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Recently I've started thinking about how other people praise their dogs.
Do you have a special praise for different situations?
Do you hug your dog, kiss him, stroke his head, jump excitedly around her, just simply say 'good boy'?
How do you praise a puppy vs young dog vs adult?
Do you praise your dog often or sparingly?
Do you talk to your dog a lot in general?
Please share!!!
 

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I talk to sarge all time, I know he doesnt understand 99% of it but I also know hes only interested in the tone of my voice not the content. When im talking to him he knows he has my attetion and that im spending some quality time with him. He also gets a lot of pets. If he sits in front of me I put my hands on both sides of his head and lightly scratch under his ears.

If were out side maybe just a quick pat as he walks by. It just depends on the situation. At night before we go to sleep sarge jumps up on our bed and lays down between us. My wife and I both pet him for a few minutes and he gives kisses. After about 5 minutes he gets too hot and jumps off and walks into his kennel and lays down for the night.

Sarge was a rescue dog who was abused for the first 2 years of his life.He never got the love and attention most puppies get so At first he didnt really understand the concept of attention.

He gets it now!!! And he loves every second of it. So I guess you could say we'er trying to make up for lost time.
 

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Boy, did I get a lecture and a talking-to about correctly praising my dog. Yep, you can do it wrong! I honestly had no idea praise and how I did it could soothe or drive my dog too crazy to learn.

Americans like me, learn to burst an explosion of excited praising energy at their dogs.. high-pitched burst of praise, OR, we throw a wild praise party, verbally creating a praise-hullaballoo for our dog. That's what I always did. I mean, I wanted him to know I was happy with him, right? Wrong! It was so much hyper-energy in my voice and manner, my dog lost the continuity of what he was supposed to be learning, and would feed off that energy and become a nutcase. My fault entirely.. but I didn't know any other way to really let him know how happy I was with him.

Germans here taught me to praise using a soothing stroking with my voice: "Fiiiiiiiine..... fiiiiiiiine...." What a huge difference in how my dog responded! Before, he would feed off the praise-party hoopla and frantic-happy energy... but this way, he looks at me with extreme interest "Really, Mom? Yeah? I did so good??" He no longer loses focus. He remains calm. He no longer loses the lesson, but retains what I wanted him to know was correct.. no distracting hoopla, just a long, slow, soothing, warm, loving tone. "Fiiiiiiiine......fiiiiiiine..." I beam my love to him while saying this-- I can see he feels it.

Do what works for your individual dog. You may have to tailor how you want to praise, with what your dog actually needs for praise. And yup, I talk to Grimm a lot. Silly lovey-stuff. It doesn't prevent him from listening and hearing when a command comes, it keeps us connected.
 

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First direct answers to the questions:

Do you have a special praise for different situations?
Absolutely!!!!
Do you hug your dog, kiss him, stroke his head, jump excitedly around her, just simply say 'good boy'?
All of the above!
How do you praise a puppy vs young dog vs adult?
I'll get back to you a month after I get another puppy!
Do you praise your dog often or sparingly?
Often
Do you talk to your dog a lot in general?
Who me? Whoever heard of such a thing as talking to your dog?.
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Of course I do!


I use praise differently depending on the circumstances as Patti alluded to. If we are practicing for obedience-long sits and downs for example, I'll give very light praise and maybe a stroke on the head between the exercises because I want to keep Kayla focused and in the moment between those exercises. With agility, the praise is enthusiatic and encouraging because I want her excited and charging ahead.

The praise and encouragement communicated outside of training/obedience is a varied bag that is all over the map emotion and excitability wise. It really depends on what is going on. On hikes I may encourgage Kayla for exploring something or when she looks at or returns to me-whether I've called her or not. At home it would be a gentle praise when she settles for a while.
 

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Verbally, I try to keep the same words so she can know she did something correct at a distance. I say "Good" and "Good Girl" the most often. I also want to add in a hand signal for times when I have to be quiet, or she wouldn't be able to hear me.

She definitely responds to just "good girl" which is handy to tell her she did something correct while on the other side of the room. I'm also able to whisper praise and commands rather effectively.

For minor praise, I try to smile as warmly as I can when she's doing something good, especially for something I didn't ask of her.

