There are various methods of dog training, however recently there has been a growing collection of recent studies proving that positive reinforcement training of dogs is much more effective and ultimately more successful than training involving dominance and punishment.
Using positive reinforcement to train your dog means you are rewarding the behaviours you like and prefer, and ignoring the behaviours you do not like. You can use treats, praise, or life rewards. Each dog is different you have to work out what your dog sees as a reward such as games, walks, car rides, food or toys. You will however need to establish a hierarchy of rewards.
Once the dog performs the correct behaviour it is marked, and the reward follows the marker. By doing this the dog learns to associate the marker with the reward, producing positive outcomes in regard to training and behaviour. For positive reinforcement to be successful you are required to establish a hierarchy of rewards for your dog.
Below is some examples of what most dogs would define as their hierarchy of rewards:
- At home with few distractions for example if you are conducting training in the home living room/ kitchen. Low value treats include kibble, carrots, green beans, or dry biscuits.
- In your garden as there is an element of distraction such as neighbours, cars use medium-value treats are commercial training treats or meaty type treats.
- At the park use high value treats as there is a higher element of distraction, for example soft dog treats with great flavours/smells such as peanut butter, salmon, and chicken.
Positive reinforcement creates a stronger bond which is based on mutual trust and respect, between owner and dog. This way of training also allows for clearer communication between you and your dog. This method also increase of willingness to work, eagerness to please, and increased rate of learning.
Most dog owners want their dogs to be true companions and part of the family and positive dog training will help to achieve this. Your dog will learn to trust you more and more and the relationship between the two of you will become much stronger and achieve the goals you desire.