If you have dreamed that “Wautzi” obeyed you out of loyalty and love, then now is the time to wake up: dogs are for sale. Don’t take it personally, your dog sure loves you. But he still wants to be “paid” for his work. You can choose the currency: treats, toys and exuberant enthusiasm are very popular with four-legged friends.
If he prefers small bites or his rubber chicken for motivation, then you’ll be happy to have found something that works. Nevertheless, you shouldn’t forget to always – and right from the start – praise with words. The main thing is to always have an alternative: for example, when the dog has to keep a diet or you forgot that stupid rubber thing at home.
Words of praise also have a great advantage: they are definitely faster than a treat! Since the reward has to follow the correct behavior, the word becomes, so to speak, a “voucher” for the treat (which by the way – at least initially – should actually follow as soon as possible).
The meaning of verbal praise is particularly evident in commands where the owner is at some distance from the dog. Here, the behavior can be given directly with a “Fine!” be rewarded, but not with food. Of course, you can also serve your dog treats from time to time if he has done something particularly well. However, following the commands should not depend on the feeding.
Depending on the “interests” of the four-legged friend, the praise can also be combined with petting or romping around. It is crucial that the dog can be motivated without you needing another aid.
So praise as a reward is a wonderful thing. But please don’t throw away all the treats and the dog’s favorite toy right away! Our four-legged friends are smart little beasts who will work with all tricks and it is perfectly legitimate for you to do the same.
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