All dog owners have probably at one time or another wondered if there is a miracle training method that works flawlessly on all dogs. These thoughts may cross your mind on days you stand with your dog that has suddenly developed selective deafness and completely ignores what you, as its owner, say.
No miracle solution suits all dogs and all owners, at all times. Just as every dog is different, so is every owner. Since we spend every day of our life together with our dogs, it is important to try to make things run smoothly.
There are different ways you can activate and train the dog. Regardless of which training you choose, it should be useful and, above all, fun for the dog. A tip is to try reward-based obedience training or positive reinforcement, giving you tools to train everyday obedience with your dog.
In the article below, we explain why you should consider reward-based obedience training for your dog.
Golden Rule When Owning a Dog
A man’s best friend is an expression often heard when speaking about dogs. A dog is loyal, protective, social, and always happy to see you. Not only is it your best companion that brings you joy but a dog also benefits your health, by reducing stress and anxiety while helping you be more psychically active.
As the dog brings so much meaning to our lives, it’s our job and responsibility to reciprocate and provide our pups with a happy and healthy life. When becoming a dog owner, you should first find a reliable veterinarian and choose a good insurance plan. Make sure you do your research and learn what pet insurance actually covers to choose a proper plan that will fit your pet’s needs. Not only will it give you peace of mind, but you’ll always have financial support when dealing with unfortunate accidents, or health issues that might happen to an animal.
What is Reward-Based Obedience Training?
Maybe you just got a new puppy, or you have an older dog that has been with you for several years. Whatever the story is, it is still important that you train the dog and set boundaries for what is okay and what is not.
When you are going to reprimand your dog, you must be clear, determined, and consistent. This does not mean that you should get angry and physical towards the dog. A very effective way of facilitating the development and maintenance of acceptable behaviors is by introducing reward-based obedience training.
Simply put, it is a training method intended to be enjoyable for the dog as it is rewarded for good behavior. The rewards usually come in the form of treats, a chew toy, or words of praise in a calm manner and voice, given to the pup once it demonstrates decent behavior.
It represents a humane and effective training method that gently addresses unwanted behaviors, without any physical punishments or acts of dominance over your pet.
Ways of Reward-Based Obedience Training
The advantage of a training method such as positive reinforcement is that it does not instill fear in your dog. It instead focuses on interrupting and preventing the dog from engaging in unwanted behaviors. You simply break one behavior and shift the dog’s focus to another.
Below we go through how to use this training method to achieve the desired result.
Reward Positive Behaviors
When teaching your dog new behavior, you should get prepared with plenty of rewards. The most common reward are dog treats, but often even vocal encouragement is highly valued by dogs. Other rewards are playtime with other dogs, games, and your undivided attention.
However, treats are often the most effective motivating factor as the dog learns to associate positive behaviors with something tasty. The important thing is to make sure it is something the dog truly likes.
Think Of Timing
The right timing is crucial in this type of training as it must occur within seconds or your dog will fail to associate with the concrete actions. For the dog to be trained well, you must master the timing, and plenty of practice is the way to achieve this. If the timing is off, you might end up rewarding a different unwanted behavior.
Remember that dogs don’t have the attention span and intelligence of a human. Keep it short and use the same commands for the behavior you want it to show.
If Necessary, Remain Passive
An example of how you can use positive reinforcement is to let the dog work to get your attention and reward. This means that you only give your dog your attention when it is sitting nicely, quietly while paying attention to you. Should the dog instead be unruly or aggressive, you withhold rewards as well as any kind of attention and encouragement. You just sit still and ignore the behavior.
This passive reprimand teaches the dog that it must behave in the desired way to get its reward. Do not yell at your dog or interact with it in any other way when it is not behaving. If you do, you give it negative attention and thereby reinforce the behavior.
Positive reinforcement makes it possible for everyone in the family to participate in the training of the dog. With your guidance, your child will be able to train your dog in the same way as you do. It does not require you to speak loudly or put yourself or a family member in potential danger. Everyone in the family can join in on the fun as a team.
Furthermore, it allows you to communicate clearly with your dog. You decide what you want your dog to do, and when you reward your dog for doing things the right way, it is more likely to repeat the good behavior.
Certain methods such as leash corrections or other punishment forms are not effective for all dogs. In fact, punishment can serve to make a behavioral problem worse by making an aggressive dog more aggressive or fearful.
While other methods can teach your dog how to behave, positive reinforcement will help you guide your dog while nourishing the trust and strengthening your relationship.
Your dog is much more likely to enjoy your company if it is looking forward to being rewarded rather than fearing punishment.
Living with a dog is not always fun and games. Although we think our four-legged companions are the cutest creatures alive, we may sometimes need to scold them as they can exhibit unwanted behavior.
Everyone who owns a dog must practice obedience in some form. It is not enough that the dog reacts to your commands. You also want to have full control of your pet and see that it is trained when in the company of other people and dogs.
Reward-based obedience training is a powerful tool that benefits everyone and it will make your life as a dog owner much easier and the interaction and communication with your furry friend much better.