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How to get the best from positive reinforcement

At TOTAL K9 ®, we’re big fans of positive reinforcement as a way of building a great relationship between dogs and their owners. Positive reinforcement means rewarding your dog for good behaviour and ignoring the behaviour you do not like. It’s a great starting point for many pets, owners find it easy to continue what they and their dog have learnt during their training sessions. Here are our top tips

to help you get the best from positive reinforcement training.

Give praise straightaway
Dogs live in the moment, so an immediate response will be associated with the behaviour you want to encourage.

Find out what your dog will work for
This could be a favourite game, time with a preferred toy or something like a good grooming session. Most dogs will work enthusiastically for food, and – of course – their owners’ attention.

Vary the rewards you give
It’s important to use a mix of verbal and physical praise as well as treats, otherwise, you run the risk of giving your dear pooch a snack every time he sits. Saying “good dog” or giving a beloved toy is just as effective as food and much easier on the waistline.

Be consistent
If you reward your dog for staying off the sofa, it’s important that the rule applies at all times. Changing your mind will cause confusion for your dog. It’s important that the whole household follows the same rules too.

Make positive reinforcement a way of life
This takes a bit of planning, but it’s a sure-fire way to make good behaviour become the norm. Understanding that rewards mean repetition is a consistent way to make sure good behaviour becomes a habit, it’s important to always be ready to give your dog the rewards they deserve.

We’ll work closely with you and your dog to ensure you are able to get the very best out of positive reinforcement training. Whether you choose our one-to-one sessions or opt for residential dog training, you can be sure that you’re making positive steps towards a happy and productive relationship with your dog.

positive reinforcement dog training