Otherwise, when I'm not using treats, I'll range from a quick scritch behind the ears or neck up to an all out massage. She loves neck massages. I'll give her a "jack pot" of scritches and massages when she succeeds in doing something that was particularly difficult for her.
 

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I'll rub her ear for subtle praise and german for 'good bitch' (goutes wiebchen phonetically) when she's done very well- it's not something she's going to hear in everyday conversation so she knows it applies to her.

Tone of voice definitely: like if she's walking down the street and some fool dog mouths off to her, if I only have to tell her once to 'Leave It', she'll get an excited praise. If she's chilling on the livingroom floor and watching my kids run around without jumping and running with them, she'll get a calmer praise.
 

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Effective praise depends on the dog. If the dog responds well, you've done it right, if they put their ears back, you've been too loud, squirrelly, or otherwise overwhelmed your dog. If your dog starts getting unruly, you've overstimulated your dog (though you can save that kind of praise for an end of training play session).
Mostly, I've paired the idea of getting a treat with a short sharp 'good!' ala clicker training. My gal couldn't care less about verbal praise. Catching a frisbee out of the air is a meaningful reward or catching a tossed hotdog piece. Each dog is different. Some dogs really soak up the verbal stuff, others want something else.
 

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Originally Posted By: GSD07
Do you have a special praise for different situations?
Do you hug your dog, kiss him, stroke his head, jump excitedly around her, just simply say 'good boy'?

For me, these 2 questions go together. Different situations require different types of praise. If I want my dog to remain calm, I provide calming praise (soft words, slow stroking down the back or head). If I want my dog excited, I provide excited praise (excited words, lots of play, pats instead of stroking). And when they have a major lightbulb moment in an exercise we've been working on, they usually get an all out party.

Originally Posted By: GSD07
How do you praise a puppy vs young dog vs adult?
As above, it depends on the situation and what we're working on in that training session and what frame of mind I want the dog in (excited or calm).

Originally Posted By: GSD07
Do you praise your dog often or sparingly?
Again, depends on the situation and what works best for the dog. Some dogs need more frequent praise, some work better with more intermittent praise and reward. We also have a whole range of praise, from a simple "good" or "yes" verbal marker up to a release and major play session. As the dogs progress in training, they need to be able to work harder and for longer periods of time with very little, more subtle praise. Can't be having a party with the dog on the trial field after every exercise, so the dogs need to come to understand that a lack of praise or feedback isn't a bad thing. If they get too used to a lot of praise and feedback in training and then the handler clams up in trial because they aren't allowed to really praise their dog in a trial, that can really screw up the dog. The dog needs to be taught in training that silence from the handler isn't a bad thing.

Originally Posted By: GSD07
Do you talk to your dog a lot in general?
Around the house, we talk to them all the time.

In training, during initial training of any exercise they get a lot of verbal feedback in the form of positive and negative verbal markers. Once they become proficient in an exercise, the talking is significantly reduced because, as I said above, the dog needs to learn to work and keep up it's attitude without a constant running commentary from the handler.
 

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Wow - what a thought provoking question.

I think we tend to get too excited sometimes with our dogs when we praise. I know I can wind mine up like a top when I go over the top with praise and then they are out of control which I don't want either.

I think we have to find the right amount for each dog. I can go over the top with Kayos and she will happy and excited but if I do it with Havoc he will knock me over he gets so out of control.

When I am working on stationary behaviors like stays my praise is very smooth and quiet. When I am praising moving behaviors like heeling I tend to use a happy "Awesome!" or something like that. I usually mark the behavior and reward first and then add praise along with ear scratches or something along those lines.

Around the house I talk to them all the time and pat and pet tham too.
 

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Do you have a special praise for different situations?
Yes. As others have stated, over-the-top praise can drive Risa into a bouncing, crazy, frenzy. Which is fine if she's just had a stroke of genius or we're done with the session. But if I expect her to continue on or keep her more 'on task,' I will use more laid-back praise. An even-toned 'Good' or 'Excellent.' I do use pets on occasion. Sometimes a simple pat on the side, a stroke on her head, or a really good butt scritch. Again, it depends on the moment.
Do you hug your dog, kiss him, stroke his head, jump excitedly around her, just simply say 'good boy'?
It depends. Ris will accept hugging but it does stress her out a bit (tongue flicks). If I want to keep her calm, head strokes, kisses, or a 'good girl' suffice. If I want to revv her up, I can bounce around.
How do you praise a puppy vs young dog vs adult?
I've never owned a puppy but I imagine I would treat him similarly to the way I treat Risa. With accomodations made since he wouldn't be exactly like her.

