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In reading over some of the posts here a thought came to mind. What should you do when a dog does a trick without you cueing them for it?

As an example, you're teaching a dog to wave. When you give the cue and the dog responds correctly, the dog is rewarded with a treat. What if the dog later sits down in front of you and waves without your cue? What's a good way to handle this - ignore it? Maybe ignore it for a moment, then cue the dog to wave and reward that - etc.

Thanks!
 

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Mark and reward it!

Generally you do not name/command/cue a behavior until the dog is already reliably offering it anyway, so it's fine that you "capture" it without giving a command.

My trainer taugher her Basset to "bow" simply by waiting for her to stretch everymorning and rewarding her.
 

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one day when we were getting ready to go out my dog got his leash out of his box. i quickly told him he was good boy. then i treated him. now i can say "get your leash" and he does. every now and then my dog will walk over to us when we're sitting on the sofa or sitting at the computer and he'll give us his paw. i normally pet him and praise him. sometimes i say "no" and then he'll lay beside me.

if your dog does something off cue and you like what he did i say reward it. if your dog knows "no" or "leave it" that should take care of it in case your dog starts to over do it.
 

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It depends on where you are in the training, for me. If I've JUST taught a dog a new trick and they offer it spontaneously, I mark and reward that. It helps build confidence.

But if it's an established trick - one that is well-known and on a verbal cue - then I usually only reward it if I ask for it. And if they offer that behavior when I ask for a different behavior, I never reward it.

When I teach my dogs to bring me their food dishes, there's ALWAYS a cross-over time when this light bulb goes off and they think "woah .. I take my dish to Mom and she puts a treat in it!!". And then they start bringing me the dish over and over. That's when I put the dish up for awhile and let them settle. I'm glad to see them do this, because I know that the concept has really taken root, but I'm not going to reward it ad nauseum .. *L*

Melanie and the gang in Alaska
 
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