How Dogs Learn
When thinking about the way that dogs learn, we must understand that dogs are not humans. They only learn through association and past experiences. For example, they do not primarily understand that “NO” means they should stop what they are doing, unless this word is associated with consequence. One of the most important lessons to teach a dog is if their behaviour is right or wrong as it allows them to learn from their direct actions. This can be achieved by associating “Yes” with a treat, and “No” with a treat withdrawal. This way, the dog will understand whether his action is correct and will receive a reward, or if the action is incorrect and will have to be stopped in order to attain a ‘Yes” treat.
It is important to never punish bad behaviour, only to interrupt it and allow the dog to work out that the behaviour must be stopped in order to receive a treat.