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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When to Use Life Rewards
Your daily life provides numerous opportunities to practice polite behavior.
How to Implement Life Rewards
Let’s use the example of sitting while the leash is clipped, as it is often the most challenging.
Now it’s your turn. Make a list of the things your dog wants access to, and always ask him to “sit” for them!
This article originally ran here at petguide.com.
Kate is a certified dog behavior consultant, certified dog trainer, certified dog parkour instructor, and award-winning author in Brooklyn, NY with Doggie Academy and in Southbury, CT.