Misbehavior you’ve reinforced: how to correct it?

Sometimes dogs “don’t behave”, and we, owners, reinforce this behavior without even realizing.

And when we do, it’s already too late – the habit is formed.

But the “bad” behavior that you’ve accidentally reinforced can be corrected ⬇️

1️⃣Make problematic behavior impossible.

❗️If your dog does something, you praise him/her for it, reinforcing the behavior.

Behavior that does not get reinforced disappears.

▫️Your goal is to create all the conditions for the problematic behavior to not bring any benefit to your pup.

▫️Control the situation and choose the right distance to the trigger.

▫️Be patient: if your dog is used to getting benefits for doing something, he/she will try more and more.😌

The rule here: don’t reinforce a certain behavior under any circumstances.

If you could keep yourself from giving your dog a treat when he/she’s begging for food at the table 9 times in a row, but give up on the 10th – all your previous efforts lose their force, and your goal becomes more distant.

2️⃣Create all the conditions for desirable behavior.

▫️Once more, be patient and wait until the moment when you can praise your dog.
Remember: this moment will come!

▫️Choose the conditions in which the trigger (the stimulus that causes “bad” behavior) is represented minimally.

You need to start working before your problematic behavior shows: choose the distance at which the trigger is visible, but still causes no reaction.

▫️Teach your dog desirable behavior, like you do with other skills.

3️⃣Reinforce desirable behavior.

▫️This takes time, because you need to continuously reinforce it until the desirable behavior becomes habitual (and after that happens, still from time to time).
Some behaviors require rewarding throughout the dog’s life.

Don’t be greedy in rewarding!

▫️Choose reinforcement correctly (use something your dog really needs in this particular moment).

▫️Slowly build up the intensity of the trigger (don’t force it too much, but also don’t wait for too long).

It’s easier with puppies, but may take longer with adult dogs.
But don’t give up!
Everything will work perfectly in the end!

Scroll to Top