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Dogs Need Encouragement, Too
Negative correction is often necessary in order to train your dog commands and to correct bad behavior. However, we have to be careful that negativity isn’t the only thing we communicate to our furry friends. If we want to build trust and loyalty between ourselves and our dogs then we need to encourage them.
If you begin rewarding your dog when he does something right instead of only punishing him when he does wrong, he will have more respect for your discipline because he knows you are there for the encouragement, too. He begins to recognize that specific behaviors will bring about positive rewards, such as a head rub. For example, when you tell your dog to sit and he hears encouragement delivered with a kind sweet sounding voice, he is more likely to sit this time and the next. If you think about it, when it comes to training, “the next time” is what you are trying to prevent. If you yell “sit” and your voice is your mean voice, he may sit but, he doesn’t feel encouraged and he will more than likely not follow your commands as easily the next time. If you encourage him before he sits then he is more likely to sit again since he anticipates the praise.
You can even use encouragement when your dog is misbehaving, to an extent. When you know your dog really well and have spent time training him, it is possible to anticipate his wrong behavior. For example, if he is outside with you and you anticipate that he is about to run out into the street you can encourage him by giving him the command to sit before he takes off. If this is done with a kind, positive voice then he will be encouraged to sit and stay with you. Anticipating the bad behavior can be one of the best, positive training principles you can obtain.
Ignoring Your Dog
When your dog is doing something such as jumping up on you and you have just walked in the door and have no remote training device, it is possible to ignore him by turning your back on him. He will be confused at first and It may seem like a mean thing to do but, if you praise him as soon as he stops jumping eventually he will understand that when you walk in the door, you expect him to sit and not jump because the praise only comes when he stays down. Giving him the attention he wants once he is behaving appropriately will encourage him to learn that not all punishment comes in the form negative correction.
When To Punish Your Dog
Punishing your dog after the fact will rarely work. It takes an active dog owner to properly train a dog. You shouldn’t punish your dog after he has misbehaved, since he will usually not know what he has done wrong. However, if you stop him in the act of misbehaving, it is certainly recommended that you would make him aware that what he is doing is bad behavior and you should use your normal way of punishing bad behavior. Prevention is always best when it comes to unmonitored bad behavior. So if your dog will be left alone, you should take steps to insure that he will not have the opportunity to misbehave by meticulously managing his surroundings. Possibly using a crate or a dog fence to insure, not just his safety but, to keep him out of trouble.
Encouraging your dog with positive reinforcement can work. Just like all dog training it takes consistency and patience on your part in order to create the best relationship between you and your dog. As with all training, try to figure out what works best for your dog and stick to it once you have figured that out.