Most people love their furry companions. However, not every moment is enjoyable when your dog isn’t trained to behave in specific ways or avoid unwanted behaviors.
Many techniques are passed on from unknown sources that tell you the best ways to get your dog not to do something. But what is the best method, and how do you use these techniques?
How Should You Train Your Dog?
There are two standard methods of training a dog.
The first is the aversive-based method. The second is the reward-based method. Aversive-based (discipline) training is when you use positive punishment and negative reinforcement techniques with your dog. Reward-based methods use rewards only for the behaviors that you want your dog to follow.
Aversive-based training uses loud, unpleasant noises, physical corrections, and harsh scolding to get your dog to act the way you want. On the other hand, reward-based training uses rewards whenever your dog does something you want it to do. For example, treats, belly rubs, or other dog-pleasing actions are used to reinforce that behavior was exemplary.
Different experts prefer one method over the other. The one that you use is entirely up to you.
Some people believe that a rewards-based method sets up an “event sequence” for your dog where they associate you with happy feelings when they do what they’re told. However, aversive-based methods do just the opposite, where they fear you. That fear means that your dog does what they are exposed to avoid unpleasant feelings.
Understand How Your Dog Learns
Dogs learn a lot like little kids. They are close in intelligence to human two-year-olds. Immediate consequences are all that they care about. As they grow, they begin to understand our words. Some intelligent breeds will respond to as many as 250! Yet every dog responds to the tone of our voice more than the actual words.
There are three types of dog intelligence recognized by scientists:
- Working and obedience
Instinctive learning is when your dog learns the behaviors they were bred. Adaptive dog training and boarding Houston is how well your dog learns from their surroundings and their environment to solve problems. Working and obedience are how well they learn the tasks and commands that you teach them.
To get your dog to be obedient, you should focus on training that uses obedience techniques and the specific behaviors you want from them. Both aversive- and reward-based training have been proven to work. However, if you’re training your dog to be a loving pet, you should consider reward-based obedience training. This method doesn’t develop fear-based responses in your dog. It reinforces your loving relationship with them.
If you’re looking for help training your dog, you could try taking a class at your local American Kennel Club (AKC). Local pet associations can also help you with behavioral problems or with fundamentals. The AKC has over 5,000 clubs around the country.