STOP UNWANTED behaviors with BACK UP! – Dog Training

In this tutorial you will learn how to teach your dog to back up when you move into your dog’s space. This tutorial is not necessary for every dog but is great for dogs who seem to lack a sense of personal space, seem pushy or can easily become over aroused and want to climb up you. For example, when you are sitting on the couch, and your dog get’s too close to you or climbs on you or climbs up you. This tutorial is also an excellent exercise to teach your dog if they can become fearful or reactive towards dogs and people, as you will be conditioning the dog to have a positive emotional response to someone moving into their space.

It’s really important that if you have a dog who you are uncertain who will become overly reactive, fearful or aggressive when interacting with you that you do hire a professional trainer who doesn’t use intimidation to train to go through these steps first with your dog before they give you the OK to work with your dog alone. A trainer can help know when to lower or raise criteria as well as be able to read your dogs signals that they are feeling uncomfortable.

The video covers how to train your dog the behavior. Once you have done 10-12 short sessions of teaching this behavior, you can then start to use the cue in real life scenarios. When your dog is doing something you don’t like – like climbing on you, it’s important to not reinforce the dog with a treat after they listen to you to back up. Instead, redirect the dog to doing a behavior you DO want your dog to do. Like go to his bed or play with his toys on his own. Then at other points in the day, make a habit of reinforcing the behaviors you do want your dog to do. If you reinforce your dog with a treat right after they back up from jumping on you, you can inadvertently reinforce a chain of behaviors which includes the one you didn’t like. If your cue doesn’t work in real life scenarios it will need more conditioning by repetition in training sessions where the dog is calm and relaxed. Interrupting your dog’s undesirable behavior is just one piece of the training puzzle. Please review my previous video to learn more about this: When training a dog, the idea is is that STOPPING the behavior is not the biggest part of the solution as REPLACING it with the behavior you DO want your dog to do. Interrupting behavior is just a way to prevent those behaviors from attaining a reinforcement history. The sooner you interrupt and redirect dogs the less likely there will be a reinforcement history created for the undesirable behavior. So interrupting behavior is part of the training plan, but training and reinforcing the behaviors you like will play the biggest role in your behavior modification plan for your dog.

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