Redirect to Better Behavior
This type of training is easy on you and your dog. It makes it easier to learn, but you have to use your brain. Ask yourself, “What did I do to reinforce my dog’s behavior and what is the best way to get him to stop?” Many times, it may be easier to yell, but as you continue reading, you will see that is not the best way to solve the issue. We want to train with our brain, not pain!
Let’s Go Over a Few Simple Ideas
- Behavior that gets rewarded gets repeated: Whether the behavior is good behavior or an unwanted behavior, if it is rewarded it will continue. For example: You come home and your dog jumps on you. You yell at your dog to get down. You are rewarding the behavior and your dog would rather be yelled at than ignored. So, each time you come in the dog will jump. Now on the flip side, if you come in and your dog jumps on you and you ignore the behavior, the dog will soon think, “Wow, Dad is not happy and is ignoring me. I better stop jumping.” This leads us to the second idea…
- Behavior that is not rewarded will most likely stop: When you come home and your dog jumps on you, ignore the behavior and the dog. You do something else for 10-15 minutes until your dog relaxes and calms down, then you can pay attention to him/her.
- Continuous reinforcement: Once you establish a behavior, continue to reinforce it to make it stronger. Continuous reinforcement by using praise or treats will help develop the behavior quicker.
- Set goals for you and your dog: Reinforce the behaviors you like. Make a list of what is important to you as far as your dog’s behavior and the environment you live in. Is walking on a loose leash important? Is sitting quietly for dinner important? Think about what you would like and what is important.
One of the keys to success is having your dog be successful without the fear of failure. If you have not told your dog what is expected, then you can’t be upset at the behavior.
If you really want to change your dog’s behavior, you must be willing to first change your behavior. When you change your behavior, your dog will learn new ways to respond and please you. If you keep doing the same old thing, you will keep getting the same response.
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