CHARLOTTE – Imagine that it’s your first day at a new job. What time should you be there? Where should you sit? Do you have break times? Where’s the restroom? Now imagine that every time you walked in a direction, someone says NO! Every time you sat in a chair, someone says NO! Each time this happens your stress and confusion increases and you don’t know what to do.
Now apply those same feelings of stress and confusion to your new puppy/dog/rescue coming into your home. Your dog is so happy to be with you, he jumps on you when he sees you and nips at your clothes for attention. He loves everything you do and every moment you spend together. You, on the other hand, love your dog but hate the jumping and nipping and the children are scared to spend time with him. Do you say “no jumping!” or “no bite!” or “no peeing on the carpet!”?
Lastly, imagine that you explained to your dog what behavior you wanted. Explanations sure would’ve helped you on the first day of your new job, right? It’s the same for your pet! Instead of focusing on “NO”, focus on what behavior your dog can do and positively reinforce it. Endless scientific studies have proven that behaviors that have been positively reinforced are behaviors that will occur again in the future. Help your dog understand that sitting gets your attention and love, nipping is for toys, and the restroom is outside. Be the “boss” you’d like to have!
Come back next week for Part 2 of positive reinforcement training!