HOW DO YOU KEEP BEHAVIORS STRONG?
Once a behavior is learned and even reliable continued reinforcement will be necessary. This doesn’t mean that you need to carry around treats forever, although, for some behaviors such as a very strong recall in distracting environments I may try to reinforce with food whenever I can so that it remains strong.
- Continued reinforcement – one way to keep a behavior reliable is to continue to reinforce it. If you reinforce a behavior during training and then decide to stop reinforcing the behavior the reliability of that behavior will deteriorate.
- Real life rewards – things you are going to give to the dog anyway such as meals, treats, chewies, pets, belly rubs, ball tosses, a game of tug, ear rubs, the leash on for a walk, access to a place the dog wants to go and anything else that the dog desires. To keep behaviors strong and reliable use real life rewards to continue to reinforce them.