How to effectively use positive and negative reinforcement in black terrier training?

Black Russian Terriers are incredibly intelligent dogs, and they excel at obedience training. However, like all dogs, they can be stubborn and challenging to train at times. When it comes to black terrier training, there are a variety of methods that can be used to encourage good behaviour. Two common methods are positive reinforcement and negative reinforcement. But which one is best? And how can you effectively use them during training? Let's take a closer look at each method to see how they work.

Astra Fidelis ARMIN - photo by Krzysztof Kwiatkowski

What is positive reinforcement?

Positive reinforcement is a popular method of dog training that involves rewarding your dog for behaving in the way you want them to. This could include treats, verbal praise, petting or physical affection. The aim is to encourage the dog to repeat the behaviour.

What is negative reinforcement?

Negative reinforcement is a less popular but equally effective method of dog training that involves punishing your dog for bad behaviour. This could include scolding them, withholding attention, or saying "NO!" loudly. Negative reinforcement is when you remove something unpleasant when the dog behaves in the way you want them to. For example, if your dog is pulling on their leash, you could stop walking and stand still until they stop pulling. The goal is to get the dog to repeat the behaviour by making it more pleasant for them. However, remember never to use physical punishment such as spanking against a black terrier.

Both positive and negative reinforcement can be used effectively during training. It's important to find what works best for your black Russian terrier puppy, junior or adult and be consistent with your rewards or punishments. For some dogs, a mix of both might work best.

Which method is best?

So, which method is best? The answer is that it depends on your dog and what works best for them. Some dogs respond better to positive reinforcement, while others respond better to negative reinforcement. And some dogs do equally well with both methods. The key is to experiment and find out what works best for your dog.

How to effectively use positive and negative reinforcement during training?

Here are some tips on how to effectively use positive and negative reinforcement that work best when training black Russian terriers:

1. Be consistent with your rewards and punishments. If you only reward your dog sometimes, they won’t understand what they did wrong or right. Likewise, if you only punish them sometimes, they won’t understand why they’re being punished. So, it’s important to be consistent with both rewards and punishments.

2. Be immediate with your rewards and punishments. Dogs have short attention spans, so it’s important to reward or punish them immediately after they behave in a desired or undesired way. This will help them understand the connection between their behaviour and the consequence.

3. Be clear with your commands. Dogs can’t read our minds, so we need to be clear with our commands. If we aren’t clear, they won’t understand what we want them to do. For example, if we want them to sit, we need to say “sit” in a clear voice and give them a hand signal or body language cue that means “sit.”

4. Be patient. Training takes time and patience. Don’t expect your dog to learn everything overnight. Be patient and keep at it, and eventually, they will get it.

5. Have fun. Training should be a fun and positive experience for both you and your black terrier. If it’s not, then something is wrong. Dogs are more likely to learn when they’re having fun, so make sure to keep things light and enjoyable.


Positive and negative reinforcement are both effective methods of dog training. The key is to find out what works best for your dog and to be consistent with your rewards and punishments. With time and patience, you can successfully train your Black Russian Terrier using either method – or a combination of both. If you're having trouble training your Black Russian Terrier, don't hesitate to consult your breeder or a professional behaviourist for help.