Praise And Reprimand

Your most effective training persuaders are praise and reprimands. Don't be stingy with the praise; when your dog performs correctly, let him know it. Your praise signifies to him that he has your approval. Furthermore, praise should not be forthcoming only when the pup gets a lesson down pat. It should also follow a reprimand. By reprimanding the pup when he errs and then following with some praise, you will be getting across two important points: 1) if the pup doesn't do what you command, you will be displeased and 2) even though you've reprimanded him, you are still his friend. You need have no fear that praise after a reprimand will lessen the impact of the reprimand. It will not. It has the effect of impressing him and at the same time wiping the slate clean. You can look at it this way: the pup makes a mistake and you correct him. Now he knows that he has done wrong. He'll try to do better next time. Then you praise him and he knows that everything is all right. Now, he'll do his darndest to get it right next time!

You will have to be judicial in your reprimands. Make the "punishment fit the crime." And to make an honest judgment, you should not only consider the fault but also the pup's age, aptitude, and the difficulty of the assignment.

The form of the reprimand, whether it is to be a scolding or a physical demonstration, depends on the circumstances. For example, if the pup doesn't get the idea of sitting down, you should show him how by pushing his haunches down. This is, in effect, a reprimand, and your voice and attitude during the demonstration should convey your displeasure. On the other hand, if the pup balks at a lesson, you reprimand him with your voice. But regardless of the form, the reprimand should be administered immediately after the error or omission. It must be an on-the-spot correction. Calling the pup aside fifteen minutes later and telling him he made a mistake is a sheer waste of time.

Pamper Your Dog

Pamper Your Dog

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