Dog training with positive reinforcement

There are many methods to train a dog well. One of them is being used more and more, but should still be explained in more detail. It's about dog training with positive reinforcement. Strictly speaking, it is not actually a stand-alone parenting method. Because positive reinforcement can be used in every method and, above all, in every lesson, on the training ground as well as at home and on a walk.

What does “positive reinforcement” mean?

We all know that most dogs love to fulfill their master's demands. But of course these lessons have to be learned first. Learning is much easier when success or even partial success is rewarded in a pleasant and welcome way. For most people, this reward is best accomplished with a small treat. There will certainly be other dog owners who think extensive praise, petting and a cheerful response are sufficient. And you are right – if the dog “only” knows this form of reward, it will always be enough for him. Because it shows him that he did everything right.

Bribe or reward?

Don't get us wrong - the treat is only available for tasks that have been carried out correctly. If the dog has done the wrong exercise or responded incorrectly/incompletely to the command, of course there will be no treats. It's actually quite clear, isn't it? Well, the dog will quickly understand this lesson and therefore do his best.

But positive reinforcement with treats can also be a challenge for the owner. The reward must never be within the dog's reach before the exercise. If you know that your master already has the reward treat in his hand, he will no longer make any effort to get the coveted treat.

Within seconds

Reaching into the bag with the dog biscuits must be carried out precisely. If you reach into the treat bag too early, the incentive to complete the task is gone and the dog is distracted - a failure. If he has completed the task perfectly and you have to fiddle with the treat bag to open it, the positive reinforcement has already disappeared. Sure, only when done correctly can the hand go into the treat bag and quickly pull out the coveted piece and give it to the dog immediately. But it has to be done quickly so that it can still be seen as positive reinforcement for the dog. Don't worry - you'll figure it out quickly.

The clicker training

Others use the clicker, which many people are familiar with from clicker training, for positive reinforcement. It is true that noise is also a positive reinforcement. Just like the method mentioned above, the reward of the clicker sound is only triggered if the dog has carried out the lesson correctly. If it was wrong, there will be no clicker sound.