by Heidi Archambault, Co-Owner, Run-A-Muk
Positive reinforcement is key throughout life! Being told we are doing good, shown affection and being praised keeps us going. We are more capable of trying our best when others are helping us do so.
Have you ever caught yourself frustrated with your dog? Ever ask them to “sit and wait”? Then you turn your back and they decide to investigate why you turned your back? You find yourself scolding your dog; explaining to them they know better.
We tend to spend a lot of quality time with our dogs when they enter our homes. As soon as they get to know the hang of things, we get comfortable and might not focus on the training at hand. Giving more bones and toys to occupy them as they ask for your attention as you come in the door is just a very short-term Band-Aid for what they really want.
Did you know the No. 1 high value reward in your dog’s day is time with you? Sure Fido loves his treats and goes crazy for a new toy, however, nothing compares to time with you!
Training should continue throughout your pet’s life. It keeps them focused, stimulated and enriched; even if for only 15 minutes a day. It continues to build the bond between man and his best friend and maintains awareness of your best friend’s health and well-being.
Putting the time and energy into their physical, mental and emotional needs does as much for them as it does for you. With praise and attention we keep our dogs young and active, adding value to the life we can give them. It also leads to a more responsive dog who wants to listen and work with us; creating more happiness for both you and your dog.
Don’t ever stop pushing your dog. He will try for you. Even if somedays he just tries your patience. Together you will learn, grow and be happy.