Dog Training Tips: Why Positive Reinforcement Training Is Best

Today’s post is by guest contributor Amber Kingsley.   This information is not intended to refute, replace or serve as a substitute for information gained from a licensed professional.  

Remember when we were little kids and our parents told us that if we were good boys and girls, we’d be sure to get presents from Santa Claus. When Christmas arrived, sure enough, there were gifts under the tree for us. In a way, this is how positive reinforcement works, a reward for good behavior.


Although most dogs aren’t likely to want to wait for December 25th to receive a reward, these techniques are still successful tools when it comes to training. In some cases teaching an animal certain behaviors could save their lives, keeping them away from wild animals or stopping them from going into the street, depending on if you come from a rural or suburban environment.


Good and Bad


Remember to use positive reinforcement techniques wisely, so you’re not baiting your dog or bribing them to perform certain behaviors. It’s also important to know when to use treats or praise at the time that will produce the best results.


For example, if your dog is habitually barking at noises outside and you let him outside each and every time he barks, you are rewarding him with access to the yard for this often unwanted and noisy behavior. Instead, try training him to stop barking and reward him with a treat or affection when he has done as he was told.


Patience and Shaping


You must be patient when you’re training, and you can use shaping behaviors to get the final result you’re seeking. Let’s say you’re teaching your dog to shake hands with you. First, he may simply raise his paw off the ground. Then you can work your way up to getting him to raise it higher until his foot reaches your hand.


Getting your dog to be their best possible self is possible through the use of positive training methods. Check out this infographic on “30 Positive Reinforcement Training Tips For Your Pet.” Remember that animals are just as responsive to love and affection as they are to treats. 

Positive Reinforcement Training for Dogs-Infographic by Amber Kingsley

Amber Kingsley is a freelance journalist and member of a pet enthusiast/animal lover group in her city of Santa Monica who has donated countless hours supporting her local shelter within operations and outreach.  She has spent most of her research writing about animals; food, health, and training.

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Happy Tails: Rudy The Weimaraner-Lab Mix

These studio shots from Mandy Whitley Photography are some of my favorites.  Rudy is a Weimaraner-Labrador Retriever mix, and he is so expressive.

Weimaraner/Lab mix, dog-on-blue-pillows

From Rudy’s human:  “Rudy just turned nine years old, and I adopted him when he was 12 weeks old.  Rudy loves riding in the car and long walks.

Weimaraner/Lab mix-in-blue-tub, Nashville dog photographer Looking at these photographs it is easy for others to see how important Rudy is to our family.   We love these photos!

black-dog-in-red-wagon, Nashville studio dog photographerblack-dog-climbing-green-stool, Mandy Whitley, Nashville dog photographerLab mix, black dog wearing crown, studio pet photography, Mandy Whitley Some are whimsical and some are peaceful.

handsome black dog in studio, Weimaraner/Lab mix, Nashville dog photographySomehow, Mandy perfectly captured his personality and all his moods and we wanted to order every print in the collection.”

weim-lab-mix, handsome black dog lying on white cushion, Nashville dog photography, Mandy Whitley
Every time I look at photos like these, I can’t help but think how they will just become more precious in time.  If you’ve been thinking that you want to get some professional portraits of your dog, I hope you will.   Many professional photographers offer gift certificates and it is not too early to start dropping hints!


You can see more of Mandy’s dog photography by following Mandy Whitley Photography on Facebook.  Follow Mandy Whitley Photography on Instagram too for even more dog love!

About Mandy Whitley Photography:  Based in Nashville, Tennessee, Mandy specializes in portraits of dogs and their people.

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Happy National Pug Day!   I hope you enjoy this cute fall engagement shot with Homer the Pug from Anjeanette Illustration Photography.   Be sure to check out our upcoming events for fun Pug events throughout the next few weeks. 

From Anjeanette: “Homer the Pug brought his people to a rich, fall color engagement session to celebrate their upcoming wedding!  We met up at the private home of one of Matt’s favorite customers and were delighted by the view of the rolling Tennessee hills, as well as a visit from a black and white cow.  Homer is pretty fond of his folks and so happy they recently became an official family!”

Pug, save the date fall engagement session with dog, fetching

From Grace:  “Homer is an 8-year-old fawn Pug that lives in Hendersonville, TN. He is always happy to pose for a picture as long as a treat is involved! Homer wasn’t quite sure what to think of the new man in his Mom’s life at first, but he has quickly fallen in love with his new Dad! He couldn’t wait to be a part of their wedding ceremony in June 2016!”

Follow Anjeanette Illustration Photography on Facebook to see more of her work.

About Anjeanette Illustration Photography:  Based in Nashville, Tennessee, Anjeanette specializes in wedding photography and senior portraits.

