enough.

I do not believe there is ever a reason to give a “command”.  I would not “command” my students, husband, friends or wild animals to do something or else, so why would I even think about doing so with my dogs?

Just my opinion… What’s yours?