Positive reinforcement for training is a concept that has been used for decades by pet parents. Rewarding your pup makes them more likely to repeat the behavior, making positive reinforcement one of the most powerful tools for shaping or changing a dog’s behavior. The basic concept of positive reinforcement pet training is providing praise, food, toys, or other rewards for desired behavior.
There are a few secret tips to mastering positive reinforcement pet training. While telling Fido a great job when they do what you ask of them seems easy enough, short statements, quick rewards, and high-quality treats help the communication between you and your pet to be more effective.
Short Statement Training
Recently, the internet has been booming with videos of dog parents that have taught their pups to communicate using buttons on a soundboard. One thing you will notice with this form of communication is that every button represents a single statement. Short statement training quickly communicates with your pup exactly what you’re expecting of them. Make sure to pick words that you wouldn’t be associated with other expectations. Think of words like “walk”, “sit”, “shake”. Whenever you pick the words that will represent the training that you’re hoping to achieve, use them often and be sure to reward your pet’s attempts.
Animals have short-term memory. After your pet attempts to do whatever you’ve asked of them, reward them immediately. If you wait until after your pet moves on from the behavior you asked them to do, then they will assume that the treat is for what they did after the desired behavior. When you’re providing your pet with their reward, consider repeating back the short statement command with the phrase good job (i.e. “Great sit”). Short commands and quick rewards should always be praised with high-quality treats.
High-quality Pet Treats
To see the best results with positive reinforcement pet training, you want to offer high-quality treats. James Naturals Salmon Stix is a great option for training treats because they are free of preservatives and additives. Avoid giving your pet an entire salmon stix each time they follow your directions- use a pair of scissors to cut down a salmon stix into dime-sized pieces. Small treats work best for training so your pet wants to listen again and be rewarded again. Keep in mind that too many treats may lead to an upset stomach for your pet.
Positive reinforcement pet training is the most effective way to train your pet. Be patient with your pet while you teach them new tricks and be sure to praise their efforts. What were the first tricks that you taught your pet?