Knowing when to reprimand and when to reward is a key component of dog training success.
Sometimes, it seems pretty cut and dry: Dog pees on carpet, dog gets a reprimand, right?
Not so fast!
As with all things in life, knowing when to reward and when to reprimand isn’t quite as black and white as it seems.
Read on for some tips to help you set up a consistent system for your pup!
When To Reprimand And When To Reward
There’s a lot to remember when you’re training a dog, a lot of different techniques, “rules,” do’s and don’ts.
It can start to feel more like you’re training an Olympic athlete rather than a dog!
With so many different aspects of dog training, it is hard to know what techniques work the best.
One of the biggest things that often confuse people with regards to dog training is when to reward your dog and when to reprimand your dog.
If you have trouble deciding when to do which, please read on.
Reward is best, but reprimands are necessary, too
Most dog training course instructors will tell you that positive dog training is the best technique to utilize.
They are 100% correct, and not just in my opinion. Science backs them up!
Unfortunately, there are some instances when you do have to reprimand your dog.
Note that reprimand is NOT the same thing as punishment, which has NO place in dog training.
Instead, think of it in the same way that you reprimand a toddler who is about to stick his fork in a light socket!
It’s something that should be done only when his (or your) safety is in jeopardy, not just because you’re mad that he ate your favorite shoes.
When to Reward Your Dog
Reprimanding your dog should not happen often, as they respond far better to positive reinforcement used in dog training.
Before you can learn when to use it, though, you should first know when to reward your dog, right?
Fortunately, this part is super simple. Reward him when he does what’s he’s supposed to do during training.
If you say “sit” and he plants his butt on the ground, give him a reward. Potty outside = reward. Fetching on command = reward.
You get the point. When he performs the requested action, he gets a prize!
The reward you use during your dog training can be many things: praise, kind words, tummy rub, pat on the head, or a treat.
Dogs learn very quickly from positive training, so you may never need to reprimand him.
What if you have a stubborn dog breed, though? Read on to find out when to reprimand.
When to Reprimand Your Dog
Reprimanding is a type of dog training that should not be done unless necessary.
Of course, everyone has a different idea of “when necessary.”
Some believe reprimands are in order when your dog jumps, pees in the house, barks, chews your shoes, etc.
Nine times out of ten, though, your dog does these things because you haven’t adequately taught him not to.
Yep, it’s your fault. Sorry, but it’s true.
Fido doesn’t know that your $200 shoes are off limits without being told.
He doesn’t know that he’s not allowed to “talk” loudly when he sees a squirrel, or that he goes “potty” outside even though you do it inside.
So, before you reprimand your dog, make sure you’ve taught him what’s “right” before you assume he’s doing something “wrong.”
When you do decide that a reprimand is in order, make sure you’re doing it right.
How to reprimand a dog
You must only reprimand your dog if you catch it in the act of doing something wrong.
Otherwise, he will not realize what it did. The reprimand used for this dog training should be a quick, sharp “no.”
Your tone should be firm, but not loud. Serious, but not livid.
If you constantly yell, your words will end up being ignored by the dog.
Never spank, hit, or constantly scold your dog. This will only lead to more problems in the future.
These are all of the important things you need to focus on when determining when to reprimand or reward your dog during dog training.
Remember to be patient because your dog is learning and trying its best.
With some love and consideration, your dog should do quite well with its dog training.
Then it will be a rewarding experience for you both!