Everyone loves to be rewarded for a job well done and canines are certainly no different. This is an excellent way to build an emotional rapport with your animal while reinforcing positive behaviours. Therefore, rewards are a critical portion of any successful training regimen. How should these rewards be presented and when should they be carried out? These two interesting questions deserve a closer look.
The Concept of Reward-Based Training
This type of training is also known as positive reinforcement (1). Essentially, it involves providing a dog with some type of reward every time it successfully performs a specific command (such as sitting, healing or ceasing to bark). This is also a repetitive system, as the dog will soon begin to associate a reward with a certain type of action. Any reward should be provided immediately after the command is correctly carried out. In the same respect, rewards should be withheld if it fails to obey. Here are some other useful suggestions to keep in mind if you hope to make the most out of a reward-based training session:
- Make it a point to understand what type of reward your dog likes the most.
- Keep the training sessions relatively short.
- Perform one specific training command at a time followed by a single reward.
- Ignore any mistakes the dog may make; these are simply part of the learning process.
London K-9 Training offers a host of behaviour and obedience packages if your have been struggling to teach your dog or if the sessions themselves are not producing results. As always, please make it a point to speak with one of our representatives to address any additional questions or to schedule a one-on-one session.