Do you like it? Reward...
You should keep in mind that you or someone else may be encouraging a certain behavior in your dog. Your friends, even your children, can encourage a certain behavior. Any person in contact with your dog can potentially cause changes in his behavior.
The reward or encouragement can be anything your dog likes. Food, stroking, your tone of voice, a certain word, facial expression, letting him play with a certain toy, going outside, etc. These are just a few ways to reward your dogs behavior.
Incentive is fast and powerful. The reward increases the probability of a behavior occurring again from zero to 80%. Timing is very important. The ideal reward time is ½ second after the dog has done something. This makes great sense for many reasons. Your dog is always on the go. If your reward time exceeds ½ second, you may have unintentionally rewarded another behavior from him. For example, teach your dog to sit. The dog sits; but if you wait for your dog to stand up to reward, your dog will think you are rewarding for standing up and the sit command for him is his standing up. Whatever your dog is doing when you reward it is the behavior that is encouraged.
To put it simply, the simple rationale for the award is this:
WHEN YOUR DOG DOES SOMETHING YOU LIKE, DO WHAT IT LIKES!