Dog training is essential for a happy and healthy dog but it also makes your life much easier.
The basics that every dog should be taught, from as young as possible, are;
- How to walk on a lead
- Developing their recall
- Responding to commands such as sit, stay and drop
Dog training can also form into a great bonding session with your pup where mutual trust is developed.
Dog training should be fun for both your pet and you. Rewards based training can ensure this happens.
This type of training is centred around rewarding your pup when they perform the desired behaviour and completely ignoring the unwanted behaviour. This is totally different from aversion training where the dog is punished for these same undesirable behaviours.
Rewards that work great in this type of training can be a favourite food/treat, a play with their favourite toy or just positive voice affirmation.
Let us delve into an example of how reward-based training works;
A dog that constantly jumps up to greet people
Focus on rewarding your pup when they don't jump and ignore them completely when they do jump, including eye contact. Obviously, these sorts of dogs jump more than once so only reward them when they have all four paws on the ground.
If you follow this by not responding at all when they jump and only rewarding when they have all four paws on the ground and they will start getting the picture. The picture is that they are getting rewarded for not jumping.
An aversive training method, like putting your knee up to stop your dog, won't solve the behavioural problem and may mean that the dog will just jump from further away.
Now let's talk about punishment as a training method. Positive punishment can involve such things as lightly hitting your dog on the nose when they approach to take a biscuit from a table.
There are many pitfalls to this sort of punishment though. We have listed some below;
- It can stop a behaviour but fails to produce a desirable behaviour
- The dog doesn't learn what is right from wrong or what is actually wanted from them
- It can increase anxiety in dogs especially those dogs that are already susceptible to this
- It doesn't support a happy, healthy human-animal bond.
These are just some of the pitfalls, much more research is available around this. If you'd like to found out more about the pitfalls of this type of training we suggest visiting the Australian Veterinary Associations article on it. Click here to view this article
We hope you enjoyed this blog and you got some value out of it. Scroll down to the bottom to sign up to our blog posts and get updates on everything at The Pampered Pet. We post twice weekly and cover informational blogs on all things dogs and cats! Don't to leave a comment if you've tried some reward-based training!
The Pampered Pet Team