Hello Pet Parents! I hope that you and your four-legged friend are well. In case you haven’t seen my previous post about Positive Reinforcement, check that out here before coming back to this post.
Being a Pet Parent
Now, I know some people wonder why Darren and myself are so open to talking about our struggles with our dogs. It might seem strange since we should be showing ourselves as experts, but the thing is, we’re pet parents like everyone else and are constantly learning.
That’s why we write these posts. To show that we’re not perfect pet parent ourselves, and sometimes we’re just figuring out the answers ourselves.
However, it doesn’t change the fact that despite us knowing a lot about our dog’s diets and what is and isn’t good for them to consume, it can still be frustrating knowing that we aren’t the leader that our dogs need. But, that’s part of the learning process of being a pet parent, and it’s important to share the failures and successes.
Oscar and Positive Reinforcement Training
Speaking of failures, one of mine as a Pet Parent has been training Oscar not to bark consistently. He’s a lovely dog but being a quarter Chihuahua means his bark is high pitch and goes right through you, and once he starts, often it’s challenging to get him to stop.
But, we’re working on it together and have recently started using positive reinforcement training in order to combat the issue, and it seems to be working. So, I thought for other pet parents out there who might be struggling that I’d share some of my Positive Reinforcement Training tips that I’ve learnt with training Oscar.
Positive Reinforcement Training Tips
- Patience. It might seem an obvious one, but it’s important not to forget. Positive Reinforcement training isn’t the magic wand to solve all your problems overnight. It takes time and a lot of patience.
- Praise! Don’t forget to praise your dog, especially when they follow through on the command or action you’ve asked of them. After all, we as humans like it when we get praise and told we’ve done a job well done at work, so it’s the same for our dogs.
- Remember, it really is all in the eyes. If you can gain your dog’s focus, this is the best start to enforcing good habits with encouragement, praise and rewards.
- Speaking of rewards… rewards! Don’t forget the rewards, and remember it doesn’t have to be a treat every single time. For Oscar, we use his favourite fish training treats but also his pair of socks. Rewards can be anything that brings your dog joy, whether that be a treat, toy, ball, a good belly rub or just some positive language that your dog responds well to.
- Every Dog is Different. Just like how positive reinforcement training won’t solve all your issues overnight, it takes time to learn which strategies your dog responds to the best. What works for one dog might not work for another, and that’s okay.
Have you tried positive reinforcement training before? What are your top tips or strategies that you use for your dog?
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