The Training Steps

We will refer to the training steps as steps 1 through 4

 Step One

  • First, we have to get the behavior so we can reinforce it.
  • This is the stage where the dog learns the behavior.
  • There are several methods to get behavior.
  • You will use the most appropriate for you and the dog considering the particular behavior they are learning.  (Remember behaviors need to be age appropriate)

 Step Two

  • When the behavior is fluent – accurate, robust, reliable, and consistent – you will name it.
  • The name may be a verbal name, a physical gesture, or a hand signal.
  • The name is called a cue
  • A cue is a request to perform, it is an ask; you do not command

 Step Three

  • You will now take the behavior on the road so that the pet can perform it in various settings.
  • The more places you practice, the better and more reliable the pet’s response will be!
  • In this stage, you may also introduce greater distance and/or duration to the behavior. You will also introduce more environmental ‘distractions,’ gradually raising the difficulty using the Train-Test-Train System.

 Step Four

  • This is the maintenance phase.
  • Use it or lose it! The pet will need to continually practice their skills.


  • We recommend different games to keep a dog’s new-found skills in tip-top condition.
  • We advise that you keep all your training sessions short and fun – Stop on a high note before fatigue or boredom kicks in!
  • We also advise that you build all newly taught skills into the pet’s daily life.
  • Make good use of it as you taught it for a reason!