30 Positive Reinforcement Training Tips For Your Dog

26/2/2016

Positive reinforcement training is a dog training method that focusses on rewarding desired behaviour (with praise and treats) instead of punishing your dog for unwanted behaviour. Because the reward makes your dog more likely to repeat the desired behaviour, positive reinforcement is one of your most powerful tools for shaping or changing your dog's habits and actions.Here are 30 positive reinforcement training tips that should make your training sessions miles more productive and enjoyable for both you and your pup:

1. Dogs learn by association.

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2. Reward your dog immediately so they associate the command with the action.

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3. Every time you give a reward, pair it with a verbal praise like "Yes!" or "Good dog!"

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4. Keep commands short and uncomplicated.

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5. Don't say the command word more than once. They will learn the sooner they obey, the sooner they'll get the treat.

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6. Always use the same word for the same action.

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7. Only offer rewards for behaviours you want to encourage.

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8. Don't punish bad behaviour - instead, ignore it and encourage practising a desired behaviour.

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9. Eventually they will learn to perform the better behaviour first, as this will be rewarded.

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10. Ignored behaviours will eventually disappear.

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11. Some dogs may continue with unwanted behaviour, but don't give up!

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12. Don't expect too much too soon!

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13. "Shaping" behaviour is rewarding small actions that eventually lead to the desired action.

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14. Food treats should be very small - pea size or smaller - so training sessions don't interrupt their regular feeding routine.

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15. Keep a variety of treats on-hand so your pup doesn't get bored.

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16. If your dog isn't motivated by treats, keep a favourite toy on-hand for a playtime reward.

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17. Use interactive toys to engage them and prevent destructive, bored behaviour.

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18. Consider keeping a "jackpot" treat - the best of the best - for ultra-good behaviour!

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19. Only give them the "jackpot" treat if they do the desired action immediately, with the correct command word.

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20. When you are teaching a behaviour, use continuous reinforcement by giving your pet a treat every time they exhibit the behaviour.

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21. Once they've learned the behaviour, switch to "intermittent reinforcement".

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22. Slowly decrease the number of times your pet is rewarded with a food treat.

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23. ALWAYS use the verbal praise.

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24. Use a variable schedule so they don't learn a pattern.

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25. Slowly phase out food treats and use lots of real-life rewards like petting and play.

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26. Keep training sessions short. 3-5 minutes a few times a day is good.

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27. Focus on one single behaviour in each training session.

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28. Always train when you and your dog are in a good mood.

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29. Training should be fun!

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30. At each training session give your dog a chewy treat at the end and rub their paws. This builds comfort and confidence between you.

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