Katie Barton of Colorado on The Benefits of Dog Training Via Positive...

Katie Barton of Colorado on The Benefits of Dog Training Via Positive Reinforcement

Katie Barton Colorado

As the owner and operator of KT Dog Services, Katie Barton of Colorado has been trusted with training countless dogs. A certified dog trainer, Katie Barton, has learned that the most effective way to train a dog positive behavior is to utilize positive reinforcement to acknowledge positive behaviors immediately after they occur. Today, Katie Barton of Colorado will share tips and tricks anyone looking to train a puppy can use to see real results.

When thinking about positive reinforcement for humans, we often think of monetary incentives. People are willing to work extra hours if they know they will earn extra pay. They work hard at their job, understanding that they will earn their paycheck based on these efforts. Unfortunately, dogs don’t respond to dollar bills. Still, Katie Barton of Colorado can help any dog owner use the logic behind positive reinforcement to train their pup.

A little treat or snack often works best when utilizing positive reinforcement. For instance, a small treat can be provided whenever a dog utilizes the bathroom outside. The trick is getting the timing correct. If the reward does not occur within a few seconds of the positive act, it’s pretty much useless. There’s also a repetition that is required. One of the more common mistakes people make is rewarding their dog too late. For instance, think about trying to reward a dog for sitting. If an owner waits until their dog stands back up, the dog associates the treat with them standing.

It’s important to mention that positive reinforcement works so much better when everyone in a home is on the same page. For instance, if a husband is letting a dog on the couch but the wife is trying to teach the dog that the couch is off limits, it will be nearly impossible to do so. Be sure to talk about all of the positive reinforcement methods you are using with all of your housemates so that the dog is constantly receiving a unified message.

Another piece of advice that Katie Barton of Colorado can guarantee works well with dogs is giving short commands. For instance, “Buddy, can you please sit down for me now,” should be changed to “Sit.” Verbal cues will also have more of an impact if they are shared with body language cues. A common training tactic for Katie Barton of Colorado is placing a treat or toy just above a dog’s line of sight. As they look up, Katie Barton can then move the treat or toy in a direction that signifies a call-to-action like sit or lay down. By matching the body language with the verbal cue, the dog will start to associate the word with the action. If one is to try longer phrases, it won’t typically work – or it will take a lot longer for it to stick with the animal.

Some simple short phrases that can be used as verbal cues include:

  • Sit
  • Down
  • Stay
  • Off
  • Drop
  • Give
  • Leave It
  • Heel

While small dog treats are the most common reward, dog owners want to ensure their pet isn’t overeating. Katie Barton of Colorado recommends utilizing food for the most important training moments, For instance, potty training can be done with a small treat for #1 and their favorite treat for #2. Also, every time a piece of food is used as a reward, it should be paired with either a positive verbal cue or a heavy dose of petting. Before long, a pet will be happy to take the desired action just to get positive attention. Consider utilizing toys, a tennis ball, or even a bone to mix it up. Variety will often ensure that a dog doesn’t grow tired of a specific treat. The key is to keep them motivated. Before long, a dog will grow accustomed to following the proper rules and treats can just be given to reward a dog for being a fantastic member of the family.

If things aren’t working how a dog owner would like them to, Katie Barton of Colorado recommends seeking out the help of a professional. Those with dog training certifications will not only take steps to train the pet themselves, but they will also help answer questions and set a new dog owner on the proper path.