Canine/Dog Training Tips Using Positive Reinforcement

It's very important to follow a few dog training tips in order to inculcate basic obedience in your pet. With proper behavior and obedience training, you will be rewarded with an obedient dog that you can trust and rely on, and one that is not an embarrassment to you. Training your pet can be a rewarding but difficult experience and one method of training is to use positive reinforcement. In this method, you reward the behavior you like and ignore the behavior you don't approve. Rewards can be in the form of food or praise. Dogs like to please their owners and once they realize that they attract attention through good behavior, they learn to become obedient. Training that uses positive reinforcement requires a lot of patience and practice. It also means that your pet is rewarded often and punished rarely.

Training Tips

You should train your dog when he is very young. Although dogs of all ages can be trained, it takes longer for them to unlearn inappropriate behavior and then learn acceptable behavior, once they are set in their ways. You should keep the training sessions short and always conduct them in a quiet area when you are in a good mood. You have to first clearly plan how you will train a particular behavior and only then start training your pet. Make sure you reward the dog immediately, as a delayed reward might not be associated with the behavior. The same type of command should be used by all family members in order to avoid confusion. Apart from this, all family members should reward acceptable behavior and take care that unacceptable behavior is never rewarded. Rewards can be in the form of physical affection and food treats.

Areas of Training:

  • Housebreaking
  • Potty or crate training
  • Teaching your pet to sit, come to you or lie down
  • To stop excessive barking
  • Training to stop jumping on you or other people
  • To stop chewing at carpets, slippers and toys
  • Dealing with temperamental behavior
  • Dealing with aggressive behavior
  • Dealing with separation anxiety
  • Tracking scent
  • Retrieving objects

Benefits of Training Using Positive Reinforcement

There are a number of benefits in training your dog with positive reinforcement. All family members can get involved in the training. You can continue to be gentle with your dog and there is no reason to hurt him, yell at him or make him fear you. Positive reinforcement can be used to correct a large number of inappropriate behaviors and is better than using punishment. This is because an aggressive or fearful dog can become more aggressive or fearful when punished and might therefore not be trained as desired. The training sessions can keep your pet mentally active and out of mischief. As the sessions are fun and rewarding, and they can strengthen the bond shared by you and your pet.

When to Reward

When you train your dog, you should reward good behavior intermittently and keep him guessing. By doing so, you can ensure that your pet will obey your commands even if there is no reward to be gained. If your pet knows that he will be praised and might get an occasional treat, he will be eager to please you by obeying your command.

As a pet owner you need to remember that dog training should be about spending quality time with your pet and never about inflicting pain or dominating your pet.