Positive Reinforcement Dog Training Recommended by Experts
Positive reinforcement dog training is highly recommended by dog training professionals. What is positive reinforcement dog training? Put simply it means using reward to reinforce the behavior you want to promote and NEVER using punishment as a means of stopping the behavior you want to eliminate.
Well known dog trainers like Zak George and Victoria Stilwell advocate this type of training and of course use it effectively themselves.
How Can I Practise Positive Reinforcement Dog Training?
One of the best tools in practising this type of training is a clicker. Many dog trainers recommend and use clicker training as do animal charities such as the R.S.P.C.A. and the A.S.P.C.A.
So let’s take a look at the benefits of clicker training for you and your dog….
The Benefits of Clicker Training
Anybody can master clicker training very easily – it is really simple and you and your best friend can have lots of fun in the process. Perhaps best of all it represents everything that is good about positive reinforcement training.
What is a Clicker?
A clicker usually comprises two pieces of sheet metal which when pressed against one another make a clicking sound. This sound is a signal to the dog just as a whistle is when used to train and control Sheep Dogs.
The premise of a clicker is simple – when your dog behaves in the way you want you immediately signal this by clicking the clicker and give your dog a reward i.e. a treat.
You repeat this process so that every time you use the clicker your dog comes to expect a treat and then after a while the sound of the clicker itself is rewarding enough without the treat!
So, a clicker enables you to enable your dog to be on his best behavior without resorting to shouting, shoving, or punishment in any way, shape, or form!
Clicker Training Makes for a Happy, Confident Dog
Dogs like many other animals are extremely sensitive to anger and some dog owners can get incredibly angry when their dog does not obey their commands! This can lead to aggressive behaviour in dogs as they become fearful.
Clicker training prevents this type of aggressive behaviour because it is all about reward without any punishment in the form of shouting or perhaps tugging at the dog’s lead. You remain calm and so does your dog!
All in all, this means you and your dog will feel confident and happy.
It’s Fun for You and Your Dog
Success breeds success! When you’re successful you feel happy and so does your furry friend because he keeps receiving rewards and you do too in the form of a happy and cooperative pooch!
Clicker training can be addictive for you and your dog. It is a bit like discovering a new language which you both understand! What animal lover has not dreamt of becoming Dr. Doolittle with the ability to talk to the animals? Well with a clicker you can turn that dream into reality – to some extent anyway by letting your clicker do the talking!
Strengthens the Bond with Your Dog
Loosing your temper with your dog and yelling at them only erodes the trust and respect your dog has for you and of course the opposite is true – treat your dog consistently with kindness and you will create a bond that can never be broken!
Clicker training is a method that is based on kindness and is instrumental in creating just such a bond.
Clicker Training Means Cooperation Based on Reward NOT Coercion
I once had a Manager who decided to run an experiment with the Salesforce by deducting money from their pay for poor administration – guess what? They hated it and rebelled against it!
Fast forward a few years and I devised a pocket money reward scheme to encourage my two daughters to do household chores! They loved it! The only trouble was they wanted to complete more chores than each other to earn more pocket money and this lead to arguments – but that’s another story!
The point is that my manager’s scheme was one based on coercion and the scheme I devised for my daughters was based on cooperation by reward and the reward motivated them to cooperate with me!
So like human beings dogs are more likely to cooperate with us if we reward them rather than use coercion which often results in them rebelling against us by for example making them fearful and aggressive.
In this context clicker training is an excellent way to motivate your dog to behave in the way you want.
Efficient, Effective and Timely
You can use clicker training anywhere and repeated for a few minutes a day is usually enough to create a well behaved and happy dog that will positively look forward to training sessions.
If at First You Don’t Succeed Try, Try Again
Your dog will not be penalised for failure by clicker training! Instead clicker training will encourage them to try and try again until they are successful, and the reward is offered. This encourages them to be tenacious rather than be discouraged by being told off for failure as is the case with other training methods that are no based on positive reinforcement.
You Are the Pack Leader
Dogs like children need to know and understand that you as their pet parent are in charge. Many instances of bad dog behaviour can be explained by the dog assuming the role of pack leader because the owner has never set boundaries. You can see this happen every day with dogs that take their owners for walks rather than vice versa.
Clicker training is an excellent way to make sure your dog understands and abides by the boundaries you have set as pack leader.
Clicker Training Can Be Used for a Multitude of Tasks
Sit, stay, fetch the TV control or indeed fetch anything you want your dog to fetch can be taught by using the simple clicker method of click and reward. And if you are feeling particularly ambitious you could teach your dog a variety of tricks and end up appearing on and even winning one of the TV Talent Shows! Most people love to see dogs performing tricks and dogs seem to love it so why not?
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Alternatively start your clicker training now by visiting The Doggone Good Clicker Company.