Shaping the Spot Behavior with Dismissal

Click on the image above for the video.

What Is DOC?

  • Dismiss – You say, “Go Do Dog Stuff…”
  • Observe – Watch Your Dog
  • Capture – Mark and Reinforce Desirable Behavior

DOC is our Environmental Management Protocol. It is designed to help handler’s learn to passively handle their dogs. You dismiss the dog and then let them hang out there on their own in the environment and shape behaviors you would like your dogs to use when they’re on their own. Spot is one of those default behaviors that you’re looking to shape for Environmental Management.

DOC for Action

Once you have Desire for the Spot or Pedestal and/or Desire for Duration, you can dismiss the dog, observe them casually and wait for them to go hit the spot.  Mark and reinforce it when it happens. If you’ve done our job in building the spot so far, the dog should be waiting there right now…

You add value to Action, by marking and reinforcing as they get to the spot, or marking and reinforcing the sit or down – Shaping the Spot.

DOC for Duration

You can also add value to duration by walking over and paying the dog for lying down patiently. Don’t use a marker and move easily. You can mark eye contact during the down in order to ensure that the dog gets feedback and is likely to continue lying down while you approach, but you are looking to not mark at all so you can reinforce the state of being down. Redlight/Greenlight could also be used in case of a break in Duration.

But you’re looking to reinforce the state of being motionless, an absence of action. Repetitive action works against Duration. You don’t want to be doing a bunch of it. If your dog is not staying well as you approach to deliver reinforcement, you will want to get better at Releasing your dog.

When you click you mark action. In duration, you are looking for an absence of Action. Don’t mark and let your cookies speak for themselves – Reinforce the State of Being.

DOC for Generalization

When you dismiss the dog, you are free to do whatever it is you please in order to generalize your position (and activity). You can Dismiss the dog and sit down. Observe your dog and mark and capture the moment they hit the spot if you’re looking for Action, or you can quietly capture them lying down nicely and drop a cookie on them if you want Duration. Dismiss the dog while doing dishes? Be ready to capture the Spot. You can dismiss while holding Frisbees. Wait for the spot and mark it…

We hope you get the hang of the DOC handling concept, not just for Spot training either. It’s really elegant and is extremely flexible. Feel free to ask questions about DOC below.

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Ron Watson

An accomplished dog trainer, dog sport coach and dog behavior expert, Ron Watson of PVybe spends every minute he can collaborating with dog lovers all over the world. Specializing in canine performance, learning theory and behavior, Ron along with the fabulous Apryl Lea, run real world and online seminars as well as personal training, clinics, and Hangouts. He lives to talk dogs, so go ahead and ask Ron a question via our contact page, Facebook or on Google+.

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