One of the misconceptions about positive training is that you become a treat dispenser for your dog, constantly giving out food rewards for the rest of his life. While there are some situations that may require long-term treat rewards, there are also many others that rely on other kinds of reinforcement for good behavior.
The main principle of positive training is that polite behavior such as sitting is rewarded, making it a win-win for both dog and owner. Failure to do the polite behavior generally results in the owner withholding a reward. Therefore, only polite pups get what they want. But who says the reward has to be a treat? Enter life rewards, calorie-free reinforcement that gives your dog access to everything he wants... as long as he sits first.
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Kate Naito, CPDT-KA, MS, is an accomplished author and dog trainer with Doggie Academy in Brooklyn, NY. Her books, articles, and videos cover everything from house-training to leash aggression.