fbpx

Your dog is behaving badly.  Could you be the one encouraging it?

How easy is it to reinforce your dog for behaviors you don’t want?  Soooooo easy.  Yesterday I reinforced my dog for demand barking to play.

Why?

He’s 11 and when he gets all puppy-like, it melts my heart.

He barked, he did some adorable little bouncy movements, my heart went all mushy-gushy at this old man looking like a puppy.   I picked up the toys and played with him.

Bam.  I just reinforced a behavior I really don’t like — his “play with me bark” is high-pitched and hurts my ears.  I’m pretty sure I will start to see an increase in demand barking in the future.

If your dog has a behavior you don’t like, look to what may be reinforcing that behavior.  Something is and it may be you.

Have you noticed that you are reinforcing the very behaviors you find annoying?  It’s pretty eye-opening when you realize it!