There are hundreds of tips and tools when it comes to dog training, like remote dog training collar, clicker, and treats. But before we begin training, we must understand this: if there is no motivation, there is no training. Motivation is your dog’s answer to why and behavior change. If you want to change your dog’s behavior then you have to give them a good reason.
When you give your dog a request, imagine him asking: why should I? Let’s just imagine your dogs chasing a squirrel-really fun stuff if you’re a dog-you call him to come back to you. Now your dog has a big decision to make: do I keep chasing that squirrel or do I go back to my owner? When you make that call your dog is thinking: why should I?
Now that “why” question can be answered in a couple of ways. We can teach him if he doesn’t come back, something bad happens, or even less effectively we can teach him that if he eventually comes back after we’ve been telling through what seems like forever, something bad happens: we get mad, which isn’t motivation to come to you in anyone’s book.
But we can teach him that if he comes running back the moment he hears that call, something wonderful happens. This is what reward-based training is all about. We give him the best reason in the world to do what we asked because it produces the best results for him. You aren’t the source of fear, you’re the source of all the good stuff in the world. That’s how training based on the giving or withholding of the good stuff works as your dog sees it.
In that sense, they’re not so different from us. It’s just learning what brings the reward. If you have a job in a factory painting cars and you were told if you paint the cars blue you get paid, if you paint them red, you don’t. What are you going to do? You probably already know what dogs think is great. It’s food, playtime, toys, praise, and attention. All the things that get that tail wagging. Some are super awesome to your dog, showing it with a big energetic wagging, and some are just so-so. Working out what your dog puts in his top list of faves can be one of the greatest joys of having a dog.
When we’re thinking about changing behavior. what it comes down to is this every species, dogs and humans alike, has its price. If we want to change behavior, you have to pay the right price.