I hear this a lot from dog owners: "I want my dog to behave because he respects me." Or "My dog should listen because I say so."
Sorry to break the bad news but: It doesn't work that way!
Not with dogs, not with people, not with cats, rats, or cows. There's got to be something in it for the animal. I ask my clients to make a list of the things they do for their dogs each day that the dog absolutely loves. I also ask them to make another list of the things they do with their dogs that their dog loves.
Once they've spent a week making their lists, I help them decide how they can use those things as rewards when their dog listens to them.
All too often, people get caught up in this mentality: "I want my dog to work for praise, so that's what he's going to get when he complies with my request." Trouble is, if praise isn't very rewarding to your dog, you're not really rewarding the behavior. If you're not rewarding the behavior, it WILL NOT get stronger. It will, in fact, probably get weaker. So you're just shooting yourself in the foot if you're stuck in the "my dog will do it because…" mentality.
KNOW YOUR DOG. Know what he loves. Then use that stuff to reward the good behavior. I guarantee you'll see more good behavior the more you reward your dog with the stuff HE likes, and less with the stuff YOU think he should like.
Very nicely written!
I was thinking of this fact when I saw this picture:
Great post Laurie!
I’m going to add your blog to my blog roll!