Training your dog the way you want them to behave is not a complex art. At the same time, reinforcing positive behaviour through several means need to be understood the right way. Though there are no repercussions with the results, the number of positive reinforcements that we employ must result in fast pace change in behaviour. All the more, we do not want years to train your dog to behave in the right manner. In this regard, positive training is reiterated as the best method to instil and imbibe the right behaviour in any circumstance.
What Is Positive Training?
The type of training that establishes the need for the dog to behave in the right way. The dog must need a reason to behave perfectly. We must replace the bad behaviour to good and thus rewarding them with goodies or eats so that they behave the same right manner.
Positive training is the art of making the dog associate good behaviour with the rewards. Thus making them constantly and consistently roam around with good manners. Many instances, the dog owners fail to establish the need in the dog and end up having an unruly, misbehaved and ill-mannered dogs. Of course, it is not the animal’s fault. It is our responsibility to reinforce good behaviour in them. The result completely depends on you.
Why is Positive Training recommended?
While there are many training methods in the world, even the expert dog coaches shall suggest going for reward-based training. There are many reasons for it. A few crucial ones are
- Reward-Based training build good behaviour and also improves the bonding between the dog and the owner
- Many Dog owners have reported quick and massive results using reward-based training
- More importantly, positive training build confidence in the dog and they start thinking for themselves
- Lastly, science suggests that reward-based training is the best one to train the dogs
What are the rewards does a dog need to inspire them to behave right?
When we say rewards, dogs do not expect or require any luxury items. The feel of happiness is getting something from the owner in return of good behaviour is more than sufficient for the dog to associate the same happiness with their well-mannered behaviour. Also, the expenditure may not reach the rocket high too. Let us see some of the rewards that you can offer to the dogs as a part of positive reinforcement.
- You can offer them dog treats as a part of reward-based training
- Take them for a walk with you
- It can be a car ride too
- Play games with them
- The reward can be praise too
As such, you are replacing the clicker from the equation with all these aspects. As and when the dog behaves well. Reward them with any kind of gesture and keep repeating it. The dogs shall associate the reward with that behaviour soon.
Benefits of Positive Training
1. Everyone in the family gets involved
As a part of positive training, it is suggested that everyone in the family participate in training your dog. This makes the dog get close and bond with everyone in the family. This is a sort of family extravaganza where you involve everyone to train a trait. Caution needs to be taken while involving the family members. Have a ground rule that none in the family goes to the punishing mode while training. This shall be counterproductive. Nor does anyone shout at the dog. Positive training involves a positive approach. Moreover, any new strategy that you are planning to use shall take some time for the dog to associate. Be patient and ask everyone in the family to stay patient too. Also, the advantages you have in this process is immeasurable
- The dog builds bonding with all the family members
- The time taken to train the dog shall be relatively less
- You can schedule a time table for everyone in the family so that it happens systematically too
- Everyone in the family learns to reward the dog appropriately.
2. Positive Training Establishes the Right way of communication
Dogs love ad aim to please. This is the greatest advantage you have concerning positive training. Reinforcing the right behaviour in the dog with rewards has always proved to be the best because of the crystal clear communication. As such, every time the dog behaves well. You will reward them. This sets the tone for the dog to behave the right way and win rewards from you. As said earlier, it likes to please the owner.
On the other hand, the punishment shall not give you the right results, as you do not set the right standard of communication there. For example, you punish the dog by hitting them with the rolled paper if it urinates on your carpet. You intend to tell the dog that it is unacceptable. But the dog associates this as the action that is not acceptable when you are around. This is total miscommunication and you will find your dog doing the same mistake in your absence. This is one of the prime reasons we do not suggest punishment as the right act for training any dog. At the same time, instilling fear in your dog is not the correct way to train your dog too.
