Is it worth giving praise to a dog, or better, than praise a dog, maintain emotional neutrality and limit yourself to encouraging treats? Encouragement is used to reinforce the acquired reflex to the team at the initial stage of training, when this conditioned reflex is only being formed. Games, strokes, goodies and praise are used as rewards. Let’s try to figure out if the praise spoils the dog.
Some four-legged pet owners believe that dog praise leads to the fact that the dog becomes too confident, spoiled, and eventually ceases to respond to positive emotions from the owner. Dogs perfectly feel the intonation of a person and capture the emotions of the owner. They need to be friendly with a person, so praise is an effective reward for any dog.
Consider praise as a means of reinforcing conditioned reflexes. If at the beginning of the training process it is necessary to constantly reinforce a well-developed skill, then over time, the promotion should be reduced. It can be replaced with the “good” command - thus, the owner gives a conditional signal that everything is done correctly. In this case, unconditional reinforcement with a treat or affection is replaced by the expectation of encouragement. This property is associated with memory. But what is noteworthy, the anticipation of promotion forms a reflex to the team much better. Therefore, it is necessary to praise the dog not after each successful execution of the command, but selectively, unpredictably. This method of choosing a random successful outcome for promotion is called a variable reinforcement mode.
To perform tasks that are difficult for the dog, for example, selecting an object, it is worth praising it every time it does the job correctly. You cannot praise and caress a dog in order to distract or reassure him when he expresses unwanted aggression or is afraid - with your praise you will only strengthen unwanted behavior.
Experienced trainers apply indirect praise to dogs. In their opinion, it is the most effective. The essence of the method is this: after a successful training, you come home and emotionally begin to tell how well the dog worked today. Pets admire, look at the dog and praise her. There is a method of silent praise. Very important for a dog that will not distract from training - put your palm on the dog’s shoulder (withers) for a few seconds, and she will understand what you need and you love her.
So praise your dog, but only for the last positive action. The dog’s memory is short-lived and focused on the last command, so praise quickly and use different praise methods.
How to praise a dog?
How to praise a dog? And what is the wrong praise - you ask me. Yes, praise the dog, as well as scold and encourage it, you need to think. In this article we will try to learn aspects of how to praise a dog.
The appearance of a dog in the house is like the appearance of a new child. Even novice dog breeders know this. And for the upbringing of every child, it is necessary to let him understand the rules of the game, that is, the rules in life. If a child (including a dog) understands these rules well, then relations with the outside world will be easy for him. In our case, by the outside world we mean the family where the dog lives.
Any dog needs discipline; it cannot live in chaos. This disorients the dog. Therefore, the owner of the dog encourages or punishes many of its actions. Thus, in the process of life, the dog develops an understanding of which of its actions are desirable and which are not. Let me remind you that words for a dog are not as important as those emotions that we put in with the pronunciation of words.
It must be said right away that the dog has a short-term memory, and if your pet did something unwanted, and you noticed it some time later, all that remains is to remove the consequences of its activity. In this case, scolding is pointless. So is praise. Need to praise now, at the moment when your dog performs the desired actions for you. The dog will remember that you praised her for her last act. If the dog fulfilled your command and then began another action and at that moment you begin to praise it, then it will accept praise for the most recent action, and not for the executed command. Therefore, I repeat, you need to praise quickly. Later, when your dog has mastered the command you need, you can delay the praise. But do not forget to praise the dog. She really needs confirmation that you love her and you need her. The dog itself is not able to distinguish between bad and good. Only your encouragement will help to understand this.
How to praise? It can be a treat or a stroking. It is recommended to pat the dog between the shoulder blades in a friendly manner, preferably gently. Then the dog feels his belonging, which is so important for her. The treat may be different Experienced dog breeders recommend not to splurge on sausage or pieces of meat. delicacy is not food. A treat is a symbol with which you bring your encouragement. It is recommended to dry the cubes of black bread, add a little salt and carry this heap in your pocket in a bag. If you have sausage, then you run the risk of getting your clothes dirty, your hands and the dog will always be in a tense state, feeling with your nose unattainable food. There are shepherd dogs that execute commands for a quarter of the zest. Therefore, carefully consider what delicacy will be in your pocket.
Another dog promotion after training - Read more.
Features of dog promotion
First of all, decide on the type of temperament of your shagmatic, in particular, how he reacts to praise. If he starts to run, frolic or show emotions too much, you need to restrain his overabundance of emotions a little. And for this, learn to encourage the dog: don’t need to scuff it too much and scratch his belly. It’s enough to tremble on the back and say that he is a smart guy. Sometimes dogs with such a temperament have enough and just stroking them to understand: they praise me, the owner is satisfied, I am well done. Every dog knows how to express his "well done", you only need to be able to see it: proud posture, ears raised sharply, eyes expression. This is hard not to understand.
If the dog is moderately temperamental or calm, then it can be patted gently or pat the stomach. Such a shag can be said a little more affectionate words. But be sure to include your dog in the promotion. It’s not enough to just say “you are good,” but enough to say "You have a good dog". Believe me, there is a difference for dogs.
Don't grab, even if she did everything right the whole workout. This is her duty, and it only speaks of her obedience and your literacy as a master. If only the results were outstanding, and the dog showed great ingenuity, for example, she herself found the keys lost an hour ago by the owner, and returned them. Then praise can be given to the family council. Tell loved ones, and with gestures point to the dog so that she understands: we are talking about her. Relatives can stroke, delightedly hug and talk a lot of amenities. That is, this is not just an encouragement, but a well-deserved and rare holiday.
