Canine research tells us that any behavior that is rewarded (called positive reinforcement) will be repeated. If something good happens, like a tasty treat or hugs and kisses, a puppy will naturally want to repeat the behavior. Canine behavioral science also has proven that one of the best ways to a puppy’s mind is through his stomach. Never underestimate the power of liver! This leads to a very important puppy rule: Keep your pockets loaded with puppy treats at all times, so you are prepared to reinforce good behavior whenever it occurs.
That same reinforcement principle also applies to negative behavior, or what we humans might consider negative (like digging in the trash can, which the dog or puppy does not know is “wrong”). If pup gets into the garbage, steals food or does anything else that makes him feel good, he will do it again. What better reason to keep a sharp eye on your puppy to prevent those “normal” canine behaviors?
You are about to begin Puppy Class 101. Rule No. 1: Puppy must learn that you are now the “alpha” dog and his new pack leader. Rule No. 2: You have to teach him in a manner he will understand (sorry, barking just won’t do it). Remember always that your Mini Schnauzer knows nothing about human standards of behavior.