Dogs can behave a lot like children, they misbehave, but over time and a lot of hard work you can teach them to obey.
Despite that theory, even a fully grown dog can develop bad habits that will drive you crazy. What if I told you that the way you punish your dog is reinforcing their bad behavior?
Dog behavior expert Cesar Milan said in a recent video; this is why he never punishes his dogs. Cesar is known as “the Dog Whisperer.”
Why is punishment bad? Cesar says no, it mainly just lets you vent your anger and frustration without teaching your dog anything.
He recommends that instead of lashing out, dog owners should practice “exercise, discipline, and affection.” If you keep your dogs busy, they will not act out. Teach them discipline by using commands, and reward them with affection when they behave.
The key is to follow these steps effectively is learning the four types of punishment and reinforcement.
Cesar uses two key techniques when he’s training a dog: positive discipline, that adds something to your dog’s behavior, and negative discipline, that takes something away.
Positive reinforcement is very straightforward. Reward your dog for doing something good. You could give your dog a treat when they behave, or a pat on the head when they’re friendly to strangers.
Positive punishment is a bit different. This involves adding something to a situation to correct your dog. If your dog is licking your furniture, spraying a sour-tasting spray on the legs will automatically train them to stop.
Negative punishment relies on taking something away to stop your dog’s bad behavior. If your dog behaves aggressively when you step between him and his food, take the bowl away and give him nothing to growl about.
Negative reinforcement involves taking something away to help discipline your dog. If they bark at squirrels all day, drawing the shade down will stop them from acting out.
Try combining these four kinds of discipline and your dog’s bad behavior will stop before you know it!
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