Positive Reinforcement

 

Positive reinforcement gives a Dog the opportunity to make his own decision. By re-enforcing something good like food, toys or praise for doing a specific behaviour.

Training Games can be used to modify a behaviour or to teach a completely new behaviour to a puppy. 

With Positive Reinforcement the idea is to add something good. The dog will learn that a good consequence will come from performing the desired behaviour you are trying to achieve and will be more likely to perform it.

If you are asking your dog to sit down he will be motivated to achieve the correct response if he knows he will be rewarded.

Richer Food Treats can be used for more complex tasks where you need to keep the focus for a longer period of time. The dog will need to be motivated so his normal food treats may not suffice.

Knowing your dog’s favourite reward is key to this, most dogs are food motivated, certainly Labradors. A Cocker Spaniel may prefer a toy reward such as a Ball. A French BullDog may be happy with a cuddle  

Using a clicker in conjunction with a treat will help mark the behaviour.   

Click then treat, the dog will come to associate the click with something good.  

You should not reward any other offered behaviours, like paw lifting. Extra behaviours should be ignored.  

Your Dogs rewards can be varied, sometimes a click, sometimes a treat, sometimes a cuddle and good boy. This will keep the dog listening and wondering when the next treat will come.

When then required behaviour is being performed comfortably,  you should vary the environment to proof the behaviour. Try performing the same behaviour in the Garden or in a place where there are more distractions.  

slowly introduce more distractions.  A higher/Tastier treat should be offered here to keep your dog motivated and focused on the task at hand so that the new behaviours can be generalised in different environments.

Testimonials

Average rating:  
 20 reviews
by Pete and Mary on GGL Pet Services

We are so happy to have found Gill. We know that we can relax in the knowledge that our Border Collie will be safe, happy and well looked after...

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