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Training with Treats – The Power of Positive Reinforcement

If you’ve experienced life with toddlers you’ll know how pointless shouting is! Humans respond much better to positive reinforcement, as recommended by experts in TV’s Supernanny programme. It works just as well with dogs. In fact many experts feel it’s by far the best way to encourage a dog to do the right thing, far better than trying to impose your dominance the old fashioned way by force: shouting, hitting and punishing.  

Here are some tips for training your dog to co-operate through kindness

How does it work? It’s simple. Positive reinforcement conditions your dog to behave safely and predictably and obey your requests through rewards. Just like us, dogs love being rewarded and adore being loved. And because food is a huge instinctive motivator for all living things, they soon catch on!

How does it work?

When you’re training your dog to sit, lie, walk, come, fetch and so on, give them a treat, making a fuss of them every time they get it right. If they don’t want to play, or they’re bored or confused, never tell them off. It’s much better to ignore the doggie behaviour you don’t want and make a big fuss when they exhibit the behaviour you do want. They’ll soon get the idea.

Consistency is also really important. Just like humans, dogs like to know where they stand. If you’ve ever been in a relationship with a moody person, you’ll appreciate their feelings! A person who is happy one day and shouting the next is very difficult to be with, leaving you very confused. 

What are the benefits of positive reinforcement?

·         humane groups, scientists and animal welfare charities agree it’s the most effective and humane way to treat dogs, who thrive on love and praise and feel miserable when scared and uncertain

·         some people worry too many treats makes a dog unhealthy but others feel, on balance, a happy, loved dog is healthier than a dog that’s constantly being shouted at and told off, so there’s a minimal risk of putting on weight. Plus, once your dog has learned how to behave properly, you can cut down on treats, only using them occasionally to show your love and affection

·         buy specially formulated healthy organic doggie snacks instead of sweets or other unhealthy stuff and you reduce the risk even further as well as avoiding pesticides, preservatives and other nasties

Positive reinforcement is advocated by millions of dog owners and it’s the best way to build a trusting, loving, solid relationship with your best friend. Our hypoallergenic treats are the perfect training aid, delicious as well as nutritious – why not give them a go?

What treats does your dog love best?    

What snacks does your dog like best? We’d love to hear your experiences of positive reinforcement.

Image Source: Lulu Hoeller

 

 

Published by Sophie C. on October 31, 2012 in Training. Comments: 0

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