Emphasize the Behavior You DO Want
Instead of just saying “good job” or maybe not noticing it at all… be REALLY specific about what you are praising. Give so much attention to the positive behavior.
The other day Charlie was freaking out every time Duke pulled on the leash… he wanted to control where Duke was going. But Dukes a stubborn dog and there was just no way. Charlie would scream every time Duke would pull. SO ANNOYING. I could’ve just taken Duke, but he really wanted this responsibility. And conflict is an opportunity to teach.
So, I connected with his emotions, and then I reinforced the good behavior! First, I said, I know it’s “frustrating when he doesn’t go where you want, but he’s a dog and he wants to walk, so we need to let him walk” Between every scream, “Wow, look at you hold that leash,” “Charlie, you are letting Duke WALK” “Wow, you are holding the leash while Duke walks” “You are walking the dog.” Over and over, he didn’t even have time to scream and he caught on REALLY quick. And the rest of our 20-minute walk there was no more conflict.
You can use this tip in good moments too.