Positive reinforcement is one of the best and most effective ways to train your dog. Have you ever received a compliment for a job well done and that makes you want to do a good job again? Well, that’s positive reinforcement.
While humans have many ways to get positive reinforcement. Dogs have three main ways to receive positive reinforcement. They are; food/junk food, toys and praise. Every dog is different.
Which reward they reciprocate the most will depend on a number of factors. Consists of; breed, upbringing, personality, age and environment. For example, if a dog is insecure, it will often respond to praise more often. Meanwhile, a playful, high-energy dog may respond better to their favorite chew toy.
3 basic principles of positive reinforcement training
1. Time is key
Timing is one of the most important factors for positive reinforcement. You must reward your dog within the first 2 seconds of the desired behavior. Otherwise, your dog will not associate the treat with the right action.
For example, if you let your dog lie down, reward him when he gets up. They will think the reward is for sitting instead of lying down.
2. Keep it short and sweet
Dogs don’t understand long sentences. Long commands like “Please, sit down for me now and you will enjoy” will only cause you to tilt your head lovingly and give your dog a confused look.
Instead, Dogs listen to shorter commands, are much more flexible, and they are also excellent readers of body language.
The four most common commands (and important commands to start with) are: sit, down, heel, and come. Once your pet has learned these important commands, you can start adding more commands.
3. Every day is a training day
Regularly training your dog is key to ensuring that he learns the desired behavior and understands your commands.
It’s also important that you always reward good behavior and never reward bad behavior.
It’s also important that everyone in the family agrees when training your dog. Otherwise, you may confuse it with your dog.
When should I use Positive Reinforcement?
You should be selective when using positive reinforcement. Keep it primarily to teach your dog signals and reinforce good behavior.
- Reward your dog with a treat when they lie down and are quiet.
- Before stroking them (so they don’t jump).
- Before letting them out (so they don’t knock on the door).
Just be careful that you. Don’t accidentally reward them for bad behavior.
Positive reinforcement can take many different forms. Usually, it’s food, praise, petting, a favorite toy, or a game. Usually, Dogs love food/junk treats.
Each time you enjoy dog treats, you should also use a slogan like “good” or “yes” to reinforce good behavior.
Time for treats
When your dog is learning a new behavior, you should reward them each time they perform the behavior. After they have learned the behavior, you can start giving your dog intermittent and irregular treats. So your dog can’t guess when it will get the reward.
Do you have any more tips for positive reinforcement? Drop them in the comments below :).
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