You know that reinforcement works for your dog: reinforce your dog for good behaviors and they'll happen more often.
It also works for us people, as well. Take camping for instance…
The picture was taken at Rocky Gap on a camping trip several years ago. We love to camp – there's nothing better! You can see that all three dogs agree with us, too. (L-R is Lucky, Lily, and Tango.) Every time we go camping, we discover something new. Maybe it's a new spot to camp, a great view, or a fun new trail to hike with the dogs. We have such a good time camping that we're very likely to go again. That's reinforcement at work!
Or how about this for reinforcement: I'm reading a really good book right now. One that I can't wait to dive into whenever I have 5 minutes to myself. So as the alarm rings at 5:30a and I'm struggling to open my eyes, I think "Oooh, get up, hurry! When you get to the gym, you can read your book!" I popped up out of bed lickety-split and was at the gym in record time. AND (the best part) I stayed on the StairMaster even longer than I'd planned. All because reading this book is so reinforcing to me. Now all I have to do is keep finding books that I love to read!
So find something you like to do and use it as a reinforcer (reward) to get the less desirable tasks done. Hate to do yard work? Download some good tunes and listen to them on your MP3 player as you work. Hate doing laundry? Reward yourself with a fancy coffee after you're done. Hate to clean the kitchen? Tape some of your favorite shows and watch them while you're cleaning!
The possibilities are endless, just remember that reinforcement helps US as much as it does our dogs. Don't be afraid to be generous with yourself, too, just like you are to your dog.
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