IS YOUR DOG CONFUSED, are you sending mixed messages???


How many people think they are training their dog to do one thing, and then rewarding it without realising for something totally different. A very common training problem, is it me or the dog, the answer is often YOU.

Do you ignore your dog for jumping on you, then when his relentless persistence gets you frustrated, you pat him anyway, or push him away, and tell him off, giving him the attention he has been asking for? Maybe your response depends on what you are wearing or your mood at the time.

Is your dog very persistent, and nudges your hand for a pat, then you inadvertently push him away with your hand, or worst still absent mindedly stroke him, their behaviour has been rewarded.

Do you tell your dog to go away when he is staring at you and drooling when you are eating, then you give him the last piece.

Perhaps you allow your dog to pull on the lead, then yank him back or reprimand him, and tell him off for pulling, then the next minute the lead is tight again?

It is similar to us being late for work one day and your employer says it’s okay, then the next day they get really angry, and then the next it’s not such a problem, you start to get confused then anxious about the possibility of being late.

ALL mixed messages –

Behaviour is motivated by consequences, if you want to change the behaviour then you must change the consequence, dog jumps gets no reward, dog sits gets rewarded.

Behaviour continues, if it has been rewarded.

It is important to be very clear about what response you would like your dog to choose in a given situation.  It is very important to be clear with all your communication, and you MUST be consistent, if he does A then B always happens. Dogs are opportunist and will resort back to the behaviour that works and has been rewarded, when they are unclear as to what you are requesting. It is unfair to punish behaviour that has been encouraged and rewarded in the past, your dog will never learn. If you continually punish your dog, it will stop trying and SHUT DOWN, it might become frustrated, fearful, and reactive, all the pathways that could lead to potential aggressive behaviour.

Be Proactive not reactive

Anna Tasker, Paw Power Dog Training 0431 511215 /


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