Part of dog training, an important part, is knowing when and how to reward your dog. The concept of positive reinforcement is an important element of training any animal, and dogs have a mentality which responds well to this type of action. While a human may look for ulterior motives in any reward system – and openly rebel against such actions – a dog will simply see that there is a connection between “good” behavior and good results. This is why positive reinforcement is a necessary part of training any dog.
It works as follows: You want your dog to learn how to respond to a certain command. By repeating that command until the dog carries out the action, you create a link in your dog’s brain between the command and the action. When the dog responds to the command by performing the action, you then reward it by giving it a treat. The link is then strengthened in the dog’s brain. Command + Action = Treat. The dog will become willing to respond to your command, knowing that the results will be in its favor.
It can take time to make this message stick. Some dogs are less amenable to training than others – just as all humans are different, so are all dogs. But just as all humans have instinctive ways of responding to stimuli, so do all dogs. It is essential that you give your dog time to work out the right way to react to your training. The benefits will quickly become evident.