Further, taking the same example of urinating. You wanted to teach the dog to urinate outside, instead of succumbing to punishing act, get on to rewards. The dogs shall understand that urinating outside shall win me rewards. This shall trigger the dog to always urinate outside and you reward them praise every time they do. Also, this sets the communication that they urinate in a place under your supervision as well. All you need to have is patience and consistency in training the dog. This shall help you in the longer run. Clear communication happens only through positive training and we recommend that for many more benefits.
3. Punishment Vs Rewards
As we saw earlier, punishment has its disadvantages while training. It is an ineffective way too. On the other hand, punishment mode of training shall aggravate various other problems in dogs too. The aggressive dogs are prone to get more aggressive. They tend to become rude too. This is one of the problems many dog owners are facing when they implement such methods.
Also, some dogs get scared for even the smallest and lightest punishments too. They do not show up themselves and become naïve. It shall stop barking or even showing signs of strangers arriving at your place. The counterproductive results are uncomfortable for the dogs as well as you.
If you employ positive training, you can avoid all such problems. The dogs tend to respond to you well. As we saw earlier, ti can get bonded with all the family members. They grow in confidence and always look up to you for commands. It also builds the character in the dog to behave appropriately even if you are not around. Of course, this is what every dog owner wants and shall be successfully instilled in the dog if done the positive way.
4. Positive Training Stimulates Energy in the Dogs
This is scientifically proven and experts laud this idea of positive training for this factor. Dogs tend to get bored and this causes a lot of behavioural problems. They tend to be more aggressive and also start digging the ground. You must avoid such behaviour pattern. Positive reinforcement shall bring a sea change in your dog’s behaviour. Science and Scientist recommend this because it stimulates the thinking capacity of the dogs. This, in turn, allows the dog to behave properly. More importantly, you will find the dog with maximum energy all the time. This vibration is always necessary for the dog to live long and also offer unconditional love to all your family members.
5. Short Time Training is All that is required
True, you do not have to spend the whole day training the dog if you incline to reward-based training. This requires very less time and can do it at your will whenever you want your dog to perform well in terms of behaviour. Moreover, it is also suggested to keep the training fun-filled. This shall help the dog and you from getting bored too. Keep the training short and have a schedule for it. Approach such training system so that it instils well-mannered behaviour in the dogs in a very short span.
When you keep the training fun-filled, the dogs start getting curious and begin to learn faster. This shall help you train the dog in a short duration. The inquisitiveness in the dog is the key. The formula is consistency and patience. Patience in the beginning and consistency throughout shall bring a sea change in the dog’s life.
6. Strengthens the Bond
Most of the dog trainers recommend this mode of training because it develops a bond between you and the dog. Moreover, when the family is involved, the bondage increases. It is the trust factor that keeps the dog going. Other training methods may offer result in terms of behaviour change, but the ultimate desire of dog being happy along with you is missing. This is a crucial element that needs to be addressed.
Whenever you incline to punishments, just put yourself in your dog’s place and think. Will you feel comfortable? No, a clear No right. So why would you employ that? Use a method that pleases the dog and the effort needed for reward-based training is fairly less. Also, when you are punishing, you are not only punishing your dog but also you. As a dog owner, you are getting aggravated by the behaviour which has serious health implications in you too.
Caution to Be Taken While Training
Dogs read the body language pretty clearly. Training a dog using positive reinforcement methods shall bring rewards to you, but it requires patience. Do not get disappointed if the dog does not behave the way you wanted. Do not show anger too.
As a part of positive training, you must learn to display positivity while training dogs. Have a great smile in your face even if they are not doing it right. Take a deep breath and stay relaxed. Teach the same 4 to 5 times more patiently. The dogs shall pick it up. The initial stages shall be demanding. Once the tone is set, the dogs shall respond very quickly.
Training dogs is an art. Not all the time we require professional support. We as dog owners can get it done all by ourselves. All we need to do is, to set a plan and execute it accordingly. While you train the dog, you may also learn to have patience and tolerance.