Bad dog. No biscuit.

One of the awesome benefits of teaching with food, toys, social interaction and other life rewards to positively reinforce behaviors is that the thing your dog learns becomes fun to do. A cue is an opportunity not to be missed, not a command to be obeyed (or else). Our dogs are actively trying to obtain reinforcement (food, toys, attention, pee mail…), not avoid punishment (pain, scolding, removal of attention, food, toys, sniffing…).

I love it when my dog gets it right because I get to give her what she wants. It makes me happy to see her happy. That’s positive reinforcement working on both of us. This means asking your dog to do something he will likely get wrong sets both of you up for failure. That’s not efficient learning, that’s frustrating – or discouraging, or infuriating, depending on your personality.