Dog Care Basics – Dog Training

Although, there are many different ways to train your pet, dog training primarily breaks down into three main categories. Those methods include – Reward Based, Clicker, and Compulsion training. I have detailed these different methods below.

Reward-Based Training – Enjoyable for your dog and helps better the relationship between you and your dog.

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This method works through positive reinforcement – i.e. rewarding behavior that we like. Rewards may be in the form of a tasty treat or verbal praise such as "good dog!" in a pleasant tone of voice, to be given when the dog performs the 'good' behavior

Reward-based training also involves generally ignoring any 'unwanted' behavior. In this way, the dog is not rewarded for any unwanted behavior. If dogs are not rewarded (i.e. receives no attention or treats) for a certain behavior, then they tend to stop doing it.

For example if a dog is jumping up to greet people they should be ignored if they jump up and only receive attention (including eye contact) when they have four paws on the ground. Only when they are standing or sitting should they be rewarded with attention and treats.

Sometimes if owners react to 'unwanted' behavior by yelling or getting angry they may inadvertently reinforce the behavior – dogs perceive this as attention and the 'unwanted' behavior is simply reinforced.

For some dogs, any form of attention/reaction from the owner is better than no reaction at all. For example, if an owner shouts at a dog who is barking excessively, the dog may interpret this as getting attention and thus the barking continues whereas it is more effective to try to ignore this behavior. World famous dog trainer/"whisperer" Cesar Millan is a big advocate for Reward-Based Dog Training

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