I found a picture the other day of our dear Butch doing a behavior he was most known for, sitting up with his front paws in the air. It was something we didn’t need to teach. Butch would walk up to anyone and just sit like that, and undoubtedly we got a lot of questions – ‘What does he want?’
Remember, the more positive reinforcement an animal has in its life,
the better able it can adapt to new situations and stress,
and ultimately the better quality of life.
This picture makes me very uncomfortable. Parents, it is so important that you help your dog to learn positive associations with your kids and little hands. A couple ideas for doing that – teach your child to wait for your dog to come to your child, how to pet your dog and when to stop, and to give your dog treats either by placing treats on the floor or in an open palm. Kids should never pull a dog or puppy by his collar. Think bite prevention and relationship strengthening.
I’ve written about so many topics relating to strengthening your ability to teach and your dog’s ability to learn. I got to thinking, if I were to create a recipe of good habits for building success in the classroom (which, by the way, is anywhere where you happen to be teaching) what would be the ingredients?
My Monday morning dog (and other pet) training tip: Instead of scolding your pet for doing a behavior you do not like, remember your pet is doing that behavior because it has gotten him an outcome of value to him in the past. That is how choices are made. Not only will scolding not foster a love of learning, it also does not serve to teach your pet what it is you would rather he do instead. Focus your energy on teaching your pet what it is you would like for him to do instead and make that choice of huge value to him, while also being careful not to add value to the behavior you do not want to see.