Learning behaviours is closely related to its consequences. Depending on whether these consequences are positive or negative for the well-being of the dog, it will tend to repeat the behaviour that has led it to achieve that consequence or, on the contrary, will avoid it.
The possible consequences that may occur when a dog does something are as follows:
Let something bad disappear: The dog cries and the owner allows him to leave his crate (the isolation disappears). The dog will want to cry every time he feels alone.
That nothing relevant happens at all: The dog is bored and barks at its owners but the owners do nothing. The bark has not generated anything, the next time it is bored it may try something else.
These consequences that cause a specific behaviour contribute to the dog to establish a predetermined behaviour in a specific situation, although the dog does not always reach an immediate conclusion. You have to repeat the same behaviour in the same situation to achieve learning and want to repeat or avoid a behaviour.
A reward helps a behaviour to be repeated. This is the basis of teaching the dog, reinforce him with rewards when he performs a behaviour to increase his tendency to do it. The rewards are relative and are subject to the tastes of each dog that gives a different value to each type of reward. Therefore we must choose which are the rewards that have a greater value for the dog because their motivation to achieve it and, therefore, their intensity and concentration will depend on it.
Corrections are consequences of an action the dog has taken and can help to get a behaviour to stop or not to repeat itself. In general, corrections or punishments are not usually used to teach a dog, but are a wake-up call and a way to establish a hierarchy with the dog by showing that we are going to demand something from it. Correction serves to stop it from doing what it is doing, but on almost no occasion does it serve to make the dog learn something, but rather it will lead it to do what we expect it to do and it is not occurring.
When our Australian Cobberdog does something right, we should always reward him. When learning, rewards should be very special so that the dog learns from the first moment that what he has done has many benefits. As learning is more constant, praise, patting, and occasionally a treat may suffice.
When our Australian Cobberdog does something wrong, we can correct it, but a correction should never be applied without a reason. After applying a correction there should always be a reward. The correction will give the dog the opportunity to change its behaviour, and once the correct answer has been executed, we will apply the reward. This way, the dog learns what consequence each of the behaviours has, good and bad, and thus has the possibility to choose. In this way it will tend to repeat the behaviour that brings benefits and to eliminate those that are punished.