Psychology and teaching experts say rules make children safe.
It is evident that a little one would feel freer in principle if he could do whatever he wants, without anyone setting limits for him. However, over time , he will feel that he is not a big concern for his parents, and this will make him feel insecure.
Something similar happens with pets, relatively speaking, so it is imperative that they understand that they cannot do everything they want, and that it is appropriate to teach them the difference between what is good and what is bad.
What they need is, in a word, education. Here we will explain the fundamental role of the reward and punishment in educating animals.
Dog education requires consistency
What you must not forget for any reason is that, in order to educate your dog, you will have to make an effort and dedicate time to him. Often it won’t be a walk in the park but, as always, persistence is the key to success.
The method we are talking about is divided into an easier part, which is rewarding your dog, but also a harder part, which is the moment when the punishment becomes inevitable.
Opting for positive reinforcement will certainly not present major complications; conversely, when negative reinforcement is to be used, things could get more difficult. If you follow the advice that we will illustrate below, everything will be fine.
The prize in dog education
We all like to be recognized for an effort made, and the same goes for dogs . For this you will have to take into account the fact that, if you expect your pet to repeat a good attitude, you will have to reinforce it.
This process is done by rewarding the animal when it carries out the orders we give it. But be careful, the rewards cannot last forever , or at least not the tangible ones; the goal will be to use them until he learns to obey, and then continue to reinforce his behavior with a “very good”.
For positive reinforcement, you can use any treats the animal appreciates . The ideal thing is to use a food, such as a treat for cats, or a toy , always accompanied by a “very good”.
Do not forget that as long as this type of reinforcement is necessary, it is important to vary the reward so as not to make it something of a habit for the dog.
Once you manage to get the dog to obey your orders naturally, you will withdraw the reward and keep only the positive verbal reinforcement.
When you want to introduce a new attitude to the dog, use a treat that is particularly rewarding for him.
Punishment in dogs
The first thing to keep in mind is that punishment should never be a release valve for your bad mood or because his behavior makes you angry. It will always have to assume a didactic function.
A method recommended by experts for disciplining animals is to give them a firm bottarella on the side, but without hurting them, at the same time pronouncing an energetic “NO”.
Other trainers suggest shaking them lightly by the scruff of the neck, as a reminder of what their mother was doing. When faced with attitudes of greater gravity, it will be advisable to lay the animal on his back, which will make him very angry.
If the dog returns to repeat behaviors that had already been eradicated, just say a sharp “NO” to make him abandon them . Once this is done, continue playing with him, this way your dog will understand how he has to behave in order to see you happy.
Remember never to inflict a cruel or humiliating punishment on the animal , it would be neither human nor effective. You would only get a fearful dog, not an obedient one.
Rewards and punishments must be instantaneous
Never forget that dogs have a very similar memory to that of babies, so the reward, or in some cases the punishment, must be given immediately. Otherwise, the animal will have no way of associating good behavior with reward in its mind.
Another fundamental point that is essential for the outcome of the process is that all members of the family act in the same way, rewarding and punishing him without distinction.
Now that you know the steps to educate a pet, put them into practice.