Dogs are sentient creatures with instincts and behaviours that might not be considered safe or conducive for living with humans.
Hence, techniques have been developed to curb the unwanted actions of dogs and promote good behaviour.
Different techniques have been tested and proven to elicit favourable results, such as, positive reinforcement, clicker training, model-rival technique, and dominance training.
Positive reinforcement involves rewarding your dog when he behaves favourably or responds to your command.
Unwanted actions and disobedience are ignored to dissuade the dog from carrying them out in the future.
Rewards are items or actions from which the receiver derives great joy and enjoyment. Dogs are trained to associate a prize with good conduct, prompting them to continue exhibiting the rewarded behaviour.
Listed below are seven different ways to reward your dog for good behaviour.
Treats and food are the most common items used to reward dogs during training. They are easy to administer, and most dogs live for the moments when their owners toss them a treat or two.
There are many treats available such as dog treats made with real meat, as well as essential vitamins and minerals with a taste that most dogs cannot resist.
Endeavour to use small-sized treats to prevent overfeeding, obesity and digestion problems in your dog. For maximum effectiveness, ensure that the treats are ones that your pet really enjoys.
If dogs had their ways, they would most likely spend a significant amount of their lives outside. With so many sights, sounds, and smells to explore, it is no wonder that dogs are always eager to run out the door.
A walk around the neighbourhood or park, an afternoon spent running through the sprinklers or a nice, long romp through the grass are good ideas for rewarding your dog’s good behaviour.
The majority of dogs are highly affectionate creatures and are at their happiest when they are the focus of their owners’ attention.
Your touch and attention can be a useful tool for enhancing your dog’s training when used correctly.
Give your dog a long belly rub or the privilege of sitting next to you on the sofa whenever they respond correctly to your commands.
A good cuddle session along with praises for being a good boy or girl, can be an enjoyable experience for you and your dog.
Toys are one of dogs’ most cherished possessions which they cuddle, chew, and dismantle, usually with great glee.
Toys, especially new ones, have been proven effective to reward a dog’s good behaviour. From toys that squeak when squeezed to soft, plush bears, there is no limit to the kind of toy you can get for your dog.
Puzzle toys which require pets to lick, push or chew to discover hidden treats also work great.
With a seemingly inexhaustible source of energy, actions that require your dog to expend substantial effort can prove exhilarating for them.
Games that involve the dog’s owner are beneficial as the pets get the added bonus of having their owner’s full attention.
Activities such as tug of war, throwing and fetching balls, sticks and plates, scavenger hunts and hide and seek are excellent options for rewarding your dog after he has performed well.
Access to Other Dogs
Just like humans love to hang out with friends, dogs are usually excited to see other dogs, especially ones they like.
You can reward your dog by taking them to see their doggy friends and giving them substantial time to run, play and relax to their heart’s content.
Take your dog to the doggy pack after a long day of training or organise a play date with their friends while toys, treats and food are provided for their enjoyment.
After a long period of intense and gruelling training, your dog deserves at least a few hours of uninterrupted relaxation.
Allow them to engage in an activity that they love but do not usually get to do. A sunny day spent swimming in the pool, or a lake can do your pet a whole world of good.
A long pampering session at a doggy spa or hotel might seem decadent, but it can be an excellent way of showing your dog how much you love and appreciate them.
There is no hard and fast rule to the kind of reward you can give your dog at any point in time. You can decide to use one reward system majorly or mix and match techniques for more variety.