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I think "good girl" has become a release word???

932 Views 4 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Bordermom
I have a 6 month old puppy. She is a good dog and is doing well with training. I mostly just do positive reward based training, but I don't always have treats in my hand. I try to tell her "good girl" as a positive marker, when she is does her tricks or when she is doing something nicely, like walking loose on the leash. But now it is starting to seem like if I say "good girl" the trick or whatever is over, and she starts doing whatever she wants. On walks she will be walking nicely, i try to praise, and when I do, she goes ahead and starts pulling. Obviously I will still be using "good girl" along with the rest of the family and most people in the world, so is there a way I can add in a real release word or teach her that "good girl" is a praise/reward, not permission to do what her puppy heart desires???
ps. I am a first-time puppy owner, but have read every book and website there is and have been lurking on DF for years....so I hope you guys can give me some solid advice to help with this, it's not a huge problem, but I have no access to classes or trainers where I live and I want to do my best with this pup. Thanks.
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What I use is 'OOOKAAAAY' usually with a touch. So I can say 'sit, good sit, good job, goood sit'... and then go in and release with the 'okay'. This gives me the chance to verbally praise them for doing a good job in the moment without them taking off because they think they're done.

I also will try to combine the release with interacting with me, so it's 'oookaaaay' with a game of tug or a belly rub so they aren't just taking off. But for leash walking there's never an 'okay' time to pull on the leash, if that makes sense. I also don't ask them verbally NOT to pull on the leash, I just figure if they feel pressure from a collar because they are on leash, they shouldn't pull against it. If they pull they get a tap on the butt to back up, or I'll change directions, or adjust what they have on, if it's a slip leash and it needs to be right up on the neck I move it, if it's really an issue with the bad puppy, I'll loop the leash around her belly so she self corrects when she starts to pull. Usually half a block with that and she's settled down and I'll just grab the leash near the collar and let the loop untangle as we're walking.
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