Capturing is a technical term. It means taking a behavior a dog offers naturally, by accident or by habit and teaching the dog to perform that behavior on cue. One can start with a very  tiny increment of a behavior and reinforce it in such a way that you end up with a fun trick.

For example: My dog Petzi naturally likes to cross one leg over the other when he watches the world. I took that right paw over left paw behavior, put it on cue and then went on to teach him to do it with the other paw as well. Then we went on to do even “greater” things with the paws. Now he can cross his front paws both ways and tuck them under too.

Once I got a taste of “paw”games I started to teach them to other dogs as well.

Sadie is a rescue pointer who was afraid of everything when she was adopted by my clients. She was a shivering bundle who clung to her crate.

She still has her “spooked” moments but now she is basically a happy camper. She always comes when called! And she shows me how brave she is by  touching objects with her nose.

Sadie invented her own version of the paw games. Here it is:

Elisabeth Weiss is a highly certified, experienced dog trainer in Manhattan, NYC. To learn more about dog training services, contact us by phone at (917) 783-1473 or our contact form.

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