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.
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.
Alice G Patterson says
Great infographic! Shared over on my “Bark About” Pinterest board!
These are lot of rules.. training my terrier has been a challenge and he’s not really trained. He’s not food stupid so treats don’t have much impact on him. One thing I read that I’m now conscious of is grammar construction of sentences. Yes, grammar. Come here, Victor. is how I would naturally say, but it’s not good. Always start with the dog’s name to get attention then he (sometimes) concentrates on the word that follows: Victor, come.
Positive reinforcement is the only way to go, as far as we’re concerned! Nice post!
Great tips! Positive training works wonders and I am so happy that it has become the standard. Tip 16 is key for us with our frisbee obsessed Charlie!
Kristian taylor says
I love your infographic. Such a great and fun way to get the info out there.
Lisa Bregant says
These are great tips. I’m a firm believer in positive reinforcement.
Luna C. Lupus says
I am a huge advocate for +R and I absolutely love this post. I’ve pinned it and will share it on my FB page tomorrow too! I wish more people understood how important positive reinforcement is and that’s it’s a lot of work – work that always pays off in the end!
Valerie Desmet says
Haha, I’m guilty!! I sometimes bribe my dogs into good behavior!! James tends to be very excited when we have visitors over, so just before they enter I give him a bone, so he’s even more excited about that! But it’s very important to train your dog in a positive way!! Great infographic!
Wow to see this all laid out so clearly really makes a difference. I like the visual information, instead of just text, text and more text! Thanks for sharing this!
Joely Smith says
I LOVE this infographic! I agree on PEA sized praise treats and also about not bribing! I am saving this for future reference. Thank you!
Hindy Pearson says
Great infographic! For those who prefer to skim articles and miss most of the content, this infographic will give them all the info they need in a clear and concise format.
Lola The Rescued Cat says
What a cute infographic. A little bit of positive reinforcement can go a long way.
I absolutely use Positive Reinforcement with my dogs – and to be honest, worked with my high school students as well! Love this post!
I think it works well with almost everyone!
Tonya Wilhelm says
Great tips. Patience, patience and more patience! 😉 Love the infographic too.
Dash Kitten Crew says
I love these infographics and I wish they made printable copies for people. I would have this pinned to my wall if I had dogs! It is encouraging and helpful – just what a pet owner needs!
Amber Kingsley did a great job with the infographic!
Kelsie | It's Dog or Nothing says
Paws up for positive reinforcement! In my opinion, it’s the only way to train – and it works for people, too! 😉
Sweet Purrfections says
The knowledge about appropriate dog training has changed a lot since 50 years ago when I had a dog.
Rebecca at MattieDog says
One of the most vital pieces is the shaping part – we tend to want things too fast and also to think that one success means forever success. Slow and steady and always positive is best – this is a great infographic, will share!
This is so great! I’m trying to train my new pup and positive reinforcement has been working so well. I just need to keep being patient and keep it up
Brilliant article. Will be sharing
Dusty Desert Dogs says
Love positive reinforcement its the only way we train in our house.
Christine Caplan says
We’re big believers in don’t expect too much too soon. In Nosework we always stop when we’re successful and reward at odor since when we expect too much the game isn’t as fun!
I am amazed by the number of professionals that do not promote ‘positive reinforcement’. And, I’ve had a couple of bad experiences with trainers that do not practice positive reinforcement. Thank you for this post and fabulous infographic.
Tenacious Little Terrier says
Yes, pea-sized treats or smaller. It’s hard finding tiny treats sometimes. I also think that dogs should be rewarded with what they find rewarding. Within limits of course!
Cathy Armato says
I’m all about positive reinforcement dog training, it’s the only way to go! Wonderful Info Graphic, I must PIN it!
Love & Biscuits,
Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them
Yes, this is really wonderful infographic. Get to learn a bunch of things. Whoa! Dogs are true soul and my first love!
Positive reinforcement is good. Never reprimand your pet physically or force it to follow your commands, as this may lead to fear and aggression.
Most people don’t have a problem being very clear about when they are unhappy with their dogs, but, they often ignore the good stuff. Big mistake! Make sure you give your dog lots of attention when he’s doing the right thing.
Ridley Fitzgerald says
I love the dog training tips you have here. We just got a puppy, and we want him to be trained well. However, it makes sense that we shouldn’t expect him to know too much too soon. We’ll probably hire a professional to help train him, and go by their time frame.
Congratulations! Good luck with the training!