Tuesday, February 1, 2022

February Focus on Behaviors


Welcome to the February Theme: Focus on Behaviors

February being the month of LOVE, we are going to talk about how to get your dogs to do the behaviors you love more often as well as talk about ways for you to love your dogs!  And since we really only have 3.5 weeks this month, I'm going to divide this theme into 3 basic categories:

  • Understanding K-9 emotions and how emotions can effect your dog's behaviors.
  • Providing enrichment based love to all of your dog's daily needs.
  • How to get the most out of your reinforcement value towards behaviors you LOVE.
All dogs naturally have some basic emotions that effect their Core Effect Space or general well being.  I will be satisfying the science geek by discussing these emotions and how you can understand what your dog is feeling based on the behaviors and body language they are offering you.  This is something that all good Behavior Consultants study and use to help their clients work through troubling behaviors.  Pet Owners and Dog Trainers can also benefit from at least a basic understanding of the science behind Core Effect Space can help you to help your dog.

If you've been working with a force free trainer or you've made a commitment to your dog to train with force free methods, you no doubt have heard about using enrichment feeding toys at meal time to work your dog's brain, help with anxiety, and train an extended settle.  But our dog have needs beyond food, water, and shelter that help them to have the most enriching life possible.  Let's be honest, our dogs pretty much live in a human world of human rules so isn't it time we help them learn to enjoy the dog world in a way that fits nicely in our human world?  We will discuss how you can make simple changes to your daily routines to increase your dog's enrichment and love for life.

Force Free (FF) training is often referred to as Positive Reinforcement (+R) Training, and the 2 go hand in hand.  However there is more to +R training then handing out well timed food rewards.  Just like dogs have needs of more then just food, they also can be reinforced by other things along with food.  We are going to be discussing how games and behavior chains can become self reinforcing for your dog.  There are also many reinforcers naturally hidden in your day to day life with your dog so we will be talking about how to use those hard to find reinforcers.  And last but not least, we will be discussing how to use your dog's favorite reinforcers to get the behaviors you LOVE to be repeated more frequently.

It's going to be a quick and busy month of LOVE so why not spend it with your dog, learning how to help your dog have a more full life, and learning how to train your dog to repeat the behaviors you LOVE.  As always, if you have any questions about any of the posts in this series, please email me at yooperpaws@gmail.com or send me a message through the Yooper Paws FB page.

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