If you're the new owner of a dog, chances are he or she has demonstrated some not-so-nice behaviors. Dogs - puppies in particular - can misbehave both at home and in public due to their rambunctious personalities. No matter what negative behaviors your dog exhibits, there are ways to correct them! Training is one of the most important parts of owning a dog. Ample time and plenty of patience will make your training successful, along with positive reinforcement and plenty of practice.
Dogs are highly receptive creatures who crave praise. Positive reinforcement training is one of the most effective methods because it is rooted in a dogs most basic desire - reward. Discover how positive reinforcement training can become the most powerful tool for shaping or changing your dogs behavior.
- Time it right. Rewarding your dog at the proper time is crucial in positive reinforcement training. When your dog listens to a command, they should be rewarded right away so that they associate the reward with the proper action. Failure to do so could lead your dog to associate their reward with the wrong behavior. For example, if you want to reward your dog for sitting but miss the window of opportunity and they stand too quickly, your dog will think they are being rewarded for standing up.
- Be concise. Dogs don't understand the English language - they understand sounds at the most basic level. To make training easier on your pet and yourself, keep your commands short and simple. Phrases like "sit," "stay," "down," or "off" are simple enough for your dog to understand and associate with specific activities.
- Remain consistent. In order to reinforce good behavior, it's important to be consistent in your training. Everyone who interacts with your dog should use the same commands so as to avoid confusion. Similarly, rewards should be given consistently to further reinforce positive behaviors.
- Use the right rewards. Positive reinforcement can involve treats, verbal praise, petting, or a favorite toy or activity. Most dogs are highly motivated by food, so treats work best for this type of training. The treats you use should be small in size and soft so that they can be consumed easily. This will leave your dog looking to you for more, awaiting their next command. When you reward your dog with a treat, couple it with verbal praise like "yes!" or "good dog" to further instill the positive behavior.
Dogs crave the affection of their owners. It's your job to not only love and care for your dog, but properly train them as well. Through positive reinforcement, hours of practice, and ample rewards, you'll be able to successfully train your dog.
Live happily and healthily with your dog! Find out more about Stay Dog's effective training methods here.