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Dog Education Institute
De Roedel

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Body language, motivation and reward

If a dog shows obedient body language, this doesn’t necessarily mean that the dog’s motivation is also ‘obedient’. The dog is sitting neatly beside you. What is its motivation for this? Does it want the treat? Is it not in the mood for your ‘nagging’? Does he want to be good because you have earned its respect?
If you have to repeat “sit” six times before the dog finally sits down, you can be sure that its motivation was not ‘obedient’ (see disobedient behaviour)! If you proceed to reward your dog, you will not only be rewarding his ‘obedient’ body language, but also his ‘disobedient’ motivation!

We humans feel the need to give our dogs things he likes, to take him on our lap (if possible) to cuddle him and do nice things with him. Of course you must continue to do so.
But if you are not sure about his motivation, don’t do this as a ratification, but do this simply whenever you feel like it!


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