Saturday, February 13, 2010
If You Don't Eat Your Meat, You Can't Have Any Pudding!
If they sit, you reward them with the toy. This provides them with a wealth of information. You've not only told them what TO do, but you've indiscretely told them what NOT to do. Without reprimand. Without yelling. Without correction. You've told your dog, "If you want something, barking will reap no reward. Sitting will."
Clear. Concise. To the point.
If I vary these rules before my dog understands them, I've only muddied the waters. If I sometimes let my dog have the toy after a bark, my dog learns, "try barking next time, it sometimes works".
My niece is testing out how what kind of consequence (good or bad) crying will yield. She will still test me when it comes to finishing her dinner and expecting dessert. That's fine - I know the rules because I set them. If I'm sure to stick with it, the unwanted and unrewarded behavior will fade because it's just not paying off.