Published at Thursday, 23 May 2019. Dog Training. By Ninette Drouet.
There's another reason why reward training produces better results than aversive training. Consistency is essential when you're training a dog. If you're using corrections and punishment to discourage unwanted behavior, you'll need to consistently punish your dog each and every time he performs that behavior. Well, we're not robots, and it's impossible to be ready to do this every minute of the day. You'd need to never leave home and never take your eyes off your dog before you'd even have a chance of punishing him every time he makes a behavioral mistake. Make one slip-up and fail to punish your dog for a mistake, and he'll learn that sometimes he can get away with the misbehavior. That's probably not the lesson you want him to learn.
In this day and age, you have a myriad options for training your dog available to you. In fact, the difficulty is more often deciding which approach will be the most effective in training your particular dog (and the method that will mesh the best with your particular situation). Now that you've decided that you're going to put the effort into training your dog and that the effort is worth the results you know you'll get, it is time to decide what kind of training program you will use.
Sincere appreciation is key. All too often, we get so caught up and focused on teaching our dogs that, just when we need to relax and enjoy the moment of success, we end up giving praise that is hollow, rehearsed, and frankly, not very praise-like at all. Keep in mind that the words are not important; it's your demeanor that counts. Praise doesn't need to have a certain tonal quality or pitch nearly as much as it needs to convey that you are sincerely pleased and happy at that moment. In other words, your dog should feel truly appreciated for a job well done – regardless of whether the success was a long sought-after quantum leap, or one of the many baby steps to success along the way.
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