Anyone who has a pooch in their life knows it’s true: dogs really are a man’s best friend. However, there are some times when your pet can seem… well, a little moody. Sometimes you will need to motivate your dog in order to build up a rapport between the pair of you, and this can easily be done if you are willing to give your pet some love and attention. Here are some tips on how to motivate your dog.
1. Be enthusiastic when training your dog
It can be exhausting work trying to train your dog, and you will need to dedicate a lot of your time in order for your pooch to learn the correct commands. However, try not to appear grumpy or miserable when you are training the animal, and instead appear enthusiastic and warm.
This can really help to motivate the dog when they are training, and showing plenty of enthusiasm when your dog gets a command right will really give them a much-needed ego boost. In fact, they may be more likely to take commands in the future if they feel like they are being rewarded.
This motivational tool can be used with your dog for a number of different commands, for example when trying to teach your dog to sit down or leave an object alone.
2. Using other types of reward
You don’t always have to give your dog a toy or piece of food to motivate them – sometimes a simple “thank you” is more than enough. Using positive reinforcement with your voice can sometimes be just as rewarding for your pet, and can help to build a strong rapport between you and the animal.
Praising the dog with your voice can tell your dog that you think he or she is great for following a command, and can prevent you from relying on food and toys when rewarding the dog. Try praising your dog with only your voice the next time they complete a command and see what happens.
Give your dog plenty of treats
Yes, we know your dog is like a member of your family, but sometimes it’s a good idea to just shower them with gifts just for the sake of it. You can give your dog a special treat every now and again, which can really help to motivate them. Some ideas for presents include special foods that they don’t normally eat, for example a few slices of chicken or turkey meat.
You can even use these special foods as a reward if you need to motivate your dog – for example, if you want to teach your dog the “sit down” command, let your pet smell the food and offer it to the dog when they complete the command. A special new toy can also be used as a motivational tool, and can be used if you are trying to train the animal.
4. Don’t let your dog get TOO excited
If your dog becomes too excited, they can easily become unmotivated in the sense that they are unable to follow commands or do what you tell them.
For example, letting your dog play with its favorite toy for too long can overexcite them and they may be less willing to listen to important instructions.
Get to know your dog by following their behavioral patterns and see what distracts them and excites them. You can then adapt your command training and take into account what you have noted.
5. Make sure your dog is healthy
You can not expect your dog to listen or behave the way you want if there is any health problem. Make sure your furry friend is happy and vital, take him to the vet at least three times a year, make sure his food is nutritious, use worming tablets and keep him clean. Have in mind that he depends on you so provide him the care he deserves.
There are a number of different ways to motivate your dog if it seems like they just won’t complete one of your commands. These range from giving your pet special foods as a treat when they follow an instruction, or even a toy to show how grateful you are that they have done what you have asked them.
During other times you might feel it is better to give your dog praise using only your voice, which can help to build a strong relationship between you and your pet, and can be just as effective as other types of reward.
Remember to try and keep your dog from becoming too overexcited during training, especially to the point where they are no longer able to follow any commands or instructions. Try these different techniques and see what works best for you.
Source: Houston Petting Zoo