Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Training Your Pet with Positive Reinforcement

There are a few things every pet needs to learn, and some pets have more training required than others. No matter what standards you have for your furry friend, it’s important to make sure that you are training them appropriately. Just as you are more apt to cooperate when you are given positive reinforcement, the same goes for your pet as well. Positive reinforcement can help to encourage good behavior and maybe even limit bad behavior. Here are a few popular training tips for your pet utilizing positive reinforcement.

Verbal Affirmation

Affirming your pet verbally is a key technique in training. While you want to enforce the affirmation with treats, there’s nothing that can completely replace your pride in their behavior. Try to stick with the same verbal praise like “yes!” or “good dog!” Keep in mind that your tone of voice can also make an impact on your commands and your affirmation.


Rewards are a great way to build positive reinforcement in your pet. Keep in mind, though, that you should only offer rewards for behaviors you want to encourage. Food treats are an easy way to encourage good behavior. Contrary to the typical pet treats, though, they only need to be pea sized. Food treats need to be very small so that long training sessions don’t interrupt their regular feeding routine. If your dog isn’t motivated by food, you can keep a favorite toy on-hand for a short playtime.

How to Treat Bad Behavior

In the training process, it’s important to not punish bad behavior - this is not positive reinforcement. You can ignore bad behavior, or redirect it to an alternate good behavior that you can then reward. In time, your pet will learn to perform the alternate behavior first and the ignored behavior will go extinct. It’s important to not expect too much too soon out of your pet. They will learn, but it could take plenty of practice or “shaping.” Shaping is when you reward small actions that will begin to lead to the desired actions.

Long Term Training

As your pet begins to learn the desired behavior, you can switch to intermittent reinforcement. One way to incorporate intermittent reinforcement is to slowly decrease the number of times your pet is rewarded with a food treat. The first week you may reward them every single time they are successful, whereas the next week, you only reward them ever other time or so. Finally, the third wee, you only reward them a few times to keep up the good behavior. Always use verbal praise when your dog does what is right, even if you don’t use physical treats. You can also use a variable schedule so they won’t get used to a pattern. Eventually, you can phase out food greats and use lots of era-life rewards like petting and play.

Training with the PetCot Bed

You may not have thought of your raised pet bed as a tool for training, but it can be! Many dog trainers, veterinarians, and kennels use the PetCot to aid and reward their trainees. Some use it for the “place” command, to give pet’s a place to go and stay until you release them. Others use it as a great place for the pup to relax. No matter what your method for using the PetCot bed, it’s a premium pet bed that we are sure you will love. Visit our website to learn more about our colors and sizes that are available.

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