Everyone likes to be rewarded for a good deed that they have accomplished, everyone likes to be praised for a good action that they have carried out & everyone likes to be made a fuss of for just being themselves. This is also true in the world of basic dog training.
The average dog generally absolutely adores four main items in his/her world:
4. Their Owner
The average dog generally absolutely despises four main items in his/her world:
2. Being Disciplined
3. Taking Tablets
During basic dog training rewards are essential to praise the good behaviour but just as important, much to your dog’s distaste, is discipline to correct the bad behaviour. To reward your dog when he/she has behaved & completed a task correctly is a great routine to adopt. Your dog will learn from this so quickly, he/she does as requested & receives something nice. Your dog assimilates through repetition, so each time it’s good the dog picks up that he/she receives a treat.
Now this ‘treat’ need not always be an item of food, it could be the dog’s favourite toy. This works well with basic dog training leash control. One of the best methods that I have utilized with my own dogs during their basic dog training for walking nicely on a leash is the stop & start approach. Simply have your dog walking beside you with their focus on their toy, when he/she pulls ahead, stop, totally ignore your dog until he/she approaches you. Once your dog is settled by your side again you can permit the dog to have one small food reward, praise whilst feeding the reward.
The biggest reward on this particular basic dog training method though is the dog’s favourite toy/ball. When your dog reaches the park or field let him/her have their toy. You need to do this when the dog has been walking well, so I advise to make it a short distance to walk before you reach your destination. This way your dog’s focus will not wander too much.
Now the flip side to the rewarding is the disciplining. The worse possible way you can discipline any dog is to smack it, this will only teach your dog how to become ‘hand-shy’. Each time anyone raises his or her hand to do anything near the dog it will flee, scared. More & more basic dog training these days’ leans towards what is termed ‘non-coercive’ training, the motto behind this kind of basic dog training is to train your dog without inflicting any pain. I am not saying that you should not discipline your dog at all but rather that you should discipline in a kinder manner. You need to adopt a firm, no-nonsense voice. Not a shouting voice but just a firm tone, one that your dog will soon begin to recognize as the, ‘oops better do as I am told voice!’ When your dog misbehaves tell him/her ‘no’ in your firm tone & avoid any eye contact for the initial time period afterwards. When he/she comes to you, & they will, praise & reward them.