Outcomes of Behavior




Consequences drive behaviour. We repeat things that have good outcomes and stop doing those that don’t. Imagine you touch a hot stove and get burned… Will this make you more or less likely to touch it again? If you visit a store and they give you free samples, then are you more or less likely to go there again?

All living beings are programmed to avoid negative experiences and seek out positive ones.

This means that the consequences of your dog’s actions are really important in shaping their future behaviour.

So if you want to make it more likely that your dog will behave in a certain way, you will need to make sure that the outcome is something they want or love.

For example your dog might be more likely to behave calmly around other dogs, if in the past this has resulted in them getting their favourite treats from you, having the opportunity to explore and sniff or simply being given the chance to make their own choice to move away if they want to.

Always remember to think about how your dog might feel in the moment too – simply doing a behaviour doesn’t ensure they are enjoying it. Always look at their body language and adjust course if you see your dog struggling.

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