Using Positive Reinforcement for Your Dog

How to Encourage Positive Behavior in Your Dog

Your dog wants to please you. When training, if you lavish attention and praise on the animal then you are encouraging positive behavior. In this article, we will explore a few tips to foster a well-mannered pooch which is incredibly important for training and forming a solid bond. Reinforcing your dog’s good habits gives the animal the confidence needed to flourish. 

Spend Time with Your Dog

Dogs are pack animals. They live and thrive in a group environment. Spending time with your dog reinforces his feelings of security and lets him know that he is a member of your pack. If your dog views you as the pack leader then he will work to please you and follow your commands. 

Focus on One Word Commands

Your dog wants to understand you but if you are barking orders like a drill sergeant the dog will quickly become confused and not know what to do. Instead, focus on giving one-word commands that are simple to understand such as stay, sit, and come. When your dog performs the simple command let him know he has been good by lavishing him with ample pets, verbal praise, and maybe even a tasty treat. 

Have Fun with Your Dog

Your dog requires both physical and mental activities to stay happy. Spend time with your dog taking the animal for a walk, a visit to the dog park, enrolling in obedience classes, a trip to the pet store, a game of fetch, and other activities are always to encourage positive behavior. Dogs are happiest when they are being challenged with new and exciting experiences. Having fun with your dog will also cut down on negative behaviors such as barking, digging, or other destructive actions.

Don’t Hesitate to Reward Your Pup

When your dog does something positive, you will want to reward him for a job well done. You can give the pup a treat or offer verbal praise. A pat on the head or a scratch on the chest is also appreciated by the animal.

It’s All About Timing

When using positive reinforcement, it’s all about timing. Your dog has to associate your positive approach with whatever action was taking place. This means you have to be fast and ready to react with a positive reaction, so the dog starts to associate the two actions as a whole. The dog cannot do something and then 30 minutes later you tell the dog what a wonderful pup he is for performing the action earlier. Dogs have no real concept of time. They live in the here and now, so you have to be ready to respond to the animal’s actions in a timely and prompt manner.

Always Show Consistency

When using positive reinforcement, you must always show consistency. Your dog shouldn’t have to wonder if he will be praised for an action one time but on another occasion, you ignore the behavior. Dogs thrive with consistency. 

Positive reinforcement is the foundation for any training success with a canine. Your dog is your best friend and wants to please you so let Fido know exactly how well he is doing and how you feel about his actions by giving him ample positive reinforcement! 

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