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6 Dos and Don’ts of Positive Reinforcement Dog Training


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1.       Respond to Your Dog’s Behavior Regularly

For your positive reinforcement to work, you need to be consistent with your responses. Appreciate, reward your dog every time it does something good or follow your direction. Also, make it a point to intervene and tell your dog, every time it does something wrong, that it’s not acceptable. However, make sure to only use your voice to stop unwanted behavior and not force.

2.       Use Short, Simple Commands

Dogs do not understand long sentences. To make sure they understand your directions, use short and simple commands. Also, when you’re just starting the positive reinforcement dog training, pair up the commands with physical cues to make sure your pup clearly understands what you’re asking it to do.

Woman rewarding dog for good behavior


3.       Do Not Use Force or Fear

There may be times when your dog just doesn’t seem to pick up your cue or command, and you feel like yelling or scolding it. You may also want to punish your dog when it doesn’t follow your commands and make the same mistake repeatedly. However, as per dog trainers, anything that causes pain and fear has a negative impact on dogs. They get disturbed, some get aggressive while others completely shut down. They will also become scared of you, which will ruin the beautiful relationship you two share.

4.       Do Not Delay Rewards

For positive reinforcement to work, you should reward your dog as soon as it follows your command or displays positive behavior. Remember, dogs do not have the ability to connect delayed reactions with their earlier actions. So, if you delay the reward, your dog won’t be able to figure out the action or behavior you’re rewarding it for. It will associate with something in the present.

When using positive reinforcement, always reward your dog immediately.

5.       Do Not Be Inconsistent

You have to be consistent with training, your behavior, and responses for positive reinforcement dog training to work. For example, give your dog a pat over the head whenever he follows your command and does its business at the designated place. Provide the same response every time. Varied or dissimilar responses will only make the poor dog confused.

Dog training is often a long and demanding process that requires time, effort, consistency, and patience. Follow these tips to raise a healthy, happy, and well-behaved pet or hire a professional dog trainer to make your life easier.

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