Starting this blog on a positive note, let's talk about positive reinforcement rewards. Finding the right reward for you and your dog can be a great bonding experience full of great experiences. Here are just a few tips to get you started.
This one may seem fairly obvious. however, what is important to remember here is that treats have different reward value levels for different dogs. For example, some dogs love plain chicken or beef while others will do anything from blueberries. It is important to know which type of treats your dogs value more than others.
Not all dogs value food as much as we do. For example, spaniel's will turn their nose up at food when playing fetch. The trick here is to swap your praise to a toy in exchange for the desired behaviour. This can also help to create a displacement behaviour, instead of chewing. Toys can be balls. Stuffed teddies or a bone.
Just like food, affection can have many different reward values. These can vary from a little tickle under the chin to a full belly scratch. The important thing to remember here is every dog is different and they all have their own levels of affection and contact that they appreciate, so take things slow and build a relationship first
Have fun with it! Test out different methods of positive reinforcement and see what works in different situations and scenarios. This will help when you are proofing any training exercises. Not only will exploring different rewards help you find the best one, it will be a great bonding opportunity for you and your furry friend!