The Benefits of Positive Puppy Dog Training

Puppy dog training should be a fun experience for both you and your dog. Since most puppies don't understand our expectations, it's much more fun and effective to teach your dog what you want him to do rather than punishing him for the mistakes he will inevitably make.

Effective for Every Dog

Many dogs, such as sensitive or anxious dogs, shut down during training that involves punishment. However, every dog can learn through positive reinforcement training. In fact, some dogs are so nervous that only positive training can reach them and pull them out of their shells.

One common misconception about positive training is that some stubborn dogs need corrections while softer dogs can learn from positive training. All dogs, even aggressive dogs, can learn with positive training. Top dog trainers use these methods on the toughest cases and get results by finding the proper motivation for the dog.

Poppy Training that Builds Bonds

When you adopt a new dog, especially rescue dogs, it's important to build a bond with your puppy so he will want to work for you. Positive training builds a bond based on respect, not fear. When the training is fun for you and your dog, your dog will seek out learning opportunities and try to impress you.

Another common misconception is that positive training serves as bribery, and the dog isn't working for you, only the treat. However, anything can be a reward, including toys, praise and pets. If you use a reward word, which you say before you give every treat, the word will become as rewarding as the treat.

Tools Are Not Required

Corrections require tools, such as prong collars, choke chains, spray bottles and noise makers. However, dogs are smart. They know that if they don't see the squirt bottle, they can continue to bark. They learn the cue rather than the command.

With positive training, no tools are required. You don't have to carry anything with you to praise and pet your dog. Early in the process, you can keep treats hidden in your pockets to surprise your dog with a reward. Without visual cues, your dog learns that he should always listen, not just when he sees the noise maker.

No Damage Done

Most dog owners aren't dog trainers, so their timing isn't always accurate when trying to train a behavior. For a behavior to be effective, the reward (or correction) must come within one second of the behavior. If a treat is given too soon or too late, the training will take longer, but it won't damage your dog.

Mistimed corrections, either coming to late or anticipating the bad behavior, can cause frustration and fear. Recent studies have shown that training with aggression leads to more aggression in dogs. Positive training has no such fallout.

Most dog trainers learn the axiom, "First, do no harm." Positive training causes no harm and is equally effective as more traditional methods, if not more so.