I found this onanother site I shortened it up a little.
The dog lives exactly in the here and now!
The canine mind is, at all times, in the present. A dog is not worried about what might happen tomorrow. It also does not dwell consciously on what happened yesterday. This does not mean that the dog has no memories of things that happened in the past. However, those memories are more abstract than ours. Humans will dwell on a particular interactions. For the dog, the interaction has two basic outcomes: good or bad. Good means: I'll do more of it, bad means: I won't do it again. A bad outcome does not cause the dog to wonder how things could have been done differently or how to do it next time. As far as the dog is concerned, the chapter is closed until, by chance, the same situation arises again.
A rewarded behavior will be repeated!
As mentioned in rule #1, the dog will repeat behaviors that previously ended in a good outcome. "Good" in this context is defined by the dog, not by us. "Good", to the dog, means that a particular action paid off. Getting a cookie from us after sitting when asked is as much a pay-off as the good feeling the dog derives from chewing on your couch. If it feels good, it will be repeated.
Unrewarded behavior will extinguish itself!
If a particular action never pays off, it will cease to be offered eventually.
Different rewards carry different value
This should be a no-brainer, because we play the game of life exactly the same way.
In the case of the dog: he will sit for praise (scratch ticket) as long as there is no squirrel running by (super ball). On the other hand, he will sit for a steak (better odds super ball) even if there is a squirrel running by (smaller odds super ball).
If you want to extinguish a behavior, it will get worse, before it gets better.
If you desire a dog to stop a particular behavior, it won't happen overnight. The dog is offering the behavior because it has been either purposely or inadvertantly rewarded in the past. A dog barking in the crate has previously learned that it can solicit you to open the door or to talk to it by barking. You may not have done it on purpose. You may just have opened the door to let the barking pup out because you did not have enough time to wait until the dog was quiet. The dog, however, will deduct that you opened the door because it made a fuss. This is how it got momma dog to come and help and this is how it got you to open the door. If you reward the behavior once, the dog will be offering the behavior as a result of rule #1. The more often or better it has been rewarded, the longer #1 applies before #2 applies. The dog is simply playing by the odds of receiving a reward of a certain value.
Dogs don't generalize
The dog does not remember the outcome of a certain situation until it presents itself again. This is meant very literally. Unless the situation presents itself in exactly the same way, the dog will not approach it with any memory of previously being exposed to it.
What does this mean? A dog that learned that it is a bad idea to jump over the fence, has not learned that it is a bad idea to dig under the fence. Nor has it learned that it is bad to chew through the fence.. or even that it is a bad idea to jump over the fence in a different area of the yard.
Punishment only works if applied to the same situation each and every time
"He knows he isn't supposed to do that" is a common outcry of frustration in dog training. However, if he REALLY knew, he wouldn't do it. Rule #3 holds the absolute key. If a certain behavior NEVER is rewarded, the dog won't do it again. MOst people do not have the patience to let the dog learn for himself, so they try to deter the dog from undesired behaviors via punishment.
Behaviors don't disappear - they have to be replaced
"How do I get him to stop doing that?" First, find out why he is doing it. Then find out what you would like him to do instead. A lot of behaviors deemed "annoying" have developed over a good amount of time. They won't suddenly stop (Rule #5), much less replaced with inactivity. The general rule is to teach a replacemnt behavior that is incompatible with the "bad one". The most common example is to teach a dog that jumps up to greet, that he will only receive attention for sitting in front of you.
Reward your dog when you don't notice him
Most people want their dog to mind his own business until called upon. A common complaint is a dog that begs for attention. Aside from being a sign that your dog may need more attention, you have probably never rewarded him for not pestering you. Think of Rule #3. Now reward him while he is lying down, waiting patiently for you to pay attention to him.
Be fair to your dog. He is learning our language and rules with a much smaller brain than yours.
First they ignore me. Then they laugh at me. Then they fight me. Then I win. -Ghandi-