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When should I reward my dog?

¿Cuándo debo premiar a mi perro?

Lobo Azul |

It is very common to reward our dog, as that is a way for him to know that he is doing things well, which will help us when it comes to reinforcing positive behaviors.

Here we must be careful, because sometimes we do not reward the animal well , and we even contribute to the appearance of unwanted behaviors without realizing it.

The prize must be given immediately

The prize works by association, so as soon as he does what we want we give it to him. Thus, if we are teaching him to lie down, the moment his belly touches the ground, we reward him.

We do not wait a while later or do it before , because the animal will not know what we want, we just give it a reward for trying to lie down or for getting up, which will make teaching it to lie down very complicated.

We must avoid reinforcing behaviors that do not interest us

Let's imagine the previous scenario again. We see with pride how our dog lies down on command and when we go to give him reinforcement he starts barking nervously, or gets up and jumps towards us.

If at that moment we give him his reward, the only thing we are going to achieve is that he believes that barking or jumping on him is okay, so from that moment on he will do it waiting for his treat, without understanding what is wrong if we we get angry

Thus, it is essential to reward him only if he is completely calm , which would be when he lies down without doing anything else, remaining calm. That's when we give him his favorite treat, a toy, or pet him.

This is useful whenever we are teaching him something or even in daily life, when we do not have to say nice words, give him a caress or scratch him if he is in a state of excitement that never suits us.

What do we do if he doesn't calm down?

If he does not calm down, you should never resort to physical punishment, much less yelling at him as if the dog managed to understand us.

It is best to ignore it. We will not pay attention to him, we will not touch him, much less reward him , until he calms down and is still. In this way we will make him understand that what we want from him is for him to remain calm, since only in that situation can he interact with us.

Various kinds of rewards can be used

We already know when to give rewards and now we have to know which ones to use, the main ones being food.

For example, there is no dog that can resist a piece of cut sausage , a cat pellet or a little sausage, although we can also buy special treats for them, which we will ensure are healthy.

They sell healthy treats, made of meat or fish and only with natural products, although it is not necessary that we always reward them with food.

We can also use one of his favorite toys, such as a ball or one of those in the shape of an animal that whistles, and give it to him at the same moment in which we want to congratulate him for something he has done well.

It is best to vary the rewards so that they do not get tired quickly . Therefore, in addition to the above, we can also caress him while saying words that show that we are happy with him.

The amount of rewards must be reduced as the animal learns.

We must not forget that rewards must be given with the idea of ​​reinforcing good behavior, something that is usually done when the animal is a puppy and we are educating it.

Therefore, as he grows and learns, the amount of rewards must be reduced , since we will not always have a snack in hand when he does something well several times a day.

At the moment when the behavior we ask of him is normal for him, we can stop rewarding him so much and do it only from time to time, with a caress, a time of play or even with a little food.

This will serve as a reminder to the dog that when he behaves well he receives his reward, so he will be more willing to do what we ask of him.

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