The next 5 things you should do to successfully use physical praise with your dog

Using physical praise is a great way to improve your bond with your dog

By Dog Blogger, Miss Moneypenny,

Using physical praise is a great way to improve your bond with your dog.  It can also be a highly desired reward to your dog.  Physical praise will take the form of petting, touching, and rubbing.  Sometimes it will be slow and soothing, other times it may be fast and invigorating.   Knowing when to use each type of touching is very important, and will also be based on the personality of the dog.

Here’s some tips on using physical praise:

  • Save touching us until after releasing us from a command

    We get pretty excited.  Petting us while in a command may cause him to break the command.

  • Use touch along with verbal praise

    This is the highest reward you could give us.

  • Avoid mindless petting

    Petting us all the time is like your child getting a star for attending class.  It can devalue the reward and make us upset if we don’t always receive it (I think you call it Separation Anxiety).  Make us work for this reward!

  • Watch the way you touch us

    Use slower, soothing praise with dogs that are timid, frightened, or over excited.  For us happy go lucky dogs, use a faster, more enthusiastic praise

  • Be aware of  areas which may be sensitive to your dog

    We don’t like to be patted on our head or have our feet held.  Touching these areas may scare you dog, or cause it to even snap at you.  If this happens, you may need to work on desensitizing your dog to touching in these areas.

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