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Interesting feedback, Sarah, especially the “always” 🙂 At a seminar with Ron, he told us we should ALWAYS do something, and about 90 seconds later told me to do the exact opposite as Blackie was searching!
Anyhow… regarding the reward sequence, that does seem to make some sense. However, a slightly different take on it that I have heard and which seems to work for us is to keep my mouth shut until such time as I’m AT source, with my dog, paying her — be it via praising or feeding or petting. (I usually use only the first two, probably in part because my girls are tiny, so the vigorous pet on the side you big dog handlers use wouldn’t go over big with my little girls and also because I have a treat in my hands and both of us are anxious to get that to the dog and get back to work.)
Staying quiet until I’m at source seems to help keep my dog AT source, since they know that is where I will reward.