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.
Sometimes, the unexpected happens…and it becomes a good topic for a blog post!
Last week, while working outside with a longtime client, a man came by on a bike. He happens to be a dog lover so he stopped and got off his bike to say hello. Everything seemed fine about that, the girl on the end of the leash had loose body muscles and was moving toward him to say hello back.
Then, IT happened. She got too close for comfort and suddenly barked and backed up. Immediately I asked him to back up and we went into a different mode of training.
Yesterday, I watched as a client’s puppy jumped and wiggled when she tried to clip a leash onto his collar.
“Is that the behavior you would like for him to exhibit each time you present a leash?,” I asked. “No,” was her answer.