Experts say rewards are the way to train your dog

    (KOMO file photo)

    Everyone likes getting rewarded for doing something good –and that includes your dog.

    Pet experts say punishment can backfire.

    Coercion, force or pain can cause fear and stress which increases aggression and makes your dog resist training.

    Punishment can also harm your relationship with your pooch.

    "It's much better to catch them doing things right then it is to punish them when they do something wrong. All they'll do then is hide and try to prevent you from catching them doing something wrong, said Dr. Marty Becker, "America’s Veterinarian" and author of the new book From Fearful to Fear Free.

    A treat (such as a piece of turkey, cheese, or some peanut butter) is always good for positive reinforcement, but for some dogs, a simple touch is enough.

    "Ironically, dogs don't like to be petted on top of their heads,” Dr. Becker told me. “The side of the neck, side of their chest, base of the tail, use your fingers like you're being massaged on your scalp and they'll be in seventh heaven."

    You can reward your dog for something you've asked him or her to do, or for something they did on their own that you'd like to see repeated again.

    More Info:

    10 pet house straining methods that hit the mark

    Training Your Dog? Why Rewards Work Better Than Punishment

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