We’re excited to present our new video series with the Leading OneMind Dogs Coach and the creator of the OneMind Dogs method Janita Leinonen.
This is your chance to get an exclusive peek into how the Finnish agility athlete of the year gets the most out of her dogs. In her new series Janita is sharing the secrets on how she trains her own dogs – and what are the key things she might be doing slightly differently from others.
In the third video of the series Janita is talking specifically about some of the key elements of rewarding. The other topics of the series are e.g. either-or training and clean run training.
Rewarding – careful planning is key
Janita shares how she rewards her own puppies and young dogs in training and how she chooses the behavior to reinforce based on the individual dog needs at a particular moment. In the video, she explains how to choose the reward, its placement and the importance of timing it right. She gives you great tips on how to get the best out of your dog by planning your rewarding correctly.
Which behavior to reward for?
Janita explains she likes to reward her dog for something that is not easy for the dog at that moment. For example with a dog who has a high obstacle focus, Janita would reward from her hand to make coming closer to the handler more fun for the dog. In a situation where she would like more speed from the dog, she would throw the reward in front of her thus requiring the dog to add more speed to catch the reward. These are just some examples and Janita shares a few more on the video.
Find what your dog loves the most
For the rewarding to work perfectly, it’s important to try out different things and see what each individual dog loves the most. For some dogs it might be toys while some dogs are a lot more food motivated. The key is to find that specific toy or food that YOUR dog loves and then use it only in training to make sure it feels super special to the dog.
Tone of voice matters
Dogs will also pick up on your tone of voice. Make sure your dog can hear from your voice how excited you are when they do something really well!
Read your dog’s body language
It’s important to pay attention to your dog’s body language too. For example some dogs might consider petting as a reward, where others try and avoid it when excited in a working situation, no matter how much they might like it on the sofa at home! Trust your dog on this and choose your approach based on what they prefer.
TIMING is everything
Time the reward to a specific point so that your dog understands exactly where he does well. Even split seconds matter – if you’re half a second late in your rewarding, you might end up doing a hundred repetitions more to hammer down your point. Janita says you have to reward as soon as something is good, and not when you realise something was good just a moment ago.
Janita explains she uses rewards all the time when trying to teach a whole new skill to her dogs, and only occasionally when it’s something that the dogs are already familiar with.
The two key things from the above are timing and choosing the perfect reward. You can watch the whole video here and see Janita showing all the above in practice.
There are five videos in the series and they are available to all OneMind Dogs Premium members – we hope you enjoy them!