Is Your Reward System Getting In The Way Of Dog Training?


You've been trying to train your dog for months, but nothing seems to be working. No matter how many treats you give them, they still can't seem to master that trick or stay focused during a walk. 

If this sounds familiar, it might be time to take a look at your reward system. The way you're rewarding your dog could be either helping or hurting their training efforts. This article breaks it down for you.

The Consequences of Over-Rewarding and Under-Rewarding 

It's common for people to over-reward their dogs when they do something right, thinking that treating them will encourage them to do more of it.

However, this type of reward system can backfire. If you give too many treats for each successful task, the rewards become meaningless, and your pup won't understand why they should keep striving for those rewards. This is why it's important to set up a consistent reward system with specific goals in mind.

Rather than rewarding every success unconditionally, establish a schedule where your pup earns bigger and better rewards as they make progress towards mastering certain tasks. Doing so will help them internalize positive behaviors and remain motivated in their training efforts.

On the other hand, under-rewarding can also have negative consequences. If your pup doesn't receive enough reinforcement or meaningful rewards for completing tasks correctly, then they'll eventually lose interest in the activity altogether. 

Make sure you're giving enough treats so that your pup knows that what they're doing is right — this will increase their confidence and help them stay engaged during their training sessions.

Get Creative With Your Rewards System 

The type of reward you provide is just as important as the amount. Rather than just giving your pup treats, try rewarding them with things such as toys, playtime, or an extra-long walk. This will help make the reward system more interesting and engaging for your pup.

You can also vary the rewards to keep your pup motivated and intrigued. For example, try giving them something different every couple of days, such as a new toy or piece of food. This will keep them on their toes and eager to learn new things.

In addition, make sure you're timing your rewards correctly. Immediately after your pup performs a successful task, give them their reward and plenty of praise so they know that what they did was right. This will help reinforce positive behavior and ensure they stay motivated in their training.

Rewarding your pup is an essential part of dog training, but it's important to do it in a way that will best benefit their learning. With a well-thought-out reward system and creative rewards, you can help your pup stay engaged and progress in their training.

Find out more about dog training.


3 April 2023

dog training to develop trust

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