Positive Reinforcement

Praising the people!! I recently realized I wasn’t praising my people clients enough. I was friendly, engaging and encouraging. I would compliment their dog and joke with them. I would praise specific skills or behaviors I saw them developing. However, I didn’t say too often, “You are doing a good job.” (One reason is that I don’t like to throw out too many vague terms.) But recently that phrase escaped my lips and my clients beamed. These were hard-working clients whose skills were really improving. So now I remember to say that more often. I got an email the other day from a client who first off thanked me for “the reassurance”.

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9 thoughts on “Positive Reinforcement

  1. I agree sometimes people really do need encouragement for working hard and doing the right thing. I learned that while doing adoptions. Adopters who encountered issues and actually took our advice and tried to work through those issues really appreciated being thanked and encouraged – and were then more likely to keep trying. A thank you goes a long way!

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  2. It’s amazing the power of a few words! I get it too … sure it’s good to praise the dog but I find a LOT of training is about the people… finding that repertoire of praise will go a long way to help everyone! Amazing that you picked up on it! well done!

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  3. HA! Yeah, people need positive enforcement too. It’s sad that this has to be learned and doesn’t come naturally to us, whether it’s in regard to dogs or other people. Human nature …

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  4. Praise means so much even to us humans! Yesterday I took Beau for a general wellness exam and our vet told me that he looks fantastic and I’m doing everything right. That really means so much to me.

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  5. This is so true! As someone who is still learning a lot about training, I really like when the trainers correct me if I am doing something wrong or if there is a better way, but it also feels so good when a trainer that I look up to give me a compliment. I recently took Yoshi, a dog I adopted a month ago, to meet a trainer friend and talk to her about his training. She was really impressed with the work I had done with him so far and told me that I should join their advanced class with him. It made me happy that this dog I had been training all by myself knew all the skills and commands that he would be able to jump into an advanced class and that my training was being recognized by someone whose opinion I valued. Of course, I also need to give some credit to Yoshi. He knew nothing when he came to me, but he is just so incredibly smart and learns very fast. He just wants to make people happy, which I love about him.

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  6. Henry and I were agility students. As the human, I was always being corrected. Henry was at fault on a couple of occasions. Is it bad that I was relieved when it wasn’t me for a change? I guess we, like dogs, respond to positive reinforcement.

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