Why Dog Training by Positive Reinforcement Really Works

dog training by positive reinforcement

Dog training methods and techniques have changed over time, as research has clarified which approaches work well and which ones do not.

Today, many of the world’s best dog trainers use a reward-based, positive reinforcement approach as the basis for their training systems. This method works well in a variety of environments, including obedience training, behavior modification, aggression training and dog and puppy boot camps.

How Does Positive Reinforcement Dog Training Work?

Based on the theories of classical and operant conditioning, positive reinforcement techniques provide rewards for desired behaviors. Negative reinforcement, in contrast, uses punishments for unwanted behaviors.

Using this approach, you might give your pup a small treat or effusive praise when he obeys a command correctly. When applied consistently and frequently, this technique teaches your pet that good things come from following your instructions and displaying the behaviors that please you.

So, for example, when house training your dog, you would praise and reward him when he answers nature’s call outside, in the desired location – rather than yelling, scolding or rubbing his nose in it if he has an accident indoors.

Timing & Consistency Are Everything in Dog Training

Two of the most common mistakes that dog owners make when trying to self-train their pets involves their timing and consistency.

When you reward your pet for good behavior, you must do so immediately. Otherwise, your pet may not realize which behavior you’re rewarding. You must also be consistent, especially during the training phase.

This means rewarding desired behaviors consistently until your pet has mastered a command or behavior. But it also means using the same commands. For example, if you wish to train your pet to not jump on people, make sure every member of your household uses the same command. If you use the command “off,” but your spouse uses “down,” your pet could become confused. Similarly, you can’t allow him to jump up on some people but not others.

Should You Choose a Dog Trainer Who Uses Positive Reinforcement Techniques?

The experienced, professional dog trainers at Innovative K9 Academy use positive reinforcement with every dog and puppy we train, to establish a relationship of trust. This helps to engage dogs in the training process and makes them eager to please the trainers.

Once we have established the dog’s mastery of a command using positive reinforcement techniques, we may use a form of correction to discourage the disobedient behavior. Again, timing and consistency are critical to effective dog training.

We use a proven training system developed by the internationally renowned dog trainer, Michael Ellis. This reward-based system enables us to quickly and effectively shape canine behavior in a positive and compassionate way.

Innovative K9 Academy is conveniently located in Salt Lake City, Utah. All of our trainers have extensive education and experience, and we update our skills regularly to ensure we remain on the cutting edge of effective and compassionate techniques. Call us today to learn more about our dog training programs.