How dogs learn

TYSON. Rescued, after a two-year �wait, from a shelter in Long Island.

TYSON. Rescued, after a two-year wait, from a shelter in Long Island.

Dogs learn through positive and negative reinforcement. All of the following pages feature training through positive reinforcement.

Positive reinforcement uses something that, when given immediately following a good behavior, causes the behavior to happen more often and more consistently. The most common “reinforcers” are treats and verbal praise. The most important thing to consider when picking a “reinforcer” is make sure its something that your dog will see as a reward. 

As by rewarding them for their behavior, your dog will be more likely to repeat his actions the next time he is given the same opportunity. 

Here’s an example of Positive Reinforcement:
• You ask the dog to sit.
• He sits.
• You give him a treat.
• He is more likely to sit the next time you ask.
• Eventually he sits every time you ask him.
• He now knows the command "sit."