YOU GET WHAT YOU REINFORCE – NOT NECESSARILY WHAT YOU WANT
When your dog does something you don't like, chances are, it's something you have been reinforcing, maybe without even realizing it. For example, think about a dog that begs at the table. He sits beside you, whimpering, and maybe he puts a paw on your leg. You tell him no, but he comes back a moment later and starts whimpering again. And again with the paw. Maybe he gives you that irresistible tip of the head, and another little whimper. And then, he seals the deal by placing his chin on your knee. He's so dang cute. How could you resist? So you break of a nibble from your dinner and give it to him, saying, "OK, fine, here's a bite. Now go lie down." Your dog has just learned that if he persists, he will get you to do what he wants. He's not about to go lie down, he's going to continue the whimpering and pawing, because that's what you've reinforced. The solution is simple, but not always easy. You have to ignore his begging completely, and ask him to do something for you (like “sit”). And you can NEVER give him a treat while you're sitting at the table, because doing so would only encourage him to beg. If he's a good boy for you while you eat, reward him with praise and treats AFTER you've finished your meal.
Be Wise... Bewaggle!
Bewaggle is a pet services company located in DeLand, Florida. We offer pet sitting, dog walking, puppy training, basic obedience training, and more, in the convenience of the customer's home. Every Bewaggle employee is bonded, insured, professionally trained and has undergone a background check. Be wise... Bewaggle!