Criteria is an extremely important component of dog training, possibly the most important. As we really start to get our dogs conditioned to taking note of their behavior and replicating it to positively effect their consequence, they become extremely bright and are able to learn extremely fast. They will learn behaviors very quickly.

Setting clear and appropriate criteria allows the handler to teach the skills we want our dogs to learn quickly and efficiently.

Many times it is the handler’s failure to set and enforce criteria at the beginning or at a critical stage in learning that causes those stumbling blocks in our training. Muddy criteria with a smart dog is a recipe for disaster. It can lead to confusion, poor performance and an avoidance of work.

If the dog fails, smack the handler.

Good Handlers are not afraid to go back a step, great trainers are not afraid to go back to foundation.

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Sequences are just behavior chains and is only as strong as the weakest link in that chain. Each behavior in the chain must be strong. if a link in the chain, a component element of the sequence, is not solid, the sequence will break down, right there, at that point. Especially if we add stress.