1.Create the positive association
In order for redirection to work on your dog, it has to get your dog’s attention, and the best way to do this is to associate it with positive reward reinforcement. The idea is to get your dog to always turn to you when they hear the sound because, to them, it means they’re going to get something good and positive.
Gradually escalate this until the sound gets your dog to focus on you and sit, using training sessions of no more than 20 mins repeated daily. Also practice using the sound to call your dog from another room, and reward him when he does so.
2.Compound the stimulus without reward
Once your dog is responding the right way to the sound whenever you make it, it’s time to start mixing it up by not always giving a reward other than verbal praise. The idea here is to get your dog to respond to the sound every time if he gets a treat or not. You’re teaching him that there’s always a chance of a reward, so it’s always a good thing to look to you when he hears the sound. Keep then guessing!
If your dog does start anticipating, then you need to show the reward but make them not do the desired behavior until you tell them too. This will reinforce the idea that you’re the one in control, and not your dog.
3.Learn when to use it
The most important part of redirecting a dog is knowing when and when not to do it. You want to use it to prevent unwanted behavior while avoiding using it just to get your dog’s attention, or when a dog might be about to engage in acceptable behavior.
Timing is critical and the best time to use the redirection is just as your dog is committing to the unwanted behavior. If you think of it as your dog climbing a mountain, give the redirection right as the dog is reaching the peak, not before and not after he’s started down the far side.
4. Consistancy and practice
Keep refining your timing of the redirection and learn how your dog indicates when he’s about to engage in unwanted behavior. Be consistent and occasionally reinforce with a reward. Most of all, remember that redirection isn’t so much you telling the dog off, rather, it’s you saying to the dog, “Ignore that and look at me.” You’re not punishing the dog for what he might be about to do, but rewarding him for not doing it and, if you’ve done the other steps properly, you have become your dog’s reward.