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Puppy Training: What Motivates Your Dog?

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Humans have different styles of learning and motivations, and so do dogs.  When training your puppy, it’s important to figure out what motivates her so the training will be successful.

There are typically three types of motivators for dogs:  food, praise and play.  Your puppy may respond to more than one of these, but observe to see which one works the best and focus on it during training sessions.

There are different things to keep in mind based on which motivation drives your pup.  Check out these tips:

If food is your puppy’s motivation, use small training treats that don’t require chewing.  If she has to chew the treat, it’s liable to take her focus off the training task at hand.

If praise is your puppy’s motivation, keep it short.  Don’t keep repeating “good girl” for reassurance, say it only when she’s done something good to reap her reward.

When play is puppy’s motivation, keep it short.  Puppies have short attention spans, so limit play to 10-20 seconds.  Any longer play session, and she’s liable to forget why she got the reward.

Short and sweet is the key to puppy training sessions.  As mentioned above, puppies don’t have long attention spans, so by limiting training sessions to a few minutes, she’ll stay focused.  Stay consistent with training and rewards so your dog will understand what’s expected of her, and remember to be patient.  Keeping these things in mind will help you and your puppy succeed!

 

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