Perfect Puppy Training Book – Chapter 1 – Reward-Based Training (Part 2)
Chapter 1 – Reward-Based Training (Part 2)
Tools for Training With Rewards
Food, praise, and life rewards are some of the most enticing treats that you can offer your puppy.
Food charts the fastest course to your puppy’s brain. Puppies are easily distracted, and they have no attention spans. Your puppy is likely to forget all those outside temptations if you pay her with a food reward.
Praise can be very motivating to a puppy. For some behaviors, you should praise exuberantly. For example, when your puppy comes to you, it’s cause for celebration! Other times, it may be best to praise softly. For example, if you’re trying to teach your puppy to lie down, using a soft, happy voice is a better idea. If you are too excited in your praise, your puppy may leap up out of the down position.
Life rewards are anything that your puppy finds appealing: a game of fetch, a ride in the car, a belly rub, sniffing a mailbox. For example, if your puppy loves to play with other dogs, you can use this as a reward in your training. Before she gets to play with the other dog, ask her to sit first. Once she sits, release her to go play. She’ll learn to sit faster, so that she gets to play faster.
Which Tool Is Best?
Every puppy is different. Some will melt for an ear scratch, while others just want you to hurry up and throw the ball. For others, a piece of hot dog trumps your sweet talk. It’s important to get to know your puppy and her individual motivators. Also, keep in mind that motivators don’t work the same way every time. Your puppy may eagerly come when called in your living room for a piece of kibble, but it may take a piece of prime rib to reward her for quitting a squirrel chase. Vary it so that she doesn’t get bored.
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