As much as we love our dogs there are things we can think of from the top of our heads that we wish they would stop doing. Disciplining them for misbehaviour is necessary sometimes and positive reinforcement is an important method you can use to train your furry friend. Their bad behaviour will be discouraged and they will be redirected to positive ones.
When you become aware of these methods it will save you a lot of trouble and help your pup fit in with the rest of your family. Barking Heads has a few tips to help you encourage positive behaviour in your dog.
1. Reward Your Dog
Dogs have a constant need for encouragement from you so that they can feel like they are appreciated. Patting his head when he does something well and praising him constantly for good behaviour will strengthen the bond between the two of you and will encourage even more good behaviour in the future.
Ensure that you always have treats with you. Your dog will appreciate his treat even more than his food. Dogs tend to live in the moment so if you are planning to give them a reward it should be instant so that they can understand that whatever they just did is appreciated.
2. Make The Training Sessions Fun
Positive reinforcement training can be really fun if you keep the training session short and energetic. When your dog realizes that the training gets them some nice things like treats, they will start offering good behaviours so that they can be rewarded. The training duration should be short, and you should focus on not only training but having fun with your dog.
3. Establish Communication With Your Dog
Communicating clearly with your dog helps him know what behaviour is acceptable and they start working towards pleasing you. Decide on what you want your dog to learn and when he does it offer him a reward. The likelihood of the dog repeating those good behaviours is high since dogs like pleasing their owners.
The reasons are not always clear to a dog when they are punished. An example is when you scold your dog for peeing on the carpet. The dog might mistake your scolding to mean that it is not acceptable to pee there when you are around. This creates a communication problem and fear is not effective in instilling good behaviour in dogs. Instead of punishing your dog, give him a treat and praise him every time he goes outside. Your dog will start peeing outside in an effort to be rewarded because the communication is now clear.
4. Spend Time Together With Your Dog
Your dog is more likely to reciprocate gestures of love and affection if he sees that you care about him by spending time with him. Dogs are always looking for approval and don’t like being neglected. Positive reinforcement methods are more likely to create a bond between the two of you. Don’t yell at your dog. They’ll be more likely to enjoy your company if they are being rewarded rather than punished.
5. Stimulate Your Dog Mentally
Challenging your dog with activities for mental stimulation helps your dog grow. Activities that challenge your dog can be fun and exciting especially if there is a reward that comes after. You can hide treats around your house and make him search for them or practice obedience training. It is a great way to avoid boredom and burn him off. Remember, a tired dog is a good dog.
If you still find it hard to train your dog, seek help from a dog trainer. You can transform the relationship between you and your dog by encouraging positive behaviour from him daily. We at Barking Heads want you to have fun with your dog. Treats are great for reinforcing these methods and you can get them at Barking Heads