Name It / Drive-Thru Window

First, we’re going to name the behaviour of walking nicely, close to us. This is a little against the grain as I normally wait until I get the behaviour before I name it, but using classical conditioning (no contingencies, just pairing two things together), this works wonders for bringing our dog right to our side, on cue! 

First, you say your cue – you can choose one that works best for you, that doesn’t get used often in daily life. Some ideas are: heel, here, walk with me, nicely, by me, get in. 

Then you reach into your pouch and feed right there in the drive-thru window. The drive-thru window is where your dog’s nose meets the seam of your pants on the side where you want them. Feed close to your leg rather than delivering the food to your dog where they are. You want them to learn to come close to you to pick up their paycheque! 

Notice that I’m not waiting for Salinger to do anything. I’m saying the cue and putting the food in the drive-thru window regardless of his behaviour. There is no contingency at this level – I just want him to see that the food appears there every time I say that cue. 

Lather, rinse, repeat!