How to encourage a dog
Keep in mind: with your friend short memory. There are some exceptions, but more often the dog forgets what he did almost immediately. That is why, if she was guilty, for example, she shit in the house, and managed to leave, then catching and scolding is useless. The same thing with the praise of the pet: did not have time to praise on time - you can forget. Even if you kiss her for her ability to climb a tree, she will not understand and will accept it simply as a game. The main objective of the incentives is to consolidate the necessary skills, and for this each time the dog must clearly understand why she is "well done, clever."
It is necessary to catch exactly the moment when the dog made a completed action. For example, you gave the command: lie down at that pillar. The dog ran, ran up, lay down at the pillar and remained in place until a new command sounded. This is a model of behavior for any dog’s action, no matter what they are talking about: peeling a wallpaper, saving a child, or learning a Give a Paw command. But shagmatists almost always strive to cheat, and loving owners do not pay attention to this trick. Either intentionally, or considering this a trifle.
Based on our example, a cunning dog runs up and does this: it barely touches the ground (like lying down) and rushes back. The joyful owner strokes and praises, but for what? After all, the dog has completed only part of the required. But it’s too late: the dog counted the praise as the right thing to do. Timeliness and deservedness are important., without this, the dog’s behavior will not become right and necessary.
Variety of rewards
Now about the treat itself. Some owners choose one tasty treat and only dogs are encouraged. In fact, there should be at least three such snacks. Let it be pieces of cheese, small crackers or pieces of sausage. The main thing is that the pet does not know what it will receive, but it knows for sure: it is tasty. Also, do not accustom him to his hand and pocket, where you put lure. Otherwise, he will get used to and will hunt for a pocket and a nursing hand. Make your snacks varied so that your dog more willingly obeys. Otherwise, it may simply cease to obey, because you will be bored with constant borsch.
How to give a treat.
The dog must understand that both hands feed and the execution of commands is the path to "my good dog." Never do not mix the game with training. Either you play with her, or educate. A dog is like a child in this regard: if you play in the middle of the training process, it will no longer tune into training. In addition, it is important to fix in her head the correct perception. Then the dog will already understand in advance that on a walk she works. It depends on you how you allocate time for games and training. The main thing: do not alternate, but perform sequentially. For example, we worked out for an hour, played for half an hour.
Our shagmers are consistent and logical creatures. They always do what has been “approved.” It depends only on you that all the fixations in the dog’s head become the basis of social behavior. Do not be shy, because you can ask for help if you can’t fix some teams. There are clubs where they will help to correct the behavior of shagmers and will help to properly train him.
These are dogs owner-dependent, constantly requiring attention, waiting for confirmation of the correctness of their actions. Such animals are always nearby, all the while looking questioningly in their eyes: “Are you satisfied? I was not mistaken? ". Many small dogs have just this character: they always ask for their hands, climb with kisses and "hugs", sleep with their beloved "mother", do not leave a single step from the owner, moving after him around the apartment literally all day. Often these dogs are very modest, avoid contact with strangers and unfamiliar dogs, while walking they always keep the owner in sight. Among them there are also slightly cowardly animals, frightened by harsh sounds and movements. The main goal of life for contact dogs is to be close to the owner and not to anger him, as they are very scared to be "outside the pack."
To properly praise such a dog for executing a command, you need to learn how to rejoice like a child, to use facial expressions and intonations. The dog needs to be made clear that she did everything right and you are incredibly happy about this event! “Ay, smart, well done, what a smart!” - do not skimp on verbal praise, speak in a reassuring, but calm tone. Be sure to pat the obedient pet on the head, scratch behind the ear. As soon as the dog sees that her beloved is satisfied, she will gladly carry out the learned command. And at this important moment you can not stop there - you need to repeat and repeat, each time praising the dog. It is clear that the owner’s first delight is behind him - the dog sits on the command for the second week, why rejoice? But as soon as you stop rejoicing, the dog will stop rejoicing too and may start to think that he is apparently mistaken and is doing something wrong, since now “her” person reacts differently. Trying to regain the person’s disposition (which, as it seems to her, she has lost), the dog can begin to improvise and act differently, which means that it will execute the command not as required. Therefore, in the process of training such dogs, it is important to be patient and not to forget that the animal needs approval. “Going quietly - you will continue” is ideal for raising dogs of this type.
This type of dog is always active, likes to run after a ball or frolic with other dogs. They often provoke the owner, inviting him to "hunt" for a toy or for each other. They, like contact dogs, need the attention of the owner, but they prefer not just to lie on the couch, but to be in motion.
Praising such a dog is easy - use your favorite ball or other toy as a reward. You can show the ball to the dog in advance so that it would guess: "Yeah, I need to do something to get it!" After the execution of the command, the dog is praised in an enthusiastic voice and throw a toy to it. You can frolic with a pet in just a couple of minutes, and then you need to return to working out the teams. At the initial stage, the dog receives “prey” for each exercise performed, in the future the “lesson” is interrupted for the game only occasionally (for an hour-long training session you can take four breaks for 5 minutes). But the ball should still be in the hand so that the dog does not forget about the goal of the training: “Now I will do this and this, and we will play!”
Important: quite often one can hear something similar from the owners: “I don’t want to bribe my dog, I want her to execute the command just like that, out of love and respect for me as her owner.” Do not take the leader’s position too literally. A dog who has lived in the family for many years really loves and respects its “flock”, however, at the initial stage of training, you need to show her that it’s nice to obey! This is a much more effective method than forcing the pet to obey with threats and punishment.
Of course, the listed promotion methods are not mutually exclusive. If a dog loves a tasty meal, this does not mean that she will be indifferent to verbal praise or a fun game. But it’s important to choose the main path, determine what gives your dog the most pleasure - this method will be the main way of praise, and the rest will be a pleasant addition.