CHARLOTTE – We’ve talked about positive reinforcement during the last 2 weeks. Now let’s talk about specific things you can teach your dog with it. For instance, teaching your dog what to do when you’re not telling him what to do. This one skill can make your life soooooo much easier!
Let’s say you’re on a walk and encounter a friend/stop at the mailbox/stop at a crosswalk. Does your dog pull toward the friend, pull you away from the mailbox, or walk right into the street? Let’s teach him to sit quietly, which often turns in to laying quietly!
- Start with your dog in the house.
- Walk around, stopping every 3 0r 4 steps.
- When you stop, ask your dog to sit and reinforce.
When your dog begins to sit each time you stop walking, great! Reinforce him. Let him start remembering to sit on his own. Reinforce him strongly for this. Then, take this same practice outside in the backyard, then the front yard, then on your walk. This is teaching your dog to generalize, to do the same behavior everywhere you go. Next, start applying it:
- At the end of the driveway
- At the mailbox
- Before you cross the street
Next week, we will use this same behavior to stop and talk to a friend on your walk. Remember, practice makes perfect! Reinforce your dog for good behaviors and help him be successful when he needs it.
Stay positive, friends!