Using Your Voice as a Reward

The one area I believe we as humans confuse our dogs, is on the use of our voice to reward our dogs behavior.  I find myself repeatedly asking dog handlers to use their voice as a reward so their dog knows they have done something right.  I firmly believe, if you reward a behavior when it is occurring, you will get more of that behavior!

When I see a dog avoiding a handlers face, it is often because the person is talking in a firm or scolding tone to their dog.  How is the dog to know when he is doing something correct or not if we use the same pitch all the time?  Many dogs do not comply with their owners and I believe it is because the dog is confused, he simply does not know how to please his handler.  If you are struggling with your dogs behavior in any way, have someone film you or role play and see for yourself if you know what you are rewarding.

I am not saying yell or drop your tone to scare your dog, simply raise your pitch with a simple and happy “yes, good dog” when he  is doing something you like.  Watch and see if he does not continue the behavior, I’ll bet a box of liver treats he will!

Timing is so important, I am always smiling at Pablo when he looks at me so he looks at me all the time.  If you ask your dog to do a behavior, smile and reward when he is looking at you, change your tone the instant your dog looks at you, “Yes, good dog!”  Try it, you will like it because it works!