top of page

Why You Should Always Position Feed

Position feeding means feeding your dog while they’re in the desired position. (Sit, down etc.) It can also mean feeding them while they’re standing in the right spot if you’re doing something like loose leash walking. The overall idea is that when they’re rewarded while they’re doing the behavior, it’s going to paint the clearest picture of what actually caused the reward to happen. This is important because when it comes to positive reinforcement, a behavior is going to increase if it results in something desirable. If we’re not doing a good job of communicating which behavior is leading to the desirable outcome, we may see an increase in a behavior we weren’t trying to reward and no increase of frequency in the behavior we were trying to reward. For example, your dog lies down on cue and then pops up and collects their reward. As you continue, you notice that your dog is popping up quicker and quicker. This would likely be due to the fact that your dog is collecting their reward while standing instead of lying down. If the rewards are all given while your dog holds their down, it’ll be much clearer to your dog which behavior is the cause of the reward. When position feeding a down-stay, you’ll definitely notice your dog become more relaxed because they start to realize that all they have to do is hang back and wait patiently and the next reward will be delivered to them. Without position feeding, dogs tend to bounce around a lot and often become frustrated. When I first got into dog training I taught dog V to stay until he was released to get his reward. I had some success with this but I never got him to actually settle while in his stay. He was always ready to pop up. This ultimately led to more failed attempts then was needed. Once I learned how to position feed I noticed a huge change and V was able to stay much more relaxed and the fails were less frequent. Just remember, anytime you can reward your dog while they’re doing the actual behavior, do it. You’ll like the outcome. (And so will they.)

276 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page