Thursday, February 26, 2009

The VALUE of a reinforcer!

Too many people get stuck using ONE type of reinforcer to reward their dog with- it results often times in frustration, no progress and what you *think* is a dog who isn't a "good" dog! Think again! and try something different!! Remember dogs just offer behaviors- it's as simple as that! They are neither good nor bad......just desireable or undesireable.... and if we have a reinforcer they are interested in those desireable ones will be MUCH easier to reinforce and reward and move up on the pup's list of "behaviors" or things to do!

Just yesterday we stepped outside the front door with Gracie- a 5 month old GORGEOUS blue-gray pitbull pup I am working with. I had a small jar of beef n gravy baby food in my hand.... and boy was she a different dog! Her attention on me was constant.... her owners recognized the difference the value of a treat makes combined withthe level of distraction in a particular given environment! YAY! Trying to give her a treat she was used to day in and day out - didn't work. EVEN if it worked in the house! The distractions outside were too great for her to care about THAT same ole' "ho hum" treat!

So ..... try something NEW each week.... and when you think you've found a GREAT high value treat to reinforce with- FIND ANOTHER! :) :)

Happy Clicking!
PS- don't forget a reinforcer doesn't just have to be food! It can be their favorite toy! Or Ball!

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