When changing your dogs behavior or habits it is best to go slow and keep it simple. Changing habits takes time and while the process may seem overwhelming at times, remember small successes are a big deal!
Steps to changing your dogs behavior:
- Reward even if the dog attempts the behavior.
- Reward even if the dog takes one step or turns his head to consider the option of complying.
- Avoid only rewarding when the dog completes the new behavior, but do reward the dog for even the slightest attempt of any new behavior. This is called a “choice point”, it is to your advantage to reward any attempt in making the correct choice!
- Avoid this mistake: if your dog is afraid of the mail carrier, then begin with all adults but avoid the mail carrier for now. When your expectations are not real, you will be frustrated. Setting your dog up for success is best done when the triggers are very low and far away, this is a good plan for getting an alternative behavior started.
- Even if the dog does it for one second! When you begin to reward slight offerings of new behavior, your dog will more likely want to continue to play this new game!