Praise is the power in the training of your dog. In training, it is to be applied in liberal doses, at any and all opportunities. It is used when the dog does something right, and when he does something wrong. Don’t fall into the “easy” solution of giving him tidbits or snacks as rewards for his performance. The food will work, but eventually it will have to stop and then you’ve got a problem.
Praise when he does right needs little explanation. When he is first learning, give him praise when he has done something, even if you have had to guide, shove and haul him into it every step of the way. All the work in the beginning stages may have been yours but praise him as though he’d done something colossal. When he gets an idea of what you want and tries it experimentally, praise him to the skies.
Praise him with your voice, telling him “Good Boy!” and “Good Dog!” and even “Well done. ” This is one case where there is no reason to stick to a single word or phrase – the tone of your voice will tell him all he wants to know. And praise him with your hands. Pat him, stroke him, fondle him, and scratch him. But let him have your touch as a reward and assurance that all is well.
Praising him when he has done something wrong may be a bit harder to understand, but it is perhaps more essential than praise for good work. It follows a good constructive correction first to straighten out whatever he has or hasn’t done. Then use praise to take his mind off the fact that is was you who did the correcting. The correction must always in the dog’s mind be a natural outgrowth of the wrong, , or of the failure to perform whatever is wanted.
When you correct him, come in immediately with praise; it lets him know that you are still on his side, still love him, and that all is well in the world. Correction, done fairly and firmly, will earn you his undying respect, if followed by praise and unaccompanied by any display of displeasure or lack of affection. Take this as another firm and basic rule of training – always praise after correction.
Play is important in training too. While he will probably never think of it as an actual reward, the play will establish completely friendly relations between you. While the training period should be kept businesslike, the play puts things back on the right footing – he will forget about the corrections, but the lessons will still be there.
Randy Jones and his partner Brent Jones have been in the pet industry for a long time. Recently they formed Joncopets.com. On the site, customers can read articles about anything pets as well as shop for the latest dog collars and more for their best friend. Feel free to check out the site at http://www.joncopets.com