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A firm pat to reinforce behavior?

884 Views 10 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  CptJack
I was just curious about something. I am a believer in not abusing animals. When I see an animal that has been abused I really want to abuse the owner. That being said, I've never seen anything wrong with/abusive about a small tap along with a tone to deter from chewing on something or climbing on furniture. In packs the alpha will nip at a pup who gets out of line. This would be the equivalent. Something that does not bring out fear, but respect. I do realize that much can be taught through positive reinforcement. This drives most of my training. For instance, I would not "pat" a pup for using the bathroom in the house. I'm more at fault for not keeping up with when and how much she eats than she is. So any thoughts?
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To back up CptJack, my boy is allowed on the couch and always has been, but recently we've been working on teaching him to settle in his crate (which is always open, so we treat it like a bed) for other reasons. Very, very quickly after associating chilling in his crate with goodies "magically" appearing, he's started choosing to go hang out there instead of his previous favorite spot on the couch. He's an adult dog, so it might take longer for your pup to pick it up, but it does work!

Another note, we have his crate right next to the couch and is also within line of sight of our desk, which are the two places we spend most of our "hanging out" time in our apartment. He's a dog who really likes being near us and able to see what we're doing, so I don't think we'd have seen such an immediate response if his crate was somewhere that he didn't feel in the middle of the action. Another dog might be more comfortable somewhere quieter. Position of the bed/crate/mat really does matter, especially at first, so I'd suggest setting it up somewhere close to where your pup already likes spending her time.
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