What Is Positive Reinforcement?
Training is important for all dogs, but can be frustrating – after all, you and your dog speak different languages!
Positive reinforcement works on the basic premise that if you reward your dog for doing something, they are likely to do that action again – after all, it got a great result last time! This positive feedback is a great way to teach your dog how you want them to behave and should be applied to all aspects of training your dog.Read more about training your puppy to sit Find a practice
More about positive reinforcement
Whenever your dog performs and action or a behaviour that matches how you want them to behave, give them a reward. This can be treats, praise, play, a favourite toy or something else that make them feel good – usually, food gets the fastest result! Importantly, the reward has to be given in conjunction with the action or behaviour being done – dogs will associate things that happen to them with the action they were performing at or around that time. If you wait until too much later to give the treat, you’ve missed you opportunity and your dog might instead associate your praise with what they are doing now instead, which could be completely different!
Your dog will soon learn that behaving well (e.g lying quietly in a certain room, going into their crate at night, asking to go out to the toilet, sitting in response to your cue) means a reward! This encourages co-operation and reduces the ability to perform unwanted behaviours. After all, why would you bark if you get a reward for being quiet?
Working together, rather than using the out-dated ‘pack/submission’ training mentality, makes a stronger bond between you and your dog, and helps you have a dog that behaves well because they want to, not because they are forced to.