TACTICAL RESPONSE LLc. K-9 Training & Services
NORWALK CT. 06850
EST. 2003

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IN PRAISE OF PRAISE

TACTICAL RESPONSE LLC

K-9 Training & Services

Norwalk CT. 06850

203-642-3751

www.tacticalresponsellc.com

 

IN PRAISE OF PRAISE

“Don’t forget to praise him!” is a phrase I constantly use in my private K9 training sessions. Even clients I’ve had for awhile tell me that the praise is the hardest part to remember to do. “It seems strange to correct him with a “NO” or a leash correction, and then immediately praise him within the same breath, “many owners will say. The truth is that praise is the MOST important tool available for training your K9. My philosophy is that we correct so that we can praise! I always try to find an excuse to praise, because I know how powerful of a learning tool it is for K9s.

One of the most significant motivators for K9s is praise. But what exactly is praise? I’ll tell you what it’s not: It’s not a pat on the head and a monotone “good boy”. K9s are too smart for that! Verbal praise must be heartfelt and belted out in a high-pitched happy tone, and must be done at exactly the moment the K9 has succeeded at a task or command. The more exuberant you can be with your properly-timed verbal praise, the fast your K9 will learn.

There is another form of praise that can be even more powerful than verbal praise, and that’s physical praise. Once again, a pat on the head won’t do it (in fact, a pat on the head is taken by K9s as an insult!). The best form of physical praise is whatever your K9 likes best, depending on where he is at in his training. For example, a puppy that just learned to lay down on command may roll over and what his tummy scratched. Since this is his first success at the command, by all means scratch his tummy! After he has learned to do the command consistently, we can gradually make him work harder for his praise. Other forms of physical praise that most K9s like are: stroking upward under the chin, stroking the ears and patting the chest.

So, if you are trying to remember all of steps and footwork that goes into training your K9, if you only remember one thing, let it be to verbally and physically praise you K9!.

 

 

Richard P. Weatherstone

Owner/ Certified K9 Trainer
                                                                                                      

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