The 11 Best Positive Enhancers in Dog Training
Tips for daily training

Dog training with success

Four-legged friends don’t like to work for free either. So it makes sense to reward your dog for doing something well. So he will soon be motivated and like to think along. Used correctly, you can reinforce the behavior you want, while the undesirable loses its appeal. It doesn’t always have to be a treat, there are many other things that a dog may find attractive. In addition, even the best reward wears out if it is used too often or in the wrong situation. “In order to use the appropriate reward, you have to observe the dog’s needs in a training situation. These can change, but always revolve around the basic needs of food, reproduction, social contacts or security,” explains Swiss dog trainer Daniela Gassmann . “Incidentally, you strengthen the relationship because you give him the opportunity to live out his needs.”

So you can use “bad habits” specifically as an amplifier

Is he z. B. calling back if he wanted to track after game, a treat is a meager recognition. A throwing game, on the other hand, is a real substitute because you satisfy its need to run and rush. You can even use some “bad habits” as an amplifier. For example, if you are annoyed that he sniffs everywhere, use the sniff as a reward. “Over time, you can put sniffing under signal and with good training you can retrieve it from it more easily. He knows that it could also be a reward,” advises the expert. “Interrupt what he is doing with a joyful ‘look!’. If he looks at you, confirm him with a clicker or a word of praise and let him sniff again. Amplifiers such as treats or feed tubes work without prior “explanation”, others such as search games or environmental rewards have to be built up in order to use them in a targeted manner. “In theory, you could also drag him with you or throw the rattle can at him. But that would only destroy the dog’s trust in you,” she warns. “In addition, such punitive measures often do not lead to the desired success and have serious side effects because the dog relates the punitive measure to the trigger stimulus. This can trigger fearful and aggressive behavior!”

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There are far better ways than using punishment

As with positive reinforcement, a punishment must be given no later than two seconds after the undesired behavior so that the dog can combine both. In addition, a penalty has to be announced and really made every time he shows the wrongdoing – even if you are not there. The Swiss woman knows what she is talking about. She used to try things like this herself, but quickly said goodbye to them. “Because there are much better methods,” she says. “If you work with punishment, your dog will go through life with the feeling of when the next shock will occur. But if you work with positive reinforcement, you will have a self-confident and happy dog ​​by your side – and who doesn’t want that?”

Text: Saskia Brixner

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