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5 Steps To Train Your Dog Using Positive Reinforcement

5 Steps To Train Your Dog Using Positive Reinforcement

Whether you have a new puppy, a new rescue dog, or are simply boarding an animal for a shelter, training your dog is a vital part of responsible pet ownership. Training dogs makes them behave in public, but also ensures the dog is attentive around strangers. While some try to train dogs by punishing them for failing to do a command, positive reinforcement training is the most effective way. Many people think training a dog is harder than it is. Simply by understanding how dogs perceive our actions, training can be easier, faster, and more effective. Following these five critical universal steps will make training your dog a breeze.

1. Illustrate Your Command

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    The first step in training any dog is to make it clear what you’re asking. Dogs don’t understand language inherently, so you need to illustrate to the dog what the command means. For example, if you’re asking your dog to sit, give the command, then gently nudge the dogs bottom to the ground. As silly as it sounds, it’s also usually helpful to have a second person go on their hands and knees and imitate what a dog would do when given that command. Give the command to the human (who illustrates it successfully) and give them a piece of fruit. Then, give the command to the dog, and the dog should catch on in a few tries.

    2. Show Off The Treat

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      The next step in training a dog using positive reinforcement, is to make it clear that the dog will receive a treat. Use something the dog loves, and something the dog doesn’t have every day. In order for the dog to get excited about training, it needs to be excited about the treat. When you give the command, make the treat very clear to your dog. As hard as it is, don’t give in to puppy dog eyes and give the treat when the dog hasn’t done the command. 

      3. Get Excited

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        As soon as your dog understands what you’re asking them to do, get overwhelmingly excited the first few times the dog is successful. It’s more than ok to go a pretty crazy over your adorable little pup. If you make training rewards the most enjoyable ones, your dog will be eager to complete new commands. Training with positive reinforcement is only successful if you make the reinforcement extraordinarily positive. Rub their head, give them treats, and shower your pup with love, and your dog will soon understand the learning process.

        4. Repeat, Repeat, Repeat

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          The next step in training a dog with positive reinforcement is to repeat the command over and over. Still reward with positive reinforcement, but the dog needs to hear this new word enough times to instantly recognize it. Repeating the command is also crucial to let the dog know they will be rewarded every time. When your dog starts doing the command immediately after you give it, you’re on the right track.

          5. Gradually Decrease Attention

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            After the first 10 or 15 times, slowly decrease your enthusiasm every time your dog successfully completes the command. It’s okay to give your dog a treat still, but eventually get to the point where you’re giving a forceful “good boy/girl”. Still let your dog know that they’re doing an excellent job, just make it less of a celebration. After a while, it will be clear that when you give the command, it is an expectation. Once your dog has mastered the first command, start from the beginning again with a new one. In no time at all, your new puppy will be more obedient then Lassie.

            Featured photo credit: Latteda via flickr.com

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            Last Updated on February 11, 2021

            The 20 Most Creative Instagram Accounts That Will Inspire You

            The 20 Most Creative Instagram Accounts That Will Inspire You

            Instagram allows you to see exactly what inspires people and how creativity is drawn from their everyday life. We use Instagram to capture what makes us smile, what brings joy to our life, and what we are passionate about, and the accounts listed below are sure to inspire you in turn.

            Here are our 20 top creative Instagram accounts that you should be following today.

            1. Humans Of New York

            Brandon Stanton walks the streets of New York City taking street photography, and he gets his subjects to open up about life details that even many family members may not know about them. It makes you smile and connect with the images at a new level.

             2.  Paris in Four Months

            Carin Olsson moved to Paris and is documenting every part of her experience, from the macaroons to the Eiffel Tower with all of its shimmering lights. If you want to go to Paris but can’t get there today, Carin will take you.

            3. Civilized Caveman Cooking

            George Bryant offers up more than his love for cooking Paleo cuisine as he shares more about life, joy, and happiness. His coined hashtag is #hugsandbacon.

            4. Andrew Knapp

            Andrew has taken the world by storm with his adorable version of Where’s Waldo? His version is Find Momo, and stars his border collie.

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            5. Idafrosk

            Ida Skivenes has developed a knack for food art. From the world of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory to Strawberry Fields Forever, she has recreated it all with food.

            6. GrandmaBetty33

            Grandma Betty is fighting cancer and is inspiring others to smile and be happy in life. She brings a smile to your face instantly and is like having your grandma right beside you.

            7. Maya_on_the_Move

            Tania Ahsan captures the world of her cute bulldog, Maya, on her adventures in New York. Maya makes appearances that will make you smile, laugh, and inspire you to go out and create something special.

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            8. Leoleoparis

            Leo captures the life on the streets of Paris. Most of his work is done in black and white, offering that iconic Parisian look.

            9. Jacob Santiago

            Jacob Santiago creates stunning, vibrant images around New York City, showcasing the architecture and streets. I’m sure you haven’t seen the streets of NYC like this before.

            10. Julie’s Kitchen

            Julie Lee showcases how everyday produce can create colorful art designs. At first glance, you think it is just a design; then, a second take illustrates that it is really fruits and vegetables.

            11. iloveplaymo

            iloveplaymo brings together photography and Playmobil toys in action. The images are up to date with current world events and everyday life.

            12. “Red” Hong Yi

            Red Hong Yi loves to paint without a paintbrush. Her style uses daily items to create lovely images.

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            13. Alexis Diaz

            A breathtaking artist from Puerto Rico who loves to paint murals. Alexis’s work is featured all over the world.

            14. Murad Osmann

            Murad Osmann is a music video producer, but his claim to fame on Instagram has been his photographs with his girlfriend leading him by her hand.

            15. Simone Bramate

            Simone Bramate is a storyteller who just so happens to take delightful photos as well.

            16. Willie Kessel

            Willie Kessel brings beach life right to your smartphone. Amazing surf and lifestyle images that take your mind off of all of the work and stress in your life.

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            Nick Ulivieri is a talented photographer who loves to capture the windy city of Chicago and skies, especially during storms. His images are gorgeous and make you realize how wonderful life really is.

            18. Jo Jerry

            Jo Jerry’s landscape photos around Santorini, Greece, make you want to book a flight immediately. The bright colors and simplicity in the images make his photos stand out from the rest.

            19. GoPro

            GoPro uses fan-sourced images on their account that are all captured with a GoPro. Creativity to the max is used in these images and range from the grocery store to incredible surf.

            20. Vin Farrell

            Vin Farrell is a creative who works on the agency side for large clients and has a knack for photography. His iPhone captures amazing aerial images around NYC and the world.

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