Fetching Links We Love

31 Ways Your Dog Can Take Part In The Big Day

Since it is Pit Bull Awareness Month, and unfortunately people seem to think BSL is worthwhile, I had to include this post. Be warned, is heart-breaking and you will cry, but I think it is beautifully written and worth reading:  Today Is The Day.

Give the holidays some Pug Love with these adorable greeting cards.

 Dehydrated Apple Chips for Dogs

National Pug Day will always make think of my sister’s sweet Pug Lulu.


Upcoming Events

October 15 Dogs For Dystonia, Marion IA

October 15 LA Pug Meet Up, Los Angeles, CA

October 15 Silver Paws Under The Stars, Hoffman Estates, IL

October 16 Angels With Tails Adoption Event, Chicago, IL

October 15-16 Bay Area Pet Fair, San Rafael, CA

October 22 Richmond DogFest, Richmond, VA

October 23  Sweat For Pets, Walk, Run, & Roll, Tucson, AZ

October 23 Pug-O-Ween, Grapevine, TX

October 23  Kooky and Ooky Family Reunion, Chicago, IL

October 30 Pet Pride Day, San Francisco, CA

November 5 Pugs Giving, Kissimmee, FL

November 18 The PAWS Chicago Fur Ball, Chicago, IL 

December 16-18 Best Friends Super Adoption Weekend, New York, NY

If you have an event that you would like to be listed here, please email rescue(at) dailydogtag dot com.








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DIY: Dehydrated Apple Chips for Dogs

Fall in Central New York has two kinds of weather.  Glorious, sunny days that fill your heart with joy and make you want to be outside.  And gray, rainy days that make you happy to stay inside.  There’s an app for both kinds of weather, or rather an apple.  Thanks to Alice G Patterson Photography, and of course, lovely Franny for these beautiful photos. 

Daily Dog Tag - Fall Treats for Dogs, mixed breed lying on plaid blanket, wooden basket of apples

On a sunny day, you can’t wait to go outside.  A favorite destination is a trip to the local orchard to pick some delicious apples.

Daily Dog Tag - Fall Treats for Dogs, apple between dog pawsfreshly picked apples in wood basket on blanket

Both Alice’s and my dogs love apples, but we typically only give them one slice at a time.  

Now the rainy days, well, those are perfect for making apple pies, apple strudel, and one of my dogs’ favorite treats — dehydrated apple chips.

Daily Dog Tag - Fall Treats for Dogs-dehydrated apple chips in ruffled pie panThey really couldn’t be simpler to make; I made ours in the oven following the directions from My Brown Newfies.  Recently I read that one kind of cinnamon is good for dogs, but another one might not be.  I wasn’t sure what kind I had, so I omitted it.

Daily Dog Tag - Fall Treats for Dogs, dehyrdrated apple chips for dogs

When it comes to serving up the apple chips, you can either use them as a treat or a food topper.

Daily Dog Tag - Fall Treats for Dogs, mixed breed eyeing apple chip

Franny lucked out and got it both ways, just one of the perks of being a model.

Daily Dog Tag -Apple treat on dog kibble mixed breed lying on blanket next to basket of apples, apple chip food topperDaily Dog Tag - Fall Treats for Dogs, dog licking apple slice, tongue out

Dehydrated apple chips will keep a long time in an airtight container. But unless you make a ton, you don’t have to worry about the chips going bad.

mixed breed licking ruffled pie plate clean Daily Dog Tag large mixed breed lying on blanket, licking crumbs off face

Follow Alice G Patterson on Instagram to see more of her work.

About Alice G Patterson Photography:  Based in Syracuse, New York, Alice specializes in photography for small business, senior portraits, and dog photography.

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Engaging Tails: Teddy the Golden Retriever Puppy

I am loving this gorgeous engagement session from Erin Morrison Photography. Teddy, the Golden Retriever puppy, is a star!
woman in white dress kissing Golden Retriever Puppy that man is holding, on location engagement photos

From Erin:  “How lucky were we to come across a field full of purple wildflowers while at our Dara’s Garden engagement session? I mean, when you put a beautiful couple (with an adorable puppy) in a field you get one very happy engagement photographer!  Emma and Kevin will be getting married at Dara’s Garden in the winter.  I cannot wait to photograph their wedding.”Erin Morrison Photography | couple kissing puppy while standing in a field Erin Morrison Photography | couple walking retrieve puppy through a field Erin Morrison Photography beautiful brunette in white dress holding Golden Retriever puppy, on location dog portraits Erin Morrison Photography | man wearing blue shirt, woman in white dress, holding Retriever puppy in field of purple flowersErin Morrison Photography | couple sitting on steps kissing, man holding puppyHop over to Erin’s blog to see more of Teddy, Emma, and Kevin.   Follow Erin Morrison Photography on Facebook to see her latest work.

About Erin Morrison Photography:  Based in Knoxville, Tennessee,  Erin specializes in family, couple and wedding photography.

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