How to Encourage Positive Behavior in Your Dog

Dogs are one of the world’s most popular pets, and for a good reason! Dogs provide unconditional love to their owners. However, some dogs can be more difficult than others to train. If you have a dog that is difficult to train, it can greatly impact your relationship with them. One of the most important things in training your pup is consistency. This means rewarding good behaviors when they happen and ignoring bad ones until they go away or are brought under control. Here are some tips from Ceaser’s Way. 

Do Immediately Praise and Reward Desired Behavior

Dogs live in the moment, so your response should be immediate. This can include both treats and affection, and should be used whenever your dog does something that you want them to do. If you’re house training a dog, treat him every time he does his business outside. Working on commands? Pet him each time he does what you say.

Do Keep it Short and Fun

The goal is to get your dog to realize that good things come when she obeys you. Because of that, you should make training short, fun, and positive — ideally ending on a good note.

Do Wean From Treats

While it’s absolutely okay to use treats in the beginning to get the behavior you want, over time you should wean your dog off of them but continue to offer praise and affection. Eventually, your pup will forget about the treats and do what you want just to please you. In effect, you become the treat.You can also condition your dog to associate a certain sound, like “Tsch!” or a clicker with receiving a treat. When you remove the treat, your dog will still respond to the sound.

Do Enroll in classes 

Huckleberry Pet Parlor offers dog training to help you and your pup create better habits and live a long life with each other. Here is an example of some classes we offer:

  • Basic Obedience – Want an overall well behaved pet that you’re proud to show off? Then this class is for you! We will go over basic manners and behavior, how to greet people, loose leash walking, basic commands and so much more – all in a fun and positive environment!
  • Advanced Obedience – We will build on what we have learned in basic class – adding distractions and learning more complex commands. By the end of this class you should be able to pass the CGC with flying colors! (Available upon interest)?

CGC – This is the AKC CGC test available to all dogs that have passed the Advanced Obedience Class here, or those who have taken an Advanced Class elsewhere. This is a one day test, and should you pass your dog will earn the title of Canine Good Citizen. For more information on the requirements to pass the CGC please visit the AKC website  CLICK HERE.

Don’t Make Things Complicated

If you want your dog to play fetch, don’t tell him to “fetch the ball.” Instead, just say “fetch” and immediately reward him when he does it. Get too complex with your commands or teaching in general and there’s no way your dog is going to understand. Be specific and be simple.

Don’t Show Inconsistency

You can’t reward your dog for staying off of the couch and then later let her come up and offer affection. Behaving like this will simply confuse her about what you want. Additionally, it’s important that everyone in your household follows the same rules or your pooch will run herself ragged trying to figure out how to behave with each person.

Don’t Stop Correcting Your Dog

A big mistake that often accompanies positive reinforcement is that pet parents start thinking they can’t say no to their dogs. This is absolutely not true. If a dog is acting inappropriately, you can and should still correct the behavior. What you should strive to do is keep “correction time” separate from “positive reinforcement” time. There needs to be a balance, just as there would be if you were raising a child.

Training is a two-way street and it’s important to take into account what your dog wants. 

No bones about it, Huckleberry’s Pet Parlor is Sycamore and DeKalb’s premier pet center. Our services include full-service pet grooming, doggy daycare, dog training, self-service pet wash, treats, toys, and more. Visit our website to learn more or call us at (815) 899-3435 to make an appointment.

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