TIP #1: CAPTURE AND REWARD
A good rule of thumb is to reward your dog whenever he naturally does something you are working on teaching him. For example, if you find your dog lying down, tell him, “Good down” and treat or pet him. That will also make your dog more likely to add lying around quietly to his list of hobbies.
TIP #2: LET YOUR DOG DECIDE
Remember that every trainee gets to define what reinforcement is best, so we can't say which is more effective for your dog - toys or food. Toys have the advantage of overwhelming nervousness with positive emotions that are associated with relaxation and comfort, but chicken is the way to many a dog's heart.
- excerpted from Feisty Fido
Jeff Dentler, CPDT-KA, IAABC-ADT, FFCP, CTDI