Using Positive Reinforcement for "On Your Bed" Training with Lara Shannon from Pooches at Play
As a Certified Dog Behaviourist and Trainer, and Host of Channel 10’s Pooches at Play, some of the most common dog behaviour issues I see can be easily treated with some simple dog obedience training, and owners setting clear and consistent boundaries- Lara Shannon.
One of the most useful things an owner can teach their dog is "place" training such as “on your bed”, which is even more beneficial when your dog’s bed is kept inside, in the living room or near the door, as it can be a useful place to send your dog in many situations.
Teaching your dog to reliably go and stay “on your bed” is a desired behaviour, rather than running and jumping at you or visitors as they enter the house.
If your dog hangs around begging for food in the kitchen or at the dinner table, or jumps up or climbs all over you every time you sit on the couch, then this little bit of obedience training will benefit them and you! Furthermore, if they need to retain a bit of independence by spending some time alone and not following your every move, then teaching your dog the command "on your bed", gives them something else to focus their attention and energy on.
If your dog is stressed, anxious or nervous, place training can also help your dog learn to cope with their surroundings and provides them with their own, safe spot to go to. If always done in a positive way, it can be self-calming for your dog as they learn that you, their human, has the situation under control and they can just go to their "place" and relax. This can be useful when moving their bed or mat into new environments so that they immediately feel calm in public or when they are staying at a dog sitters place.
With daily practice and slowly increasing the duration, this becomes a useful tool to stop your dog’s unwanted behaviour as well. A great example is when the doorbell rings that might trigger off barking or over-excited greetings. Instead of allowing your dog to rush up to welcome guests at the door (which may not always be welcome), you can give your dog the “on your bed” cue so they instead rush to their bed where they wait patiently and calmly to be greeted by the incoming guests (or in my dog Darcy’s case he sits their quivering excitedly waiting for everyone to come over to him to say hi!) .
As they are being "rewarded" for that desired behaviour (i.e.: being patted on their bed, not at the door), it gets reinforced further, so you might find like I do that your dog runs to it’s "place" when they hear the doorbell ring without even being asked to, knowing that is where they get the attention and greetings they so eagerly want.
The benefits of teaching our dogs place training and using it to send them there for some time out and rewarding them when they are calmly in their "place" can have a flow on effect in other aspects of our dogs’ life. As their minds slow down and their concern for what’s going on around them fades, our dogs will begin to view their world from a calmer place.
To illustrate this further, here's an excerpt about the benefits of positive reinforcement from my new book "Eat, Play, Love Your Dog".
Positive Reinforcement with an example of "on your bed" training is just one of the many useful tips from my new book "Eat, Play, Love Your Dog". It focuses on the importance of Obedience Training, some Golden Rules to help, and plenty of other information and advice to help keep your dog healthy and happy from puppyhood right through to their senior years.