At this point, I have to explain my request: "I said 'praise your dogs,' not 'pet your dogs.'"
To be perfectly clear, "praise" comes from your mouth and your face, not from your hands. It's perfectly acceptable to your dog if you merely look down at him, with a pleased expression on your face, and verbally praise him:
"What a dog!"
|Jennifer Norton in a Rally Obedience class with her dog several|
years ago at Manning Dog Training in Yakima. Notice how she praises
her eager dog without petting him.
To better understand how verbal praise alone can be a more effective, clearer reinforcement of good behavior, think back to when you were in second grade, sitting behind a desk in a classroom. The teacher poses a question, and you're the first one to answer it correctly. Which of the following responses will keep your mind channeled on the subject and ready to answer the next question as quickly?
- Teacher remains at the front of the classroom and says, "Yes! Good job!"
- Teacher walks over to your desk, leans down, pats you repeatedly on the shoulders and says "What a nice girl you are!"
Teach the dog to eagerly seek your verbal praise. There will be ample time at the end of each lesson to put your hands on him and give him an appreciative hug.