Positive Reinforcement

 No More Bad Boy

 

Have you ever rewarded someone with a gift of a “Good job!” or a hug or a lollipop or a kiss on the cheek after they’ve done something you liked or approved of?  On the flip side, have you shown disapproval or yelled at or smacked someone because they did something you didn’t like?

Which worked better for you?

Children respond to positive reinforcement because it fulfills a need for approval and trust and adults will accomplish more and feel more appreciated when their achievements are focused on rather than their mistakes.  Animals are no different than humans when it comes to learning the difference between a desired or undesired behavior but their need to please and sensitivity to their environment makes positive reinforcement an important training tool.

When was the last time you gave your kid a reward for picking up his toys?  When was the last time your boss thanked you for coming in on time or working hard all day?  Have you noticed that your husband is more willing to do you a favor if you promise him a reward?

When you punish your pets because you dislike something they did, it doesn’t teach them the lesson you’re trying to teach.  Instead of them seeing what they did wrong and wanting to improve next time, they see your anger and react to it with fear and distrust.  No matter if you’re training a dog, cat, rodent, or bird, the best way to teach them a desirable behavior is to reward them when they show any progression toward your goal.

In other words, don’t punish your puppy for peeing on the carpet.  Reward him when he pees outside.  Don’t yell at your bird if she chews on something valuable.  Reward her with an alternative pastime and remove your valuables from sight.  Your cat will be happy when you are happy and spurn you if you aren’t.  Show him what makes you happy.

Whether you’ve had a pet for a while that has developed some bad habits or just adopted a pet with problems, with patience and a positive attitude you can retrain them and turn them into the perfect pet for you.  There are a number of positive reinforcement programs that you can try, even hire a professional trainer if you’re real ambitious, but there are some affordable sources of information you only need your computer for.

Train Pet Dog is a great source for a dog training system that includes access to veterinarians, expert trainers, and other dog owners that you can share experiences with.  It’s a club for dog parents who want the best for their dogs.

Click  Dog Information  to go to their website and see a little video on how to train your dog.

Or take their little dog training test to see how you rate as a dog trainer.

 

Dog Training Style Tool by TrainPetDog

 

Cats are a different animal. You can’t teach a cat the same way you teach a dog because they think differently, they react to things differently, and they see life differently than a dog.  But you can still train them with positive reinforcement.

Click Here! to go to Sandy Stone’s site where she promises to teach you how to teach your cat good habits while improving your relationship with him.

She says anyone can train their cats to be well behaved in two weeks.  Sandy also offers tips to pick the right cat for you if you’re looking for a new pet and shares recipes for homemade cat food, a hairball remedy and treats your cats will love.

No Bad Cats might be the site you’ve been looking for.

 

Birds are a completely different animal.  Their thought process is all about survival.  It doesn’t take much for them to distrust your actions and will lash out in fear if they have any reason to believe you mean them harm.

For good bird training information, Chet Womach and his brother Dave have created a great program.  It includes what not to do with your bird, how to feed and care for birds of all sizes, how to teach them to talk, and more. 

I love these guys.  I’ve been following them for years now, since I adopted a Myer’s parrot that tries to rule the house.  The Womach brothers came from a family that has always owned birds, and through trial and error they learned the differences in parrots species and how to read a bird’s body language. Then they  devoted their lives to teaching the rest of us how to do it.  They have blogs, videos, CD’s and a catalog of toys, cages and food.  Dave has gone on to train parrots for shows and Chet is the best source of bird information you can find.  Go to Birdtricks.com and see for yourself.

Chet has a dog training program also, and if he’s as good with dogs as he is with birds, I recommend you try it!  Go to The Dog Training Secret to find out what he has to offer.   He says all you have to do is learn how to get even the most stubborn dog to listen to you without having to resort to any form of punishment, and you can overcome any behavioral problem.

What ever animal companion you have in your care, remember not to focus on discipline as much as teaching them how to live in your human world.  You can have the perfect pet if you take the time to understand how they think, and a little positive reinforcement training will go a long way in keeping them safe, healthy, and happy.

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