There are many different dog training techniques out there, some which even involve harsh tactics such as prong collars and electric collars. We are not a fan of harsh methods and we like to use positive dog training with rewards for good behaviour. Harsh methods can instill fear and break the bond that you have with your dog.
Positive dog training is quickly becoming the preferred method of training dogs. In this article you will learn more about positive dog training techniques, please read on.
What is Positive Dog Training?
Positive dog training is all about reward that happens when your dog displays desirable behaviour or when it performs a command correctly.
Most dogs aim to please their owners and so they will continue to repeat praised behaviour pretty quickly. Positive reinforcement don’t have to be treats every time, you can use a fuss, praise in words or his favourite toy as a reward as well.
Examples of Positive Dog Training Methods
For example, if you are house training your dog then you would reward your dog with a treat within 5 seconds of him peeing outside. When you repeat this he/she will quickly realise that this is the place to go and make a habit of it. There is no point in shouting at or spanking your dog for peeing inside the house, because you will be telling him off after it’s already been done and so the dog won’t associate the scolding or shouting with the wee or the poo! If you catch him in the act you can quickly put him outside and then he should continue to do it there.
Positive dog training methods are great for getting intelligent dogs to learn basic obedience and tricks. You can teach your dogs the basics first such as sit, down and stand. You can then progress to more impressive dog tricks such as beg, stand, spin and roll over. If your dog gets a treat when he does the trick he will repeat it and then you can add the command. Over time he will get better and faster.
Some dogs can be reactive on street walks, barking and lunging at strange people, bikes and other dogs. Sometimes they will be so focused on the moving object that they want to chase or attack that they won’t respond to a ‘no’ or lead tug. If your dog is food motivated then try throwing in some clicker training.
For example, if your dog barks at bikes on his walks, every time a dog sees a bike click the clicker and treat him immediately before the barking or lunging starts. Repeat it two or three times until the bike has passed, and hopefully it could do so without your dog barking. If you repeat this the dog should start to associate what used to be a perceived threat as something positive. He should start to look at you as soon as you click the clicker which takes his focus off the bike or whatever it is.
What’s Wrong with Negative training methods?
Negative Training methods such as spanking, hitting, scolding, or punishing generally don’t work well on dogs. Quite often they don’t understand what they are being punished for. Abusive methods such as spanking or scolding are likely to break your dogs bond with you. By keeping training methods positive this will both preserve a good relationship and get faster results.
We are completely against negative training methods such as the use of choke collars, prong collars or electric collars. There is no need for these and quite often they can cause a dogs behaviour to worsen due to the stress caused by their use.
Positive Dog Training doesn’t mean no ‘No’s’!
Remember that positive dog training doesn’t mean that you never tell your dog off. It simply means that when you need to correct your dogs behaviour you do it with an assertive and commanding voice. For example, jumping up strangers is not a desired behaviour. But instead of scolding him you can simply say ‘No!’ If the dog still doesn’t respond remove him at put him back on the floor. perhaps when he is settled you can then do tricks with the dog and he can be prasied for the more positive behaviour when he is more settled and focused.
Find a Positive Dog Training Class
If you are training your dog we would highly advise that you find a class with a positive approach to dog training. We send Blake to Pawsitively Does it in Liverpool. Being in these classes has been invaluable for us and Blake. We are learning how to use positive reinforcement methods on a daily basis and not just in the class sessions.