Let’s face it. No matter how much you love your furry partner, it cannot always be fun and games with him. There are times when it will become necessary to discipline him for his misbehavior. Many studies suggest that positive reinforcement is a good way to train dogs, especially when they are young.
Positive reinforcement is a method in which you reward your dog for the behavior you like and ignore him for the behavior that you dislike. By doing this, you convey a message that certain behaviors are acceptable for you while others are not. Your dog understands this and acts accordingly.
Knowing the right way to reinforce good habits in your dog will save you a lot of trouble and help your puupy grow into a well-mannered member of the family. Here are a few tips to encourage positive behavior in your dog!
1. Spend Time Together
Make sure to spend time regularly with your dog. When your dog sees that you care about him, he is more likely to reciprocate with gestures of affection, love, and joy. Dogs don’t like to be neglected (just like us!) and keep looking for your approval. Also, you should never yell at your dog. Instead, ask him to do things nicely and with a smile on your face.
2. Challenge Your Dog
Mental stimulation is important for your dog’s growth. He’ll thrive on enrichment activities and challenges, especially when there is a reward involved in it. Use activities such as obedience training and hiding treats around your house to give his excitement a push.
3. Reward Your Dog
We feel happy when we are praised, and dogs aren’t any different. Pat his head lovingly every time he does something well, especially after the challenges. Constant praises will encourage more good behavior from him and help strengthen your bond. Also, make sure to buy plenty of treats that you can give to your dog as rewards. Remember, dogs like treats way more than their food, and feel special every time they are rewarded with one!
4. Express Love & Forgiveness
Unlike the common perception, using old school methods such as leash correction may not be as useful for encouraging positive behaviors in dogs. In fact, in many cases, punishment makes the situation even worse. The best thing to do when your pet makes a mistake is to show him that you have forgiven him. Your dog picks up on your emotions and understands what you convey. Remember, patience is a key to reinforce good behavior in your four-footed friend!
5. Keep It Fun
Let everyone in your family help you with the reinforcement training. Tell your family members to play with your dog in your absence. Ask them to enact the same commands and treat him with rewards when he gets them right. This will inculcate a sense of familiarity in your dog and make him feel like this is how he is supposed to behave. If your dog is young, chances are that he will catch up quickly. Make sure to use a variety of methods to stop the training from getting boring!
If you still find it hard to train your dog or need expert advice on the reinforcement methods, our trainers at Dog Day Afternoon can help you.