Emma, over at Miles & Emma, wrote a great article on how to deal with an agility dog who jumps the start line and essentially forces you to begin your run before you were ready. While this is directed at agility dogs it definitely applies to all disciplines and even to the casual trainer who doesn’t compete. Allowing your dog to decide when he can end a behavior causes it to disintegrate quickly into worse instead of better.
I have a really hard time with this because I think “crap, if he breaks before I say ‘OK’ then the whole thing is ruined!” So then I quickly blurt out “OK!”, which is more an ego band-aid then an actual cue. At that point Wally has already ended the behavior so not only did I weaken the behavior, I also weakened the release! Ugh, training is so complex. ;)
Check out Emma’s article below and make sure to watch the linked videos!