Lesson

Next As Cookie

This is probably the most important cookie in dog training. Next is a powerful motivator for skilled learners and athletes.

What is next? Next is opportunity. Next is what I want. Everything in a dog’s life is about next. If she ain’t sleeping, next is on her mind and in her actions. A handler who controls next controls the dog and has an endless supply of powerful cookies.

Offering next as a cookie to a dog that knows and likes what she is doing leads to great performance and a creates strong desire to do the behavior. Next becomes an earned opportunity.

Convince a dog that compliance with cues makes next happen, and make sure that next is always awesome, then that dog will do just about anything asked, and will do it with gusto.

Next is easy to offer and easy to control. Leveraging next as a cookie allows positive reinforcement or negative punishment through access to work.

Next as Cookie

Next as cookie is similar to bite as cookie, but it needs a bit more
conditioning and care to be used effectively. This concept is readily applied and well understood in positive training and agility.

Dogs that love their job and have a strong reward history can be reinforced with the opportunity for more play, specifically, the next behavior.

This is powerful stuff. People reinforce with next fairly often, but it is usually not explicitly as a cookie. It’s more like some general reinforcement, and just like with the bite, if you treat next just like a cookie, next will treat you, your dog, and your training quite well.

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