TIP #1: THE 3 WAYS TO TEACH, PT. 3
To teach your dog to do something specific on cue, you get your dog to do that particular behavior, then reward it. The tricky part is getting your dog to do the behavior. There are 3 ways to do this:
This is the organic way to train dogs. Basically, you wait for the behavior to occur naturally and then reward it. Say your dog is getting up from a snooze and does a yoga-like doggie stretch. If you get your treats ready in time and reward that stretch every time you see it, you will soon have a nice bow you can then put on cue.
What to use when?
Luring, shaping, and capturing are all fine training methods, and you can mix and match depending on your personal preference. Lure if you want the behavior to happen fast. Shape if you want to give your dog a brainteaser that will wear him out. Or use capturing if you want to sit back and train from the couch.
TIP #2: TO TUG OR NOT TO TUG, PT. 3
The "tug might make him more dominant" argument is extremely lame. The implication is that dogs or wolves ascertain rank by grabbing the ends of an object and tugging to see who "wins". If anything, the best description of tug is that it is cooperative behavior. It's not you vs. the dog, it's you and the dog vs. the tug of war toy. When you're playing tug of war with a dog and he "wins," i.e. you let it go, a tug addicted dog will try to get you to re-engage in the game rather than leaving and hoarding. You have control of the supreme, ultimate reinforcer here: the ability to make the toy appear to resist, to feel like living prey. The dog learns this.
- excertped from The Culture Clash
Jeff Dentler, CPDT-KA, CTDI