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Puppy Training using the "Reward" Method

Aug 17, 2007
As a new puppy owner you would have been captured by the sincere looks and appeal of your new friend. "The two of us will become perfect friends", you say. A puppy has a way of melting your heart that can't be achieved with human relationships.

In reality, this eutopic expectation is short lived, and soon you find yourself exchanging sharp words with your once lovable pup. The puppy doesn't seem to want to do what you're asking it to.

Do you find that your puppy doesn't want to listen? If so, I suspect that it's not the pup that doesn't want to obey, it's the way you are communicating with it. In short, you need "puppy training" instruction.

For some pups the "reward method" is the only way to train some complex types of behaviour - using a leash and collar or other methods may not work.

Most commonly used by police and military departments, "reward training" enhances the puppies' behaviour especially when being taught the basics of scent detection and tracking, as well apprehending criminals.

The basic principle behind reward training is similar to getting your puppy to perform a trick.
The reward is used as a way of getting your puppy to perform a desired behaviour, without physical manipulation or restraint.

Puppies often react quite strongly to human touch - either positively or negatively. The purpose of "reward training" is to eliminate the use of touch as much as possible, in order to get your puppy to obey you in situations where no touch is desired.

Once the good behaviour is achieved, your puppy should be rewarded. Usually a small piece of dry dog food, or toy, is used as the reward, along with words of appreciation, "Good".

One of the major obstacles that you will need to work your dog through are "distractions". If your puppy has been trained in doors or in your back yard without much contact with the outside world, it is a good idea to invite friends and family over to assist with the training.

Helping your pup pay attention is one of the most crucial aspects to puppy training, and one that you will continually need to refine. This can be done quite effectively using the "reward method". You will need to use your reward as an avenue to bring your puppies attention back to you, and hence gain control over your pup.

Putting in the time and effort into training your puppy will provide you with many years of rewarding behaviour, and friendship.
About the Author
For more information about how to socialise your puppy, check out the Dog Owners Handbook. Dog Owners Handbook Puppy Training

Copyright 2006 Dog-Owners-Handbook.com
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