5 Ways to Encourage Positive Behavior in Your Dog

When you get a dog, you know how quickly you start to love them and how fast they become irreplaceable members of your family. Playing with them is endlessly fun, but getting them to listen to you can be difficult and can become a significant issue.

The best way to get your dog to listen to you is by encouraging positive behavior instead of constantly punishing negative behavior. Your dog will become more likely to do the good things you want them to through happy learning versus scare tactics.

They will grow to learn good manners and phase out the bad ones. We’ll discuss the five most straightforward ways you can encourage positive behavior in your dog.

What Is Positive Reinforcement?

Before we jump in, you should know what we mean by positive reinforcement. Dogs are the most lovable creatures on the planet, but they don’t see things the way humans do. You may have heard you should punish them if they do something wrong, so they know you did not like it.

However, punishing them harshly or frightening them will only yield adverse outcomes. Not only does fear not work in the long term to prevent unwanted behaviors, but you are also very likely to traumatize your dog, which can cause even more behavioral problems down the road.

On the other hand, positive reinforcement is a much more impactful way to get your dog to engage in the right actions. Instead of yelling at your dog to get off the couch, give them treats when they lay in their bed or on the floor. This will teach them that doing the other actions means getting treats; therefore, they will do them more often. 

Challenge Your Dog

Dog boredom can lead to destructive behavior, so it’s essential to keep your dog entertained and challenged daily. Dogs are naturally full of energy, especially younger ones. That means it’s important to take them for long walks or make sure they get lots of exercise in the dog park.

Dogs are curious creatures, too. Spend time teaching them new tricks or hiding things around the house for them to find. This can encourage mental stimulation and will keep them happier overall.

Create a Routine

If you have an anxious dog who is prone to getting into trouble, one of the best things you can do is establish a consistent routine. This means feeding them at the same time every day, going for walks at the same time, and keeping things as regular as possible.

Creating a nurturing and consistent environment is the best way to get your dog to trust you, and they will be more open to engaging in positive behavior when you are training them later.

Ignore Bad Behavior

If it’s not something harmful, try to ignore your dog’s bad behavior. This means not giving them attention when they bark too much, or if they nip at you, turn and walk away. If your dog is chewing on something it shouldn’t be, don’t yell or punish them for it. Instead, replace the chewed item with a bone or toy.

That way, you’re showing them you don’t want them to chew something, but you’re also giving them something else to do instead. So there is positive reinforcement after all.

Only pay attention to and reward the good things they do — this will encourage them to stop doing bad things because there is more incentive to do the good ones.



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