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  • Writer's pictureBobby Dwyer

Understanding Praise and Corrections

Throughout these posts I will refer to rewards, praise, corrections, and pressure. I reward is something that the dog sees as a positive motivator to perform a task. This will vary from dog to dog but essentially it is the dogs paycheck. I wouldn’t work for free and neither will the dog. Praise is verbally saying “good” in a high pitched positive voice and praise can also be positive touch or petting. Being able to verbally praise the dog gives you the ability to let the dog know they have done right. When the dog really understands verbal praise you can use your voice to communicate happiness at a great distance or even when the dog is in midstride. A correction is something that is negative or, in its mildest form, isn’t rewarding. A correction could be a verbal “no”, withholding a treat, denying the dog to do what they want to do. This will be used to describe a leash pop, quick

nick on an e-collar, etc. Pressure is something that the dog feels and causes the dog discomfort. The difference between a correction and pressure is that when pressure is applied it wont stop until the action is performed. A prime example of this pressure-on, pressure-off training is the force fetch process. The amount of pressure depends on the dogs temperament. For a tougher dog, pressure applied with a pinch collar might be required. But for a softer dog, simply leaning over them and using my body to apply pressure may be enough for them to perform. For all the rewards and corrections timing is everything and it is crucial that you pay attention when training your dog. The difference between an average trainer and a great trainer is one that knows how apply the least amount of pressure to maximize the dogs performance.

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