Positive reinforcement and redirection

As you raise your farm puppy, it is crucial to use effective training methods to address behavioral issues and encourage good habits. Positive reinforcement and redirection are two powerful techniques that will not only help resolve unwanted behaviors but also foster a strong bond between you and your dog.

Positive reinforcement

Positive reinforcement involves rewarding your puppy with praise, treats, or playtime when they display desirable behavior. This approach encourages the dog to repeat the positive actions, as they associate them with positive outcomes. Positive reinforcement is a highly effective and humane training method, as it focuses on building trust and communication between you and your dog, rather than using punishment or aversive techniques.


To apply positive reinforcement, follow these steps:

  1. Identify the desired behavior: Determine the specific action you want your puppy to perform, such as sitting, staying, or coming when called.
  2. Mark the behavior: Use a clicker, a specific word, or a unique sound to “mark” the precise moment your puppy performs the desired behavior. This helps the dog understand which action is being rewarded.
  3. Reward the behavior: Immediately after marking the behavior, reward your puppy with praise, a treat, or playtime. This reinforces the positive action and motivates your dog to repeat it.


Redirection, on the other hand, involves guiding your puppy’s attention away from an undesirable behavior and towards a more appropriate action. This technique helps your dog learn alternative, acceptable behaviors instead of resorting to negative habits.


To apply redirection, follow these steps:

  1. Observe your puppy’s actions: Pay close attention to your dog’s behavior, and be ready to intervene when they start engaging in an undesirable action, such as chewing on furniture or digging in the garden.
  2. Redirect their attention: Use a toy, treat, or command to capture your puppy’s attention and guide them towards a more appropriate behavior. For example, if your dog is chewing on a shoe, offer them a chew toy instead.
  3. Praise and reward: Once your puppy engages in the alternative behavior, praise them and provide a reward to reinforce the positive action. This will encourage your dog to choose the acceptable behavior in the future.


By consistently using positive reinforcement and redirection, you can effectively address behavioral issues in your farm puppy while building a strong, trusting relationship. These techniques not only promote good habits but also create a positive learning environment, ensuring that your farm dog grows into a well-mannered, confident, and obedient companion.

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Tony Bierman, "Positive reinforcement and redirection," OBTESA, Accessed December 6, 2023, http://esbt.us/dc.