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Tips for Using Positive Reinforcement to Reward Your Dog

Tips for Using Positive Reinforcement to Reward Your Dog

08/17/21

If you are trying to train your dog, positive reinforcement is one of the most effective and easiest methods. When you train using this method, you give your dog to reward the behavior you approve of. For example, if you request that your dog “sits,” and they do, they receive a treat.

Just as the name implies, you reward your dog’s positive actions and good behavior.

Knowing what rewards your dog sees as motiving will help you ensure that reward-based training is interesting and fun for you and your four-legged friends. Keep reading for some of the best options for rewarding your dog’s good behavior.

Treats

When you first think of positive reinforcement, you likely think of food rewards. Treats are easy and fast to dispense, and they are a good way to reward behaviors immediately.

If you are using clicker training, be sure your dog gets a treat right when they do the desired behavior. Treats are ideal for training sessions if you want your dog to continue a specific behavior quickly.

One of the downsides of using treats to reward your dog is that carrying them with you at all times is not always convenient. It may also be an issue if your dog has digestive issues, a weight problem, or food allergies.

Games

Another fun way to reward your dog is with games. You can play a game your dog likes when they do something that you want them to.

Games are like food when it comes to training. Request your dog to take a certain action, and when they do it, you start the game. Some of the top game options include fetch and tug-of-war.

You can easily sneak training into games like fetch or tug-of-war. All you have to do is pull out a ball or toy and ask your dog to sit (or perform another action) before starting the game. Once they sit, offer the toy and start the game.

While you are playing, you can use the “leave it” command or tell him to “lie down.” Once they do the desired action, throw the ball or give them the toy. This is an effective and fun way to help reinforce your pup’s training.

Attention

Most dogs look forward to your attention. This includes things like praise, snuggle time, and more. Your attention can be a reward for your dog when they behave well.

One way to do this is by waiting until your dog approaches you for pets. Rather than giving them all the attention right away, request that they lie down or sit. If they do the desired action, you can provide the attention they were seeking.

Encouraging Your Dog to Behave Properly

As you can see, there are more than a few ways to ensure that your dog behaves well and reinforce the training you have provided them. Just make sure not to overdo it. This will wear you and your dog out. 

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