Just a reminder, you will see more of the behaviors that you reinforce. If your dog gets a bigger pay off from running away from you, that is a choice you may see more often. If you want to teach your dog a reliable recall, your consistency in teaching your dog that the choice of running toward you will be followed by something of value is very important.
Grass to sniff. A yard to run around. Dirt in which to dig. A human taking the leash means walk time! People who move around and give lots of attention. Ugh, what do all of these have in common? They get many tails wagging and they have the potential to be major sources of dog handler stress.
…but they don’t need to be your enemy. In fact the opportunity to do all of those things can actually be an asset to your teaching and strengthening of wanted behaviors.
Jumping on people is a common greeting of many dogs, but, while perfectly normal for a dog, most humans would prefer their pet keep all four paws on the floor. And especially if those paws belong to a dog or puppy that is going to grow to over 100 pounds.
I was asked the other day this question: “Does it matter if we refer to our pet by its species or its sex? Are “Good Dog!” and “Good Boy!” equal in esteeming and reinforcing good behavior?”
Since my focus is on training and modifying behaviors in the most positive ways, I am always thinking in terms where the value is for the learner because the way in which you build value for a particular behavior, is by having that behavior followed by something the animal wants. This is teaching with positive reinforcement.
I think my parents are among the only dog companions who actually find joy in watching our Sam stand with his two front paws on the kitchen counter in search of dinner leftovers. For others, this behavior known as counter surfing is generally not welcome.