Top-3 Ways to Motivate Your Dog
Food is a strong motivator for a dog, especially at an early age. In this way, food motivation can be considered as a good starting point for training. Just note that such food needs to be soft and cut into small pieces: this will allow your pet to eat often, quickly, but at the same time avoid feeling full. You can reward the dog both after it executes the command and in the process: for example, for keeping the desired position.
Remember: you should not treat your pet for no reason and in unlimited quantities. Otherwise, quite soon, your pet will feel full and will not do anything else for food. Try hand-feeding your dog from an early age every time it does something right. It will allow the pet to understand that: a) food must be earned; b) the owner appreciates the merits; c) earning food is more valuable than just getting it.
Even though humans have tamed dogs many thousands of years ago, the prey drive is still common to them. Exactly the prey lies in the basis of the play method. Look at your dog when it plays, and you will notice that its behavior follows a clear pattern:
- the thrill of pursuit;
- the desire to catch and defeat the "victim";
Some dog owners get surprised when a puppy ignores mountains of toys, but at the same time, do not mind biting the owner's arms and legs. It is also a prey instinct. Your feet in soft socks or fluffy slippers move and look so much like an animal's skin. Such behavior can become a problem if you don't make this instinct your ally.
The prey instinct is a powerful motivator: if you are not focused and fast enough, you will be left without food and die.
That is why we take advantage of game motivation for training.
Also, a game is a great way to cheer up the dog after long endurance training or discharge. It is a great way to let off steam after a completed training element that involves a series of mistakes and failures.
You can learn more about the ways to use game motivation in other lessons available in our application.
Dogs are social animals. Communication, rewards, scratching, and other expressions of love are extremely important to them. But it is also important to pay attention to the pet's mood when communicating with it.
If your petting is intrusive and violent, this kind of attention will unlikely please the dog. In the best case, it will tolerate such behavior and dream of the moment when everything is over. At worst, such behavior of the owner can completely discourage the dog from the execution of commands.
There are also the opposite cases: the dog has completed the command and waits for reward, but all the owner gives in response is a dry “well done”. Such encouragement is an empty phrase for a dog: there are no emotions in it, and it does not show your joy and pride. The bottom line: for a dog, there is no difference between correctly and incorrectly performed commands.
Regardless of the method of motivation you use, it is important to maintain a balance between them: communication with the owner, a toy, or a treat — each of these rewards should be equally wanted by your pet.