I see and hear the word ‘tolerant’ a lot when it comes to talking about dog companions; and thought I’d dedicate this post to sharing some thoughts on the subject, and why, even tolerant dogs need human advocates.
When I was working with one of my puppy clients the other day, a question came up about rewarding behavior. Since I teach the most positive strategies for changing behavior, we talk a lot about reinforcement and consequences in my visits. It occurred to me that the topic of reward vs positive reinforcement was worth exploring again in my blog.
I always spend some time and energy at the end of the year thinking about the reasons I have to be grateful. Pictured are some of the many faces I am so appreciative to have had the opportunity to work with this year. What makes my pet training so fulfilling for me is knowing I am helping people – and their non-human companions. This is about more than simply teaching behaviors, it is also about enriching and empowering lives, and strengthening relationships. I am committed to continue my own learning process too, to learn new approaches and strengthen my skills for using the most positive approaches to solving pet behavior problems so that I can continue to grow and improve in being able to help others – and myself.. Thank you to everyone for being here…and to those who I have personally helped!
I compiled a list of some suggested New Year’s resolutions relating to dog training.
Sam wanted to pop in again with a message on behalf of all of his friends. Think about how confusing it must be for your non-human companions to try and figure out what it is you want them to do, and what rules you want them to live by, if you are not providing consistent enough feedback.
Just a quick reminder…if are having dog training problems with motivation and your pet is not ‘getting’ what it is that you want him/her to learn, there are SO many possible reasons. It could be the environment is too distracting or your reinforcers are not valued enough or your timing is off or you are not providing clarity in what behaviors you are reinforcing or your pet is feeling too much pressure or any number of other things. If you are not having success, best to stop, take a deep breath, and think about the lesson and how you can make changes to help you and your student succeed.