Do you praise your dog often or sparingly?
I try my best to focus more on what Ris is doing correctly than just what she's doing wrong. So I make it a point to praise her for playing with toys, laying quietly in the livingroom when people walk past in the hallway, etc. I praise as often as I can.

Do you talk to your dog a lot in general?
Oh yes. I talk to her all the time! Full conversations and everything. She probably thinks I'm insane. . .but she plays along. Those 'I appear interested in what you're saying' head tilts get me all the time.
 

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Ah Jesse knows when he does right.... I say "what a good boy and clap my hands excitedly" and he repeats his good behaviour or just "Yes" and he knows he is doing right too. He also knows "Ah Ah" means to stop what you are doing.

I talk to Jesse all the time and boy for a 1 year old he seems to know a lot of what I am saying because I have been working on words with him over the last year, with people names, places and things.
 

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i talk to duke all the time, and it doesnt matter where were at either. sometimes out in public when i talk to him some people look at me like i should be commited to 2 north. he also gets lots of hugs and kisses, and treats, and lots of petting!

i usually give him different treats for different things. his really good dog treat is cut up hot dogs! he loves those! and when he gets them he knows hes done something awsome and that im really proud of him for it!
 

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Do you have a special praise for different situations?
-If I want him to stay calm, my praise is very calm, soothing, and quiet. Think massage vs high fives and flying hugs.

Do you hug your dog, kiss him, stroke his head, jump excitedly around her, just simply say 'good boy'?
-Renji is spotty with liking petting. I usually use verbal markers and use treats/toys. Sometimes I pet him.

How do you praise a puppy vs young dog vs adult?
-I haven't raised a puppy but with the pups I've worked with at training I use VERY calm praise if I don't want to excite the pup, and if I do want to excite the pup, then praise like a bloomin' crazypants.
I think it's great to have little praise parties when the time is appropriate and yes, I'll do this with my dog. Sometimes you just have to let loose.

Do you praise your dog often or sparingly?
-Often! Maybe too much!

Do you talk to your dog a lot in general?
-Sometimes I feel yes, but then I look at people who talk to their dogs like they're little kids and then I'm reminded that I talk to him a moderate amount. I do feel that less is more and I am trying to use more body language than verbal language. I think I use a good amount of body language but I should be "talking" to Renji a lot more in that way.

What Chris was talking about regarding the reduction of communication is a big thing I am working on. Renji needs to learn to deal without a running commentary from the sportscaster and I need to learn to shut up and pick my moments to praise once he's learned a command/routine.
 

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Quote:Do you have a special praise for different situations?
Yes. When first potty training (either puppy or adult) I start a calm, praise as soon as the dog starts to go. "Gooooood Shasha." Low key. Then, when the dog is finished it's a praise party. "YES!!!! GOOD POTTY!!!"

Quote:Do you hug your dog, kiss him, stroke his head, jump excitedly around her, just simply say 'good boy'?
Yes.
It all depends on the situation. I am working with Sasha's fear of guns. When we are out in the field and a gun goes off I start praising her like crazy - loud and high key, jumping around, rolling on the ground, dancing - anything to get her attention and try to get her excited. I want her to realize her non-reaction to the gunshots is the cause of the praise.

During a treatfest (everyone crowded together with me handing out treats) I use calm praise for her.

Quote:How do you praise a puppy vs young dog vs adult?
I think that since puppies have a shorter attention span I give them more praise during the training process. As the dog gets older I use praise less often (whether the dog has been with us all it's life or just joined).

Quote:Do you praise your dog often or sparingly?
With a new dog - often. With our other dogs - not sparingly but randomly.

Quote:Do you talk to your dog a lot in general?
Oh, yeah. Our neighbors must think I'm nuts. I talk to the dogs constantly!
 
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