Friday, October 29, 2010

Catch the Good Stuff!

A key ingredient in living harmoniously with our dogs is rewarding the good behaviours. It's all too easy to ignore our dogs when they are sleeping, sitting politely or simply enjoying a good chew toy. Those are the moments to pay attention!

We know that reinforced behaviour is likely to repeat itself. A good example of this is the number of dogs who will readily "sit" for a cookie. They learned long ago that sit was expected and can't give it fast enough.
Now what about making that moment about lying down so you can watch your favourite tv show or cook dinner? A good way to integrate positive reinforcement right into your daily life is to keep a few tasty treats in ziplock containers out of Fido's reach but close enough for you to easily grab. The same goes for high value toys. If you see your furry friend being good then simply throw him a small tidbit or his favourite rope to chew. Chances are he'll do it again! 

This is extremely important for puppies and adolescent dogs who still need to learn the "house hold" rules. Help them out by pointing out what they're doing right and interrupting them when they make mistakes. You'll have a well behaved canine in no time!

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