Yes, Please!

My clients always ask me why rewards are so important in training.

They, like you, want their dogs to pay attention to them, “listen” to them and more importantly have fun with them.

Here are the most common questions I receive from clients.

What are rewards?

A: anything your dog finds enjoyable. What your dog would do backflips for, figuratively speaking of course 😂

Why are rewards important in dog training?

A: They are the bridge to you! Dogs, just like us need motivation and encouragement.

Food, most often is a huge reward (not all rewards are created the same) since is a life source for a dog. Using a reward encourages your dog to seek you out since you have the good stuff and encourages your dog to stay engaged with you.

Using a reward will encourage your dog to look at you which increases bonding with you. This then becomes self reinforcing due to the feel good hormone, oxytocin being released. These type of feel good hormones are found to maintain social bonds across species. These are the same hormones released between a mom and her baby!

When a dog is feeling good, fear, frustration, panic and rage are all inhibited.

The stress hormone, cortisol is reduced. Therefore, heart rate, breathing and blood pressure all lower.

Your dog then is relaxed which then is self reinforcing too!

Your dog will learn to enjoy feeling calmer, don’t you want that for your dog too?

Will I need to use rewards all the time?

A: Once you can observe your dog offering the behaviors you’re encouraging and teaching in all places, situations, changes in the environment, basically, when the behavior is automatic and a habit, then you can switch to giving a reward every so often to continue keeping motivation.

My question, why be stingy!

Dogs deserve to be paid for a job well done!

Meet Tex! She was nervous during our first meeting. Pairing me with food, first with some Treat/Retreat which raised her confidence. A little while later, she closed the distance and came up to me all on her own 🙂

Stop by my FB profile to check out my LIVE on Why Rewards are So Important:

Published by houndbiz

Katherine Porter is a force free, reward based dog behavior advisor and consultant serving clients and their companion dogs worldwide. Her calm and gentle approach in coaching clients in effectively communicating what they want to their dog blends her MSW background into her dog training and behavior practice. Katherine was a behavior consultant for Heeling Hounds after graduation. She opened Four Paws and You Dog Training LLC when the military relocated her family to Fort Sill, OK in 2015. During this time, she volunteered with Rainbow Bridge Can Wait where she provided post adoption consultations to new pet parents. She also developed and implemented tailored behavior modification plans for highly reactive dogs residing at the shelter. She also provided educational programs to military children through interactive workshops at the Fort Sill School Age Center. In 2017, Katherine relocated Four Paws and You Dog Training LLC to Germany. She served the Armed Forces communities in Bavaria. She continued coaching and advising her clients in addressing their companion dog’s fearful and reactive behavioral issues. Katherine takes a Do No Harm approach first and foremost in providing behavioral plans. She is committed in serving clients with gentle and modern science approaches in modifying behavioral concerns such as reactivity, aggression, separation anxiety and fear based responses. Katherine is a member of the Pet Professional Guild. She is focused on integrating a holistic and modern approach in addressing her client’s pet companion reactive behavior issues.

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