Why Golden Retrievers Need Discipline, Reward and Punishment

Now obviously disciplining, rewarding and punishing your Golden Retriever has to do with training him. Before we delve any deeper into any of those three let’s talk a bit about a play deprived Golden retriever.

Golden retrievers thrive on playtime and interaction with their owners and other animals. You have to realize that he was originally a gundog and that he has a lot of energy. Burning that energy is essential to getting the dog to focus.

Training a hyper dog is close to impossible. So take the time to play with him. Include games such as retrieving, chasing a flying disc or fetching a ball. Chasing and tug-of-war are not good ideas because they give the impression that the dog can run away from his master and, otherwise, be a dominant dog.

Understanding the role of discipline for your Golden retriever

Discipline has to do with the basic survival instinct. Discipline, or acting in accordance with a list of rules, is incredibly important in establishing a hierarchy without which there would be chaos. This is what happens in homes where people don’t train their dogs.

In the case of wild animals discipline is important to survival, they wouldn’t be able to survive without it. For domestic canines the role of discipline is understanding how the pack functions and how they must act in order to lead a happy life.

How to use reward and punishment effectively

The basic idea is this: a behavior that results in a pleasant event is likely to be repeated and a behavior that results in an unpleasant event is not likely to be repeated. This is the basis of most training methods we use today.

The trick is to manipulate the dog into doing a specific behavior and then rewarding him for doing it. Given time he will associate the behavior with the positive end result.

On the other hand, punishment conveys the opposite message. Don’t get angry with your dog if he doesn’t understand the first time. Instead think of how many times you told your child not to touch the stove and he still did it. But he never touched the hot stove again, did he?

The biggest mistake dog owners do is they overuse punishment and underuse rewards. The trick is not to tell the dog every possible thing he’s not allowed to do, but to show him exactly what he is allowed to do.

When you show him what he’s allowed to do he won’t even think to do restricted things. He will only do what he can do, because what he wants is reward and appreciation. Your Golden retriever wants to please you and live a happy life